This content is part of a series.From Peril to a Party
In this beautiful book of Esther, we have studied a legendary story about an extraordinary woman. This was a story of a common girl with an uncommon destiny. Esther was a woman in crisis who answered God’s call on her life. A potential national crisis became a miraculous deliverance for the Jewish people. What Satan had meant for evil, God used for the good of his people. Haman had crossed the line of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that reads, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee.” For this, Haman was executed.
Through the ages, enemies of God found out that Israel had supernatural protection. Pharaoh discovered that the Jewish people could not be drowned (Exodus 14). Nebuchadnezzar learned they couldn’t be burned (Daniel 3). King Darius found they couldn’t be eaten (Daniel 6) and Haman learned they couldn’t be destroyed (Esther 7).
When the peril was over, it was time for a party, and that is exactly what happened at the end of the book of Esther. The Jewish people celebrated the fact that God had saved their lives. They were not exterminated, but would live on to bless the Lord for His intervention and salvation. In Esther 9:26-10:3 we find the first celebration of “Purim.”
What is Purim?
The word pur means “lot,” referring to Haman’s random selection of the day and month he intended destruction of the Jews. What Haman had cast lots for in annihilation, ironically would become a new national celebration and holiday for the Jewish people. It is celebrated as the deliverance of God’s people at the hands of Mordecai and Esther. The time of the feast is one month before Passover. In Jerusalem it is celebrated one day later because of the second day of fighting in Shushan, the walled city.
Purim is considered a minor holiday, and not included among the feasts of the Lord mentioned in Leviticus 22:3. The Feasts of Purim and Hanukkah are not included in the original Mosaic Law, so no religious ceremonies are enforced. Purim includes:
• A minor fast the night before to commemorate Esther’s three day fast.
• Three blessings: 1)“Blessed are you, Lord, ruler of the universe, who has made us holy with your commandments and has commanded us about reading the book of Esther.” 2)“Blessed are you, Lord, ruler of the universe who performed miracles for our fathers in these days at this time of year.” 3)“Blessed are you, Lord, ruler of the universe who has given us life, lifted us up and brought us to this moment.”
• The reading aloud of the book of Esther.
• When Haman’s name is read, participants boo, ...
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