THE LESSON OF PURIM
By Rachmiel Frydland
PURIM is a Persian word meaning 'lots." Several hundred years before the Christian Era, Haman, a Persian Jew-hater, persuaded Ahasuerus (Xerxes), king of Persia, to have all the Jews in the king's realm destroyed. The Persians of that day, including Haman, were fire-worshippers. Their religion was founded by Zoroaster, an ancient philosopher who taught that there were two gods who ruled the world in opposition to each other, Ormuzd, the good or positive god, and Ahriman, the bad or wicked god. The Jews living among the Persians could not accept this religion for they believed in one God only, Jehovah, who created the day as well as the night, the good as well as the evil. As the prophet Isaiah said in the name of the Lord:
I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I,
the Lord, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7
Therefore the Jewish people in King Ahasuerus' realm could not accept the Persian religion.
Haman ACCUSES THE JEWS
Haman, a court favorite of King Ahasuerus, was jealous of Mordecai, a Jew, and presented a reasonable case against the Jews to the king. The kingdom of Persia had been kind to the Jews, and after the Babylonian captivity of seventy years, had given them permission to return to their ancestral land. Should not the Jews now show their gratitude to the king by accepting the religion, the laws and the customs of their benefactors? Haman's petition to King Ahasuerus against the Jews was presented in clear words which could not be contradicted:
And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws:therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed(Esther 3:8,9)
The Persian king, a pagan, agreed. But Haman did not know the God of the Jews, Who long ago declared that the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the Jewish people) could not be exterminated. God, Who is not dead but is living forevermore, decreed an everlasting blessing upon Abraham and his seed, saying,
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,
and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them
that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of
the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:2,3
Moreover, God confirmed His decree with an oath:
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou best done
this thing, and best not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing
I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars
of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and in thy seed
shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou best obeyed my voice.
How foolish of the Human's and the Hitlers to trust in a lot and ignore the Lord Who has decreed blessings upon the seed of Abraham! Haman put his trust in purim lots), but he forgot Pesach (Passover) when mighty Egypt paid a heavy penalty for its oppression of Israel. Let this be a warning to all would be Jew-haters - in Russia, in Europe, in Asia, and in the world everywhere. God is on the side of His people. By blessing them, they who bless bring a blessing on themselves.
By the same token, they who curse the Jews, bring a curse upon themselves.
ISRAEL'S SALVATION In ancient Persia Israel's salvation came through a humble man named Mordecai, who was related to Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia. He and his people were destined to die by royal edict. Nevertheless, Mordecai was able to inspire his people to repent in sackcloth, in fasting and prayer. Even Queen Esther joined her people in this act of humility before the Lord. God heard and answered. Mordecai was exalted and his people honored by the king while Haman was hanged and the Jew-haters were abased.
This was one of many episodes in God's dealing with His people. The Jews were saved physically at this point in their history. The time of their full salvation, and the complete fulfillment of God's prophecies given to Abraham, was drawing nigh. It happened five hundred years later with the coming of adon Yeshua HaMashiach, (the Lord Jesus, the Messiah). He was the greater Mordecai. Condemned to die for His people, Jesus the Messiah became the supreme sacrifice of atonement for the sins of Jew and Gentile alike. In Him were truly fulfilled the prophecies of old, "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12, 22) Today we see millions of people in all parts of the earth who have received these blessings through Abraham's seed, the Messiah, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.
PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL SALVATION? You ask, "What salvation did Messiah bring? There are still wars and hatreds among men." The answer is that salvation is two-fold. There is the physical salvation, as it happened at Purim long ago, and spiritual salvation - redemption of a person's soul. Physical salvation is of value in God's sight only when joined with spiritual salvation, as expressed in the Book of Tehiliim (Psalms):
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude
of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
nor give to God a ransom for him. (For the redemption of their soul is precious ....
The same thought is found in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) in the words of the Messiah:
For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
According to the Word of God we need spiritual salvation, and it should be explained clearly. :
Salvation from sin. Disobedience to God by the first man, Adam,
and by his descendants, broke the oneness, the fellowship between
God and man, as the Word of God says:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
Jesus, the Messiah, became the sacrifice for our sins, and by believing in Him, our sins are forgiven. This is not a figment of our imagination but is based squarely on the Hebrew Scriptures, as Isaiah's prophecies about Him state:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone
to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6
Peace and restored fellowship and oneness with God. Do you have perfect peace in your heart? If you do not, it is because of this lack of oneness and fellowship between you and God, the result of unforgiven sin. To have peace in your heart, you need the forgiveness of sins only possible through faith in Messiah Jesus.
Everlasting life with God. Death is not our destiny and is not our end. Job says:
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body,
yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25,26
Job, the sufferer, knew that after this life there awaited him everlasting life with God. He knew about his Redeemer who is alive, and who would bring him into oneness and fellowship with God forever. Our appeal to you is to accept your Messiah now. Your celebration of Purim will be a true one and a spiritual one. It will be not only a celebration of the physical deliverance, which is temporary, but also a spiritual one that will last forever.
A Drink From The Fountain
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law
is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Messiah Jesus unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just,
and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:20-26
with permission of
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