The Feast of Purim
A. Last week we saw that even though the king had Haman killed on the gallows he built for Mordecai, the damage he had done to the Jews was still in motion!
1. Esther pleaded with King Xerxes for her people yet another time, and he allowed her and Mordecai to amend the first decree.
2. Remember, the first could not be revoked! This second decree allowed the Jews to defend themselves and keep the spoil of their victories!
a) Great measures were taken to get the "good news" out to all the land and there was great rejoicing!
B. We made application from last week's teaching that there is another law that has gone out that "all who sin must die."
1. It too cannot be revoked!Yet it too has been amended!
2. In order for the Lord to be just, He must judge sin.
a) But, He too has provided "protection and safety" from our enemy!
b) That is what the cross is all about!
C. This morning we will conclude our study in the book of Esther as we take a look at the Feast of Purim!
A. Esth 9:1 (NKJV) Now in the twelfth month, that [is], the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, [the] [time] came for the king's command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. Esth 9:2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people.
1. The Bible is full of stories where the Lord takes a bad situation and turns it around for good in the lives of His people!
a) Gene 50:19 (NKJV) Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for [am] I in the place of God? Gene 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as [it] [is] this day, to save many people alive.
b) Ex: Daniel in the lion's den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace!
2. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred. . .
a) And no one could withstand them because Roma 8:31 . . .If God [is] for us, who [can] [be] against us?
B. Esth 9:3 (NKJV) And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. Esth 9:4 For Mordecai [was] great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.
1. As J. Vernon McGee said in his commentary on Esther, "The very throne that had once condemned the Jews now protects them."
a) How like the Lord!!!
(1) Paul tells us in Roma 8:33-35 (NKJV) Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? [It] [is] God who justifies. 34 Who [is] he who condemns? [It] [is] Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(2) The very throne of God that once stood against us, now is occupied by One who understands our hurts and pains and intercedes on our behalf!
(a) Hebr 4:14 (NKJV) Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] confession. Hebr 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we] [are], [yet] without sin. Hebr 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.
(3) I would like to make a point here:
(a) One might say, "Well, I simply don't believe this stuff.""This is just a fairy tale. I will take my chances on my own."
(b) Any Jew living in the Persian kingdom at that time could have taken the same approach to the "grace" that was being issued from the king's throne.
(i) But, because the first decree gave him no defense, it would have meant his death.
(ii) So too will the denial of Jesus Christ result in the spiritual death of all who want to "take their chances and try to make it on their own."
C. Esth 9:5 (NKJV) Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them. Esth 9:6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. Esth 9:7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Esth 9:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Esth 9:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha-- Esth 9:10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews--they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. Esth 9:11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king.
1. These verses are simply a partial list of the vanquishing of their enemies.
a) It is interesting that although they had been given permission to take the spoils, they did not!!
2. Years before the Lord had told Saul in 1Sam 15:2 (NKJV) "Thus says the Lord of hosts: `I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 1Sam 15:3 `Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "
a) The list in verses 7-9 are alldescendants of Amalek!
(1) Saul did not utterly destroy all that they had, so God's people found themselves having to deal with Amalek all over again!!
(2) This time they had learned their lesson.
(a) Amalek and his descendants represent the world and all that opposes the Lord.
(b) We too must "put it all to death" or it will raise its ugly head over and over again!
D. Esth 9:12 (NKJV) And the king said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? Now what [is] your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what [is] your further request? It shall be done." Esth 9:13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who [are] in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows." Esth 9:14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
1. The overpowering of their enemies was such a success, Queen Esther asked for another day to do the same and it was granted!
E. Esth 9:15 (NKJV) And the Jews who [were] in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. Esth 9:16 The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. Esth 9:17 [This] [was] on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth day of [the][month] they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness. Esth 9:18 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. Esth 9:19 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.
1. As with most holidays, they start with a great victory and celebration!
F. Esth 9:20 (NKJV) And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who [were] in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, Esth 9:21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, Esth 9:22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. Esth 9:23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, Esth 9:24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that [is], the lot), to consume them and destroy them; Esth 9:25 but when [Esther] came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which [Haman] had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. Esth 9:26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, Esth 9:27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written [instructions] and according to the [prescribed] time,
1. BDB/Thayers # 6331 puwr poor} bring to nought, broken , utterly take, to break, crush
a) Which is what the Lord did to their enemies!
2. Today the Feast of Purim is first celebrated by the orthodox Jews in the synagogues.
a) As it is concluded, the book of Esther is read, and the people spit as the name of Haman is mentioned and they pronounce a curse upon him!
(1) The next day they come together for a time of feasting and gladness.
G. Esth 9:28 (NKJV) [that] these days [should] [be] remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail [to] [be] [observed] among the Jews, and [that] the memory of them should not perish among their descendants. Esth 9:29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. Esth 9:30 And [Mordecai] sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, [with] words of peace and truth, Esth 9:31 to confirm these days of Purim at their [appointed] time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. Esth 9:32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.
A. Esth 10:1 (NKJV) And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and [on] the islands of the sea. Esth 10:2 Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? Esth 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew [was] second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.
1. When Jesus' work on the cross was complete, he said, "It is finished."
2. He is now seated at the right hand of God a much more powerful position that Mordecai's.
3. Unlike Mordecai, Jesus was not great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren.
4. But he too is seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.
a) Will you give Him a chance?