Jeff

Purim — Book of Esther tells a never-old tale of hatred against God’s blessed servants

JeffThe “Preacher” in Ecclesiastes said “there is nothing new under the sun.” The hatred against Yehudah, the Jews, has persisted throughout time, and the spirit of Amalek has taken many forms, including Haman, Antiochus IV, etc.

Yet the LORD has kept Israel in the form of mostly Yehudah intact. Through Yehudah came the Messiah, the Seed of Eve Who crushed the serpent’s head and the Seed of Abraham Who brought God’s blessing to the world. That preservation of Yehudah above all odds through the eons, in the face of concerted genocidal efforts, is testimony that indeed the LORD is the one at work.

Setting

These events came about the mid-fifth century before Messiah Yeshua came. Some say this King Akhashverosh is the same one mentioned in Dan. 9:1 as being an ancestor of Darius and the one Ezra said “leveled an accusation against Yehudah and Yerushalayim” (Ezra 4:6) and was part of the “frustrating” of the Zerubbabel’s rebuilding of the temple. His name in Persian, Khshayârshâ, is translated as “mighty eye” or “mighty man” (Brown, Driver, Briggs).

Faith

The “Preacher” in Ecclesiastes said “there is nothing new under the sun.” The hatred against Yehudah, the Jews, has persisted throughout time, and the spirit of Amalek has taken many forms, including Haman, Antiochus IV, etc. Yet the LORD has kept Israel in the form of mostly Yehudah intact. Through Yehudah came the Messiah, the Seed of Eve Who crushed the serpent’s head and the Seed of Abraham Who brought God’s blessing to the world. That preservation of Yehudah above all odds through the eons, in the face of concerted genocidal efforts, is testimony that indeed the LORD is the one at work.

In recent decades and centuries world, Amalek has taken the form of caliphs, czars, dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, and the “Yehudah derangement syndrome” expressed by seemingly “enlightened” figures in Scandanavia, Europe, the Middle East and some in the United States.

The Preacher also wrote that there is an appointed time for war and for peace, for love and for hate (Eccl. 3:8). Because the LORD said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay” (Deut. 32:35), and it is written, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Prov 20:22) we must trust the LORD that He will send salvation and wait for that salvation, whether we live to see it or not. In the context of these instructions, comes Mordecai’s oft-quoted line (Esther 4:14).

Abraham demonstrated that faith by trusting the LORD that what seemed like the end of the promise the LORD made to him would be accomplished (Gen. 22:13-14)

The LORD turned the mourning of Yosef into the salvation of Israel (Gen. 45:4-8).

Amid the curses that were warned against Israel for following false gods, the LORD said His correction against Israel, seen in the exiles, would not go as far as to allow Israel to be crush amid them (Deut. 32:26-27).

This should be a stern warning against those who would say that the exiles are proof that God threw away Israel. It’s also comfort for us that God would continue to reach out to people who scorned Him because He keeps the promise made to Abraham to “bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” The apostle Paul echoes this warning of arrogance toward what seems like the casting away of Israel because of the exiles, inquisitions, pogroms, discrimination, dhimmitude and the Holocaust (Rom. 11:1-32; cf. Deut. 29:4; Psa. 69:22; Isa. 59:20-21; Isa. 27:9). 

Speaker: Jeff.


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