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THE FEAST OF PURIM: THE FAST OF JOY

March 14, 2017


                               For Such A time, As This

 

                                                                  Queen Esther

 

The feast of Purim is one of the minor Jewish Feasts.  It is also called the Feast of Esther. This feast is being celebrated once a year on the 13th day of the month of Adar, as a memorial of God’s demonstration of His great power in delivering His people, the Jews from a complete annihilation, by the hands of Haman, the Prime Minister Persian Kingdom.  On the 14th and the 15th day, there is celebration of Rest in thanksgiving and appreciation of God, for giving rest to His people from their enemies.

 

Haman, was of the seed of Agagg, the former King of the Amalekites whom King Saul momentarily spared when the ORD commanded him to annihilate the Amalekites according to His pre-determined decision to make wars with the Amalekites from generation to generation because of their bitter hatred and enmity against Israel; and, because they attacked Israel when they left Egypt and entered the wilderness (Exodus 17:8-16).

 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Exodus 17:14)

 

 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;  How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.  Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it (Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (KJV)

 

Prophet Samuel however, killed Agagg. Before he was slaughtered, he had already gotten a maiden pregnant, through whom Haman descended. It seems however, just as the LORD God vowed to exterminate the Amalekites (the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob) from the face of the Earth even as they consistently continued to be thorn on Israelites’ flesh, Haman (who descended from them) also determined to exterminate the Jews from the face of the Earth. This final battle would take place in the Persian Kingdom where Haman was made the second in command to King Ahasuerus who ruled about 127 provinces in his time. The Jews were the captives of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was eventually overthrown and destroyed by the Persian Kingdom, under King Cyrus the great.

 

In His omnipotence, the LORD knew what the enemy wanted to do…to wipe off His people, to stop the coming of the Messiah through the seed of David from the Tribe of Judah. He supernaturally, enthroned Esther, a Jewish orphan as the Queen of the Kingdom. We know the story. This happened during the King’s elaborate feast for 120days with all his officials. He invited his Queen, Queen Vashti to display her beauty before his drunken officials. She refused to appear before the King. She was thus, deposed from the kingdom to avoid wives in his Kingdom disobeying and disrespecting their husbands. Every man must bear rule in his own household.

 

Beauty contest was organized. Esther found favor before the people preparing them to appear before the King in twelve months’ time. This favor helped her get the right things she needed. And by God’s supernatural appointments, she won the King’s favor and was made the queen of the kingdom.

 

Haman hated Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her when she lost her parents. She listened and obeyed the instructions of Mordecai as one would obey one’s parents. Mordecai sat at King’s gate. He discovered a plot against the king’s life by two of his inner guards who also had access to his meals. They were going to kill the King. Mordecai made the secret known to Esther, who reported the matter to the King. Investigation to this matter proved Mordecai was right. The people were executed and Mordecai’s name was written in the King’s chronicles (book of records). Esther, however, was warned from beginning not to let anyone knew she was a Jew. Even her name was changed from Hadassah to Esther.

 

The King promoted Haman, and everyone was asked to bow before him. Mordecai would not bow before him because Jews don’t prostrate before any man but God. Haman was not happy that Mordecai was not prostrating before him. He felt humiliated. Mordecai’s co-workers at the gate spoke to him several times to obey the King’s command and bow to Haman, but he would not violate God’s law in favor of the King’s law. Haman plotted to kill him, but his blood was not worthy of him. Instead let him kill all the Jews, Mordecai’s people: every man, woman and children. He went to the King and asked for permission to annihilate a set of people in his Kingdom who obey their own laws, and not the king’s laws.

 

 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.  If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.  And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee (Esther 3:8-11 (KJV)

 

He had a hidden motive…and that was his opportunity to plot to exterminate the Jewish nation -Satan’s plot to stop the birth of the Messiah (the Seed of the woman) that would redeem man and the earth back to God, and rule on the throne of David.  The King gave him the support and his seal to execute such an order, even though he was not aware of the hidden motive of Haman. Haman, having cast lots for the D day, the lot fell of the 13th of the month of Adar.

 

                                      FOR SUCH A TIME, AS THIS

 

This was God’s predetermined plan, that caused Him to supernaturally exit Queen Vashti and replace her with Esther, the Jewish virgin girl on the throne. Through her, he would supernaturally fulfil His prophetic agenda against the generation of the Amalekites, the Jews’ enemies and rescue His people from their bitter plot. Esther was not simply made a Queen to go and sit and enjoy herself, it was a prophetic purpose which must fulfil. It would only be a walk of faith for God to use her for she would not appear before the king unless summoned; violating this law could result in her death. To cross this huddle and to win the king’s favor for a supernatural intervention for her and her people she requested for a three-day dry fast from all the Jews in Susan. This was in response to the request of her uncle Mordecai who advised her to go to the King and plead for the life of her people. When she objected to it because of her own life, her uncle reminded her that if she kept quiet, God could raise deliverance for the Jews from anther quarter, but both she and her family would be killed. The word of God says that whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for God’s sake will find it.

 

                                          IF I PERISH, I PERISH

 


Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer  Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:15-16)

 

The battle is the LORD’S. It is written in Zechariah 4:6 (KJV) … this is the word of the LORD …saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Our battles are never won by the arm of the flesh, for if Esther had rushed to the King without winning this battle in the spirit first, she would have been executed and the Jewish people might have been doomed. She took the right cause of action by going to God first, and requesting a corporate agreement in fasting and prayers. After these, she went to the King in her royal apparel. Now, she is taking up her place as the Queen of the Kingdom. All these while, she was sitting there like one of the maidens, but now it’s time for the Queen to come to the throne room where she belonged and present her petition to the king, who alone had the scepter for her freedom. By this walk of faith, she obtained the King’s favor. Faith always pleases God. Nothing is impossible with us when we walk by faith for faith takes hold of the reality of God’s mercy and favor. Esther got the favor of the King, and invited him to a banquet in her quarters along with Haman. She was yet to disclose herself or her intention to the king. She was not running her mouth. She was a wise woman who spoke with knowledge and discretion.

 

The first day of the banquet, rather than revealing her identity or what the matter was, she invited the King to another banquet for the next day when she would make her request known. That night, the King was troubled and could not sleep. He called for his scribe who brought him the book of records. All these while, Haman was still getting too agitated that Mordecai was not bowing to him. He complained bitterly to his wife who advised him to prepare gallows to hang Mordecai and go for the Queen’s next banquets. But as the Scribe was still reading from the king’s Chronicles, he found out that nothing was done for Mordecai, who saved the king’s life. He called for Haman, who himself was coming to the King for his planned execution of Mordecai’s on the gallows. But well, before he could say that, the King asked him: what should be done to a man the king wishes to honor? Believing it was to be him, he executed a great plan for the honor of the man whom the King wished to honor. The man would wear a royal apparel and ride on King’s horse and be paraded on cities by the king’s most noble Prince.

 

Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.  Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour (Esther 6:10-11 (KJV).

 

                                           Esther reveals Haman’s Evil plots to the king

 

After this humiliation of Haman, who was forced to honor his own enemy this way, he returned to his family humiliated. The wife, with whom he plotted this, now prophesied to him that if that Mordecai was of the Jews, then she is afraid that was the beginning of Haman’s downfall. He was however, invited to the Queen’s next banquet that day. There, the Queen was promised that she would have her request granted even to the king’s half of his Kingdom. Esther’s request was:

 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:  For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage. Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?  And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.  And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king (Esther 7:3-7 (KJV)

 

It was at this point that Esther revealed both her identity and that of Mordecai. The King went to his private garden to clear his head, but coming back, he saw Haman falling on Queen Esther’s bed where she was sitting, pleading for his life. The King asked if he was also trying to force the Queen here in His presence, in His Palace. While the word was in his mouth, one of the guards said to the King that the gallows which Haman prepared to hang Mordecai who saved the king’s life, stood in Haman’s house. The King commanded that be hung upon it.

 

Haman was thus hung upon the very gallows he prepared to hang Mordecai, and his place was given to Mordecai. Thus, Mordecai became the King’s next in command and ruled along with Esther. Since the decree for the extermination of the Jews could not be changed because, any decree sealed with the king’s seal would not change, the Jews were asked to fight back. They prevailed in that fight for the LORD God of Israel fought for them. All of Haman’s sons were killed and hung on gallows.

 

And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them (Esther 8:15-17 (KJV)


The month of Adar, the 13th became time of the fast of joy rather than the fast of mourning. On the 14th and 15th of Adar became a celebration of rest and gift giving for this victory by the Jews.

 

                                             Esther and Mordecai made new decrees

 

And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor (Esther 9:20-22 (KJV)

 

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:1-3 (KJV)

 

God has always been our help in time of trouble. He always defends His people. Even though His Holy Name was not mentioned, even once in the book of Esther, we saw His powerful move and hand for the deliverance and protection of His people. We saw his pre-determined council at work whereby he supernaturally exited Queen Vashti from the throne and installed His own daughter for saving His heritage from the evil plot of Haman. He has always been the help of those who put their trust in Him, for he is surely our very present help in trouble.  David therefore said in Psalm 20.:

 

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.  Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.  We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.  Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call (Psalm 20:1-9 (KJV)

 

We that are the true Jews, therefore will therefore celebrate this feast with our people to rejoice in the LORD on this feast: both the feast of Purim, which marked the minor fast of joy and the joy and rejoicing in the LORD on the 14th and the 15th of Adar, which are 13th and 14th of March for God’s wondrous works in preserving His heritage and destroying our enemies. To Him alone be glory forever and ever, amen!

 

One of the lessons, among many we learn from this is: we are born for a purpose. We all are written scrolls knitted together in our mother’s womb to carry out God’s eternal purpose on earth. Esther found her purpose through the help of Mordecai who mentored her even in the king’s palace. She was born for that purpose and she fulfilled it: not by might, but obedience, faith and taking risky actions of faith. Without laying down of one’s life to do the will of God, we cannot fulfil God’s plan for our lives. The LORD Jesus ultimately was faced with this battle of His will or the father’s will at the Garden of Gethsemane. He eventually, like Esther said: If I perish, I perish. HE committed Himself into the Hands of Him who alone would save Him: God the Father, and bowed down to drink the cup for which he was born, to be sacrificed as the ultimate Lamb of God for the redemption of man and earth. To God alone be the Glory forever and ever. Therefore, whosoever shall save lose his life for the kingdom shall save it, and whosoever shall save his life shall lose it for except the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abideth alone. But if it dies, it springs up and yield multiple fruits for life.

 

The Priestly Bride,

www.messianictemple.net.

 

 

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 This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house (Ezekiel 43:12)