For Such a Time as This…
The Feast of Esther-Purim, Part 2
Adar 15: Rejoicing with Jerusalem and Being Glad
On Adar 15, extend your Purim celebration by having your family dress up in costumes from the story of Esther and the people act out the story in Purim plays.
In synagogues the Megillah is read aloud. As a family you might read the Book of Esther aloud. Whenever Haman’s name is mentioned the listeners respond with noisemakers and loud jeers. However, if you have the full account of the Book of Esther which includes Mordecai’s dream and the prayers of Mordecai and Esther, you might wish to reconsider the tone and posture of your celebration. Here is a link to original text of the Book of Esther: Book of Esther – RSVCE
Supplies needed for this form of celebration:
- Bibles for your family and celebrants—The Book of Esther
- Costumes of Mordecai, Hadassah/Esther, Vashti, Ahasuerus, etc…
- Noise makers (at your prayerful discretion)
- A pair of dice (as a visual explanation of “purim/lots”)
- Optional: a Hebrew Calendar Chart for finding the month of Adar
- Traditional pastries called “hamantashen.”
NOTE: Whoever bakes in your family can find recipes on the web for the traditional pastries called “hamantashen.” These little three-cornered pastries are filled with poppy seed and honey, apricot or prune fillings. The name “hamantashen” is Yiddish for “Haman’s hats” or “Haman’s ears.” The ingredients are commonly available in most supermarkets. If you prefer, you can usually find these already baked in a local bakery or specialty section in your local supermarket.
There is a greater cause for rejoicing all wrapped up in this celebration. What follows is a guide with notes on discussing how great the work of God is on behalf of His people, and how great His victory is—forever…
“17 Hear my prayer, and have mercy upon thy inheritance; turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; do not destroy the mouth of those who praise thee.” –Mordecai’s prayer, the Book of Esther, RSVCE
The Big Picture of Purim –Am Yisrael Chai!
(The people of Israel live…)
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Read Genesis 3.15: Throughout all His strict chastening of the Jewish people, God has kept His promise to protect them from total destruction. No other nation on earth has such a promise from God. Why? Because God had other promises to keep. The first one was to Abraham’s ancestor Adam. Genesis 3.15 tells of His promise to bring forth a son from “the seed of the woman” who would deliver a fatal, crushing blow to the head of the Adversary, Satan. Since God did not make the woman to carry the “seed,” in her body, the Son who would come forth would be born by the power of God. He would be God’s own Son. He would crush the head of Satan with His foot. He would be wounded when He did this, but He would destroy the power of Satan. Satan heard this promise also, and he became more angry with God. Throughout the years, as God has shown more of how He would keep His promise, Satan has tried to stop it from coming to pass. What happened in Shushan was one of Satan’s plots to keep God from working out His plans. If there were no Jewish people, there would be no Messiah Yeshua to come and destroy the power of Satan over us. Purim shows the plan of Satan will never work.
Read Genesis 12.3: About 1700 years before Esther was called to defend her people before the Persian king, God made a promise to Abraham. Abraham was Esther’s ancestor. Genesis 12.3 says that God promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Anyone who tries to hurt the Jewish people will suffer terrible punishment from God. Genesis 12.3 further promised that in Abraham’s “seed”–his descendants–all nations of the world would be blessed. Remember that everyone on earth is a sinner who deserves to be punished by God. The best blessing the world could have would be the Messiah who would save people from the punishment of their sins. God was telling Abraham He would bring this Messiah to the earth through Abraham’s own son God promised him. These people are Esther’s people, the Jewish people. If all the Jewish people were murdered, there would be no Messiah; the world would have no blessing; and God would be made a liar. Now, if God is proven to be a liar, then the Scriptures would be false, and those who love to do whatever they please would be free of fear of judgement. The festival of Purim shows that God cannot be overcome.
For Such a Time as This…
- Rejoice and celebrate this festival remembering the God who reigns over all is faithful and powerful to keep His promises! We can trust Yeshua because God is faithful to Israel! L’Chaim b’Yeshua! To Life in Jesus!
- God calls to us through the prophet Isaiah, saying:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus says the Lord: Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
- If you are Jewish, God has a purpose and a plan for you to be a blessing to all people. He has given you a wonderful heritage and the blessing of the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets, all which point to Messiah Yeshua. Have you accepted the sacrifice Yeshua made as your only and everlasting atonement for your sins? Have you embraced Yeshua as your Messiah?
- If you believe that Yeshua is Lord, you belong to God and He has a plan for your life. Just as He faithfully worked out His plan for the Jewish people in the lives of Esther and Mordecai, He is working out His plan in your life each day. Will you trust and obey His commands to you, or are you fighting against Him through disobedience and indifference to Him?
For Such a Time as This: Think about and talk with your family about God’s plans for each one of you as you are growing up: loving God, learning the Word of God, respecting those in authority, using special talents to serve Him.
- If you believe that Yeshua is Lord, you are called to live as one who belongs to God and not the world around you. Just as Esther needed courage to bring the truth to the Persian people, we must have the courage to bring the truth to our world. Are you living as one belongs to a holy God in a world that teaches unholy things?
For Such a Time as This: In your prayer times include prayers for the peace of Jerusalem and the salvation of the Jewish people. Spend time with your family discovering the Gospel Plan in the Old Testament Scriptures…
- The Truth is a blessing to the Jewish people. The Truth of Israel’s Messiah is in the Gospel. Will you learn to share it with them or will you deny them the blessing? God chastens those who hurt the Jewish people. Keeping the blessing of the Gospel from them is hurting them.
- The Truth is a blessing to the Gentiles. When the Gentiles do not know the truth of who Christ Jesus is, they can become enemies of the Jewish people. When they hurt the Jewish people, God will bring punishment on them. The Truth of Christ Jesus is in the Gospel first shown through the Jewish Scriptures. Will you learn to tell them who Yeshua is or will you deny them the blessing?
- Rabbi Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation [the blessing] of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Our world needs Yeshua!
For Such a Time as This: Think about and talk to your family about giving to missions and encourage them to speak of Yeshua to friends and family. Ask God to teach you and look for opportunities to open a dialogue with an unbeliever–Jewish or non-Jewish–concerning the plan and purpose of the God who protects the Jewish people. Our World Needs Yeshua…
©1990 and 2016, Patricia Stachew, Reston, VA; all rights reserved.