Purim, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people recorded in the Book of Esther, begins tonight. Esther was a true woman of God who lived over 2,500 years ago. She was a common, ordinary young woman, caught up in the human drama of her day, faced with challenges that could easily have kept her from becoming a woman of courage and faith. But as a result of her surrender and obedience, millions of people were spared from destruction.
Purim, Esther . . . and You!
A once-in-a-millennium event, you say? A story from another time that is far removed from the life you lead and the day in which we live? Thankfully, the wondrous acts of God are not limited to by-gone days. Our powerful, redeeming God is alive; He has not abdicated His throne; He is intent on displaying His glory in our world. And our minds cannot fathom all that He is able to do in and through the lives of those who trust Him.
Like Esther, I believe you and I have been “called to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Over the next two days, I want to suggest six important insights we can glean from her story.
We are in a battle.
We know that Haman’s corrupt counsel to the king was inspired by Satan, who was determined to wipe out the line of Christ. This archenemy of God was threatening the continuity of God’s purposes in redemptive history, threatening the future existence of God’s chosen people, threatening the appearance of the Messiah. The battle was not really between Haman and Mordecai. Though they were real people making real choices in a real world, they were more like pawns on a chessboard, symbols of a conflict between the kingdom of man (pledging allegiance to Satan) and the Kingdom of God.
We need to remember that our battle as true women today is not against human powers or political parties or secular culture. Our battle is not against men who mistreat or belittle women. It’s not against those who promote feminist ideologies. None of these is the real enemy. The battle we are waging is a spiritual battle, and we need to keep our eyes on that reality.
The weapons and tactics of the earthly, human kingdom are entirely different than the weapons and tactics of the heavenly Kingdom.
In the human drama, men depend on weapons like worldly power, human laws and decrees, military might, self-sufficiency, anger, force, and deception to accomplish their ends and advance their cause. But the children of the Kingdom of God fight and win the war with humility, prayer, fasting, truth, and love, relying on God to go before them and fight their battles.
Don’t forget that “the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15), and that regardless of the outcome of elections, the economy, or anything involved in your personal situation—marital crisis, family problems, physical sickness, church, relational, and cultural issues—the real battle is fought and won in the spiritual realm with spiritual weapons and tactics.
God has a sovereign, redemptive plan, and it will not fail.
He has a plan for your life, for your family, for His people, and for this world—a plan to reveal the glory and splendor of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, filling the earth with His glory. And no matter what happens in the halls of government, the financial markets, or the corporate board rooms, His plan will not fail. No ungodly husband can thwart it. No prodigal child can derail it. No depth of sadness, regret, or depression can delay it. Nothing in this world can abort His eternal plan. Even when you cannot see His hand, even when it seems that nothing is happening, God is always behind the scenes fulfilling His purposes. He will prevail.
PS: Would you pray for Israel at this crucial time in world history? As in Esther’s day, there are many enemies in the region threatening Israel’s right to exist as a nation, and determined to destroy her. Please pray for the forces of evil to be restrained and for great wisdom for Israel’s leaders.