Esther and Purim

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          Purim is a festival (holiday) from the book of Esther that celebrates God’s protection for His people. The word Purim is an Aramaic word meaning “lot”. Lots, somewhat like drawing straws, were chosen in the book of Esther to determine the date in which the Jews were to be destroyed. Haman, an enemy of the Jews, had sought to destroy them. Purim was instituted when God lead the enemies of His people to their own destruction. Purim is therefore about deliverance.

 

Purim Is A Reminder of God’s Faithfulness.

The feast of Purim is an annual reminder of God’s faithful on behalf of His people. It is celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Adar.

Esther 9:18 NKJV    

“But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.”

Purim Is A Reminder of God’s Providence and Protection.

We can learn many things from the story of Esther and from the feast of Purim. As a child of God, we too, are in the hand of God’s providence and protection. God intervenes on our behalf. As we look back on our life we can see where God has been working on our behalf.

Psalm 37:23  NKJV    

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”

     Just like the Jews in the book of Esther, we too, have an enemy that is out to destroy us.

I Peter 5:8  NKJV   

  “Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

      God’s hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people is evident throughout the book of Esther even though His name does not appear once in the book. The hand of God, working on behalf of His people is seen throughout the entire book. God’s plan of deliverance saved the Jewish people from a plot to destroy them. Just like the Jewish people in Esther, God has planned a way of deliverance for us from Satan, our enemy too.

 

Purim Is A Time Of Celebrating God’s Promise To Preserve His Children.

Purim has evolved into a holiday about rejoicing. Traditionally on Purim the entire book of Esther is read from a megillah (scroll). As the book of Esther is read the children make a noise with a noise maker every time the name of Haman is read. Also, the name of Haman may be written on the bottom of their shoes and then they stomp their every time the name of Haman is read.

Purim plays are popular. The story of Esther can be acted out in many different ways, and the people really have fun doing it. A custom of Purim is , Mishloach Manot, the sending of gifts. It is very popular and important. These gifts usually take the form of festively wrapped food to your friends and gifts to the poor.

Children around the world celebrate Purim in many different ways. Sometimes children celebrate Purim by dressing up as Queen Esther, Mordecai, and Haman and parading through the streets. People sometime wear costumes on Purim because Esther had to keep her identity a secret when she first became queen. Some people have a bonfire and burn a replica of Haman.

Purim usually ends with a party that includes a lot of music and good food, including a special triangle-shaped cookie called Hammentashen (Haman’s ears).

No matter how you may choose to celebrate Purim, you should always remember that God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome. God is in control, even while He is concealed,

Purim Is A Time To Reflect On What We Can Learn From The Book Of Esther.

* God will lead our enemies to their own destruction.

* When we take time to find out what the King of Kings likes, what pleases Him, we will find favor in His sight.

* We must prepare ourselves to go into our Kings presence.

* When we take time to find out what our King likes and prepare ourselves to go into His presence, we will be able to be used by Him to deliver others.

* We must be properly clothed (we must cloth ourselves with the righteousness of Christ) – we must prepare ourselves to look like the bride of Christ.

* As we stand before our King, properly clothed and prepared, we will not be separated from His presence by death.

* God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome.

* God is in control, even while He is concealed.

* God is faithful to His people.

* As a child of God, we are in the hand of God’s providence and protection.

* God intervenes on our behalf, even when we are unaware of it.

* You must realize that you are in danger, know who can save you, then go to the person that can save you. Our salvation comes only from God.

* We should never stop rejoicing in the salvation that God has given us.

 

Like Esther We Must Realize That We Are In Danger.

Esther was made aware of the fact that the Jews lives were in danger. A plot had been made to kill them.

Esther 4:7-8  NKJV    

“And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.”

     Every person born is in danger of separation from God because of sin. Every person has sinned. Every person has an enemy that would love to see them thrown in the Lake of Fire (away from God’s presence.) You must realize and admit that you have sinned.

1 John 1:8  NKJV   

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

 

Romans 3:23  NKJV  

  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

 

Romans 6:23  NKJV 

  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Like Esther We Must Know Who Can Save Us.

Esther knew who could save her and her people. She knew that the king held the power to save them.

Esther 4:16  NKJV  

   “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

    We must know who can save us. Jesus is the only way we can be saved. It is only through His blood that our sins are washed away.

John 14:6  NKJV    

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

Romans 10:9  NKJV  

   “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31  NKJV     “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Like Esther We Must Go To The Person That Can Save Us.

Esther went directly to the king to tell him about the plot to destroy the Jewish people. She did not send a message to him by someone else. She went personally to the king.

Esther knew her life would be put in danger by going to the king personally. At first Esther was not willing to do what she knew that she had to do. She did not go to the king. Then Esther realize that if she did not go to the king that she would be separated from His presence forever by death.

Esther 4:13  NKJV  

   “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.”

     Many times we are like Esther. When the Holy Spirit tries to draw us to the King (God) for salvation, we think of excuses not to go. We are afraid of loosing our own life. But the truth is, if we don’t go to the King (God) for salvation we will be separated from His presence forever.

At Jesus’ death the veil in the temple was torn into, from the top to the bottom, by God.

Matthew 27:51  NKJV  

   “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split”

     Today you are to go directly to God (in prayer) to receive salvation through the blood of Jesus. There is no man, church, or religion that has the power, or authority, to save you. You can’t send word by someone else that you want salvation. Salvation is a personal thing. You must go directly to the King (God) yourself.

Hebrews 10:19-20  NKJV   

  “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh”

1 John 1:9  NKJV   

  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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