Esther 9:1 “…the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On that day the enemies of the Jews (God’s people) had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who had hated them.”
On the day the enemies of “God’s people,” on the day our enemies, on the day Satan and his angles tried to overpower us, the tables were turned and “God’s people” – (we) – got the upper hand. On the day Satan’s plan was to be carried out, on the day they nailed Jesus to the cross, it looked like it was all over for God’s people. But the tables were turned at Calvary. When Jesus stepped out of the tomb, believers got the upper hand and, for the devil and his angels, it was all over but the shouting. When it was over, they all began shouting.
Esther 9:26-27 “Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word ‘pur.’ Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed.
The Feast of Purim was a celebration with feasting and joy. It was a day of giving presents to one another and gifts to the poor. “They took it upon themselves to establish this custom.” They made a pledge. They made a commitment to remember these days every year “without fail.”
Esther 9:28 “These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every provence and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants.”
This was to be remembered and celebrated “in every generation by every family in every city.” They vowed to never allow “the memory of this die out among their descendants.” It’s over. But we’ll never stop shouting. Keep the memory and the celebration of this event alive. Pass it on to our children and our grandchildren. The Feast of Purim is still being celebrated by the Jews today around March or April.
Repentant believers today gather around the Table of the Lord to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of the time the tables were turned on Satan and, through Christ, we got the upper hand. Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup, we testify to and celebrate the Lord’s victory over sin and death until He comes back for us again.
We’re entering a time of year that’s very special and sacred to us as true believers. For those who are “in Christ,” who are trusting in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of our sins, December twenty-fifth is a day of feasting and joy; a day of giving presents to each other. We celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus, our Savior, Emmanuel, God with us. It marks the beginning of the end for Satan’s plan to destroy us. If anyone you know is wondering what Christmas is all about, don’t just tell them the story of the shepherds, the manger and the wise men. Start by directing them to one of my all-time favorite Christmas passages.
Exodus 3: 7-8 “The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people … I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Tell everyone you know that Christmas is a lot more than just a story about a baby in a manger. Tell them we celebrate Christmas because the Lord knew what the devil was planning to do to them. He saw the misery of His people. He heard us crying out because of the bondage of our sin. He was deeply concerned about our suffering so He came down to rescue us from Satan’s hand. He became flesh and lived among us.
He laid down His sinless life for us on Calvary’s cross and shed His own blood to become the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Then He rose from the grave so whoever would come to believe in Him and stop trying to make themselves acceptable to Him, would not perish but would have everlasting life.
“Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2: 6-8)
Make it a deeper Christmas this year; a Christmas that’s more special from any Christmas you’ve ever celebrated before. Make your Christmas a day of feasting and joy and a day of giving gifts to one another and I’m not talking about giving expensive materialistic gifts to one another. In the original celebration, they gave gifts of food to one another. We can give each other gifts that last forever.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to tell them the old, old story of Jesus and His love for us. Teach them about how He was born, how He lived and why He died. Teach them about His victory over sin and death through His resurrection from the grave. Let them know that He arose from the grave and He lives forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let them know that He wants to live in their hearts as their Savior.
These days should never cease to be celebrated nor should the memory of them die out among our descendants. The story of Esther is all about leaving an eternal legacy of faith for our descendants; passing on our faith in Jesus.
Maybe the only gift we can truly afford to give our children or our grandchildren today is the gift we can’t afford to forget; the gift that lasts forever; the gift that ensures that they will live forever with us and with Jesus someday. We can give ourselves to one another. We can share our hopes and dreams with one another. We can visibly express our love for one another. We can give gifts of serving and helping one another. We can make a conscious, deliberate decision to be considerate, patient and kind to one another.
This concludes our study of Esther. There will be no posting of my blog on Tuesday, December 28. Lord willing, we’ll meet back here on January 4 to see where the Holy Spirit will lead us next. Thanks for being in God’s Word with Pastor Buj. – MERRY CHRISTMAS!