(Updated from Mar 2006)
The Scroll of Esther is read in the synagogues every year for Purim. This holiday is still being observed after about 2500 years: it still has relevance for us today, even for Gentile believers in Jesus. Haman presents us with a type of the antichrist in his spirit, and a descendant of Agag, of Amalek, of Esau, the hostile twin brother of Jacob. Now, as then, the Jewish people are mostly still in physical exile, and as a people and nation, they are nearly all in spiritual exile, not knowing their God and Savior. Purim remembers a great providential deliverance of YHVH God, faithful to His covenant promises, but the people do not acknowledge Him in their celebration. The holiday was not given by the LORD to His people, but the Jewish heroes of faith, Queen Esther and her older cousin Mordechai, proclaimed the remembrance and that it should be celebrated every year at this time.
Today I want to look at a couple of events in the book for us as believers to consider:
Es 2:5-10 Mordechai the Jew; Esther’s natural beauty; her humility and wisdom; the king’s servant, Hegai, the eunuch who took care of the young maidens (virgins). These women would become part of the King’s harem, and one would become his new wife. Esther’s inner beauty and humility set her apart from the young virgin maidens, and she found favor in Hegai’s eyes.
The believer and his/her lengthy preparation for spiritual beauty to appear before the great King.
Eph 5:25-27 Messiah loves the Church that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
God accepts us as we are when He finds us, but He is changing us to be suited to the holy King. We cannot come to the wedding in our own clothes, but must put on HIS clothes of salvation which He gives to us. Esther gave herself to Hegai – we give ourselves to the Holy Spirit – to prepare to be the Bride.
This gives us confidence to approach the King with reverence and hope, having done our all to please him.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Es 3:1-6 Mordecai would not bow down or worship Haman because Mordecai was a Jew; Haman, in his pride and wrath, sought to kill not only Mordecai, but all the Jews, the people of Mordecai (and of Esther).
This is antisemitism at its core: hatred not only of a particular Jewish person, but also of his people – the chosen people of YHVH God – and the intent to destroy them all, because of the God they represent.
Gen 3:15 enmity between the Seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent: the Seed of the Woman is fulfilled in the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, but is also all who are of the Lord GOD; the seed of the serpent will be fulfilled in the Antichrist, but also all those who side with the devil against YHVH and His Anointed One.
Mt 4:8-10; Ex 20:3-5; Dt 6:4-5,13-14 The Jew and Christian are to worship YHVH God, and serve Him only. Hear, O Israel, YHVH our God, YHVH is one! (Hear, O Israel, YHVH our God is one YHVH!)
Rom 2:29 He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and whose circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit and not in the letter, and whose praise is not from men, but from God.
We, too, are called to be discerning and bold to not worship or serve the god of this world, even as we give honor to kings and all in authority. The spirit of antichrist seeks to steal the ultimate honor (if not the hearts) and worship for himself, depriving the sole privilege to Whom it rightly belongs: to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Es 4:13-16 As Esther – the Queen and wife – prepares herself in fear and humility not only to come before the King and find favor in his eyes, but also as one who honors him as a wife to her husband, whom he loves, she is in the right place at the right time to both understand and to intercede effectively for her people and for her own self and family as she accepts her true identity before him and in the face of the enemy, at the risk of her life. (Mt 16:24-27; Rev 12:10-12)
It could be that some of us are in certain privileged positions now, or in the future, without our superiors knowing that we are Jews, or Israelis, or believers in Jesus/Yeshua. But a situation may arise when the Jews or Christians are suspects of dual loyalty, and so enemies of the establishment. Is a Jew’s first loyalty to Israel as a nation, or to the nation where he/she may live in the diaspora; is the Christian’s first loyalty to another King of a kingdom not of this world, or to the country and culture where he/she resides? A crisis will arise to require a work of faith for the gospel’s sake, or for the Kingdom of God’s sake.
The Holy Spirit is sanctifying us to prepare us for the spiritual warfare to come, and to make us ready for the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is God and Deliverer of His people. He will defeat forever Amalek (Ex 17:14-16), and give rest to His people from all their enemies, so that we may worship Him in Spirit and truth.
God if faithful, and cannot deny Himself, even when His people may be otherwise. He IS going to fulfill His purpose and sanctify His holy name, that ALL WILL KNOW that He alone is YHVH! He alone is the one, true, living GOD! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Lk 1:68-75 “Blessed is YHVH God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
71 That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”