Happy Purim! (Esther 4:14)

“Happy Purim!”

I was speaking to my physician colleague whom I knew was a devout Persian Jew. I was acknowledging this day as the celebration of the Feast of Purim. Thousands of years ago, much of the Jewish nation was in exile in Persia, after being conquered by the Babylonians. Esther was a Jewish woman, raised by her uncle Mordecai. She kept her ethnic heritage a secret even after she was chosen by the Persian King to become his new wife. However, another official of the court, Haman, hated the Jews and sought to have them destroyed. When he tricked the King into signing a law that would kill all of the Jews, Mordecai confronted Esther and told her that it was time for her to reveal her Jewish heritage to her husband, the King. Mordecai’s words proclaimed the will of God. 

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?

Esther 4:14 (NLT)

The story ends with the Jews being saved from destruction and Haman put to death for his scheming. The Feast of Purim celebrates God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from their enemies. The Book of Esther is unique. It never mentions God by Name and is completely set outside of Israel. Yet, God’s Hand of providence clearly guides the actions of all of the characters and the events. This is a profound message for us. In these days when the influence of the Christian Church is being replaced by a woke culture, it is important to remember that God is always at work and in control of all events, even if His Name is not mentioned or even maligned. His will is always accomplished. 

How do we recognize God’s invisible Hand? The verse quoted above reminds me of the many godly men and women whom God has placed in my life at critical times. Some interactions were brief, perhaps only a few minutes or hours while other encounters came from people for whom I had known for years, but for a brief moment, they intervened in my life when I needed help and guidance. 

It is also a sobering call for me to be a faithful witness to everyone I meet. My colleagues with whom I interact at work. The salesperson at a local market. The stranger in the car parked next to me who also greeted me. Who knows if God has placed me in this position in my life for such a time as this? Only God knows the purpose of these meetings and what the outcome will be. My response should not be focused on the why. My response should be humility and awe of the sovereign power of Almighty God. 

Thy will be done. 

Happy Purim!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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