Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." (KJV)
Friday, March 2, 2012
Reasons for Christians to Celebrate Purim in 2012
This year the minor Jewish festival of Purim falls on Thursday March 8th which is Adar 14 on the Biblical calendar. The following is an excerpt from our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts.” The book is available from Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and our own web store at www.moedministries.com.
Purim is the holiday that is established in the book of Esther. It commemorates the defeat of Haman, the enemy of the Jews.
Esther 9:27-28 MKJV 27 the Jews ordained, and took on them and on their seed, and on all such as joined themselves to them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their time every year 28 and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city and these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
Haman was an Amalekite, a descendant of Jacob’s brother Esau. The Amalekites harbored a hatred for Israel from the time Israel first came up out of Egypt. The first battle the Irsaelites fought was against the Amalekites. God pronounced judgment against Amalek for the way they attacked Israel.
Haman, following in the path of his ancestors plotted to have all the Jews killed.
Esther 3:5-6 MKJV 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow nor worship him, then Haman was full of wrath. 6 And he scorned to lay hands only on Mordecai, for they had revealed to him the people of Mordecai. And Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, the people of Mordecai.
The unreasoning hatred of Haman reminds us of the hatred and persecution suffered by the Jewish people through the centuries, many times at the instigation of the church. Christians can celebrate Purim as a means to repent of the actions of our church fathers towards the Jewish people. The prophet Daniel is a model for this repentance. When Daniel knew that the 70 years of exile for Judah were coming to an end, he repented of the acts of his fathers.
Daniel 9:4-6 MKJV 4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and awesome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to those who love Him, and to those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Your commandments and from Your judgments. 6 Neither have we listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our rulers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Even though Daniel himself was a great man of God, he did not consider himself separate from his fellow Israelites or unaccountable for the acts of his forefathers. As the time of Yeshua’s second coming approaches, we as Christians need to confess the sins of our Christian forefathers and return to our God, the same God who is the God of Israel and all the prophets.
The outcome of Haman’s plotting was not what he expected. Queen Esther, herself a Jew although Haman did not know it, exposed his plot. He and his ten sons were hanged on the very gallows he had erected to kill Mordecai. The Jewish people were then given permission to kill those who would try to kill them on the day Haman decreed should be the day of their execution. On that day, the Jewish people fought back and won a great victory. Once again, the nations will gather against Israel to destroy her. Jesus, a Jew although many Christians don’t seem to know it, will reveal the plot against Israel and bring them to justice.
Joel 3:1-3 MKJV 1 For, behold, in those days and in that time, when I will bring again the exiles of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for My people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided My land. 3 And they have cast lots for My people, and have given a boy for a prostitute, and sold a girl for wine, so that they might drink.
Like Haman, the nations plot and cast lots (Purim) for the destruction of God’s people. Even now, our own nation is pressuring Israel to divide God’s land. In Esther’s time as the day of the decree approached, many people began to fear God and joined themselves to the Jewish people.
Esther 8:17 MKJV 17 And in every province, and in every city where the king's command and his order 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 on them.
Christians can celebrate Purim as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people. The outcome of the battle when the nations come against Jerusalem will be the same as it was in the days of Esther.
Joel 3:11-14 MKJV 11 Gather yourselves and come, all you nations, and gather yourselves together all around; cause Your mighty ones to come down there, O LORD. 12 Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations all around. 13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, come down; for the press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision!
In the final verse of the book of Esther, we read that Mordecai ruled second only to King Ahasueurus seeking justice and peace for his people.
Esther 10:3 YLT 3 For Mordecai the Jew is second to king Ahasuerus, and a great man of the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking good for his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
The book of Chronicles records the same about David’s reign.
1 Chronicles 18:14 KJV 14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.
When Jesus comes again, he will save Judah just like Mordecai and Esther, and He will rule second only to God with peace and justice.
Jeremiah 33:15-16 MKJV 15 In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up to David. And He shall do judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. And this is the name with which she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Isn’t it time for those who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah of Israel, to stand with Israel? שלוםולהיותמבורך Shalom and be Blessed Dan and Brenda Cathcart
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