March 20. 2022

For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” – Esther 1:17-20 ESV

Warrior;
The book of Esther is an interesting book. It is purportedly the only book in the Bible that never mentions GOD. It is a book focused on a specific time, with a specific group of people, dealing with a specific situation that has a plethora of learnings and lessons. It is such an important part of Jewish Faith and Tradition that there is a special yearly feast to commemorate- To honor the memory of (a person or event), especially with a ceremony. See Synonyms at observe. http://www.gotquestions.org, does a crisp synopsis of the book and the Feast. “The Feast of Purim is a Jewish holiday in celebration of the deliverance of the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. It is also known as the Feast of Lots (Purim being the Hebrew word for “lots”). The feast is not mentioned in the New Testament, although scholars believe the unnamed feast of John 5:1 could be Purim. In Esther, Haman, prime minister to the Persian King Ahasuerus, is insulted by the Jewish leader Mordecai, who refused to bow to Haman. Haman convinces the king that all Jews are rebellious and must be destroyed. To set the date of the genocide, Haman uses lots, or purim. Unbeknownst to Haman, Ahasuerus’s queen, Esther, is a Jew and Mordecai’s niece. Esther appeals to Ahasuerus for her people’s lives. The king cannot revoke the decree to attack the Jews, but he does issue a new decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves. As a result, Haman and his family are executed, and the Jews kill 75,000 would-be attackers. To memorialize the victory, Mordecai institutes the Feast of Purim to be celebrated every year (Esther 9:26-32). On Purim, in synagogues around the world, the entire scroll of Esther, which is called the Megillah, is read twice—once on the night of Purim and once on the following day of Purim. (All Jewish holidays start in the evening at sunset.)

Leader, in the year 2022 the Feast of Purim was celebrated March 16,17. “For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. … Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.” (Esther 9:24-26) The word Purim, as Scripture tells us, means lots, as in the method of choosing or making a decision seemingly by ‘chance’. In Persia, the pur (a lot) was used to seek guidance from pagan gods. The name of the holiday, therefore, is derived from Haman drawing lots to determine the date when to schedule the extermination of the Jews! The lot fell to the 13th day of the 12th month Adar. On the 13th day of the month Nissan, which is the first month of the Hebrew calendar, the edict was issued that the Jews should be annihilated on 13th day of the 12th month (Esther 3:7, 12-13). 11 months advance notice, warning, preparation time. This is also significant because that was the day before Passover! Again, this is how God works with everything, even in the midst of terror, trauma and evil, God is always at work, this is the essence of Romans 8:28. God causes ALL THINGS to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. ‘Imagine that every Jewish household in Persia was searching their houses for LEAVEN in preparation for the beginning of Passover the next day- when they would have a Passover seder (traditional meal and recounting of the story) to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. As they were preparing to retell the story of the Passover to themselves and to their children the greatness of God’s power in bringing them out of Egypt, they likely received the shocking news. God is omniscient, He has perfect knowledge. Look how God is working with what the evil of the world is doing. In exactly eleven months’ time, their enemies would attempt to murder each one of them in cold blood for one reason and one reason alone – they were Jews. Does it remind you of Pharoah, and Herod and the more modern evil – Hitler? God had made sure that uppermost in His people’s minds and hearts was the remembrance of His supernatural, mighty, and delivering power. Haman had sent out a message promising destruction, but God’s message to the Jewish people seems clear: “He who delivered you from Egypt’s pharaoh long ago is well able to deliver you from Haman today!”’ (https://free.messianicbible.com)

Conduit, I have read commentators that posit that the #1 command in the Bible is DO NOT FEAR. That command is given almost 400 times. I have never done the study, but I believe that there is one other command God might give more often, than FEAR NOT, and it is REMEMBER. It quite possibly be that God commands us to Remember more times than any other command. If it is NOT #1, then it is definitely in the TOP 5. Why does our creator, our DADDY, ABBA, tell us over and over, with the multiplicity of repetition to NOT FEAR and to REMEMBER? Because we are a very forgetful people. Our society is full of distractions. We are distracted by our technology, our smart phones and smart TV’s, our jobs and even our ministries. In an article in Fast Company magazine in 2015 we read” “We’ve created a world with 300 exabytes of human-made information”. An exabyte is 1024 times larger than a petabyte. There are 1024 terabytes, or 1 million gigabytes in a Petabyte. But God doesn’t desire us to be a distracted people, He asks us to Remember! “The Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants.” (Esther 9:27,28) There are many lessons to learn from this great book of the Bible, we will cover those at a later date. Today’s lessons are two-fold. 1- God is in Control. 2- REMEMBER, God is in control! God’s timing is perfect, and He can use all our choices, good and bad and the wiles of the World and of the devil for His glory, and for His children’s good! Events may occur in our lives that seem random, but the book of Esther reveals that God is in control, no matter how powerful our enemy or how bleak the situation. Whatever our situation or circumstance, we can rest in the assurance God is working HIS PLAN, for such a time as this! But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God. “My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! (Psalm 31:14-16)

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