Feast of Esther - Adar 14-15, 5773 - February 24-25, 2013
Not much has changed in 2500 years. Israel today faces a threat of annihilation from the same part of the world.
“There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore, it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.” - Haman, to King Ahasuerus, Esther 3:8-9, 473 BC
“Kill all Jews and annihilate Israel!” - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, February 2012
“Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear.” –Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, November 2006
Israelis “should know they are reaching the last days of their lives.” - Ahmadinejad, August 2006
The Restoration of Israel and the Amazing Forethought of God
Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews back to Jerusalem in 537 BC.
The rebuilding of the temple was completed in 515 BC.
Ahasuerus's banquet took place in 483 BC (Esther 1:1-12).
Esther became queen at 478 BC (Esther 2:17).
Ezra leads a second group to the Land in 458 BC, 15 years after the amazing salvation of Purim in 473 BC (Esther 9:20-32).
Had God not used Mordecai and Esther to intervene and save their people from the plot of Haman, Ezra and Nehemiah would not have survived. There would have been a mortal blow to the restoration of Israel in those days, and a great disaster to the plan of God. Thank God there is never a ‘’what if” with Him!
As God chose Moses, Daniel, and others long before they were needed, He also placed Mordecai and Esther strategically in place years before they would be called upon to intercede. God, foreseeing the threat to His people with the eminent rise of Haman, placed His own in position at least five years before they would called upon to breach the evil and save their nation.
The Amazing Grace of God in His Choice of Mordecai and Esther
Mordecai and Esther are both of the house of Kish, the father of Saul. God had commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15), but he disobeyed. Haman is a direct descendent of the royal house of Agag the Amalekite, sworn enemy of Israel.
Unlike their ancestor, Mordecai and Esther fulfill God’s will and calling completely, putting their lives on the line. Not only do they save their people from annihilation, but also continue to press on to a great victory over Israel’s enemy; they carry the intercession through to the end (chapter 8), and thus open the way for God to unfold His kingdom plan.
Again and again in scripture, we see that God does not give up on those who have failed, but rather gives them a second opportunity to fulfill their call. While Saul faltered, his descendants stood the test.
So it was with Aaron who failed to intercede for the nation when Moses came down from the mount and found the nation worshiping the golden calf. Aaron at that time accused the people instead of interceding for them. Moses recounts in Deuteronomy (9:20) that God wanted to destroy Aaron, but Moses interceded for him.
Later, Aaron fulfills his calling as a priest when he runs into the midst of the congregation as the plague breaks out, to make atonement and to save the people. (Numbers 16:46-50).
The Amazing Opportunity for the Church to Rise up in Intercession for Israel
Esther can be looked upon as a type of the Bride of Messiah - the Church. She is adopted by Mordecai (Ephesians 1:5), a type of savior to his people in this story. She is nurtured by him (Isaiah 60:4, 1Thessalonians 2:7), and she is taught by him (1John 2:27). She is endowed with grace and mercy in the eyes of all who behold her, never using fleshly means to procure it (Acts 4:33). And although she recoils from the danger she faces, Esther responds to Mordecai’s rebuke, entering the fullness of her calling and the presence of the king to intercede. Boldly now, she appears before him and intercedes until the decree is reversed and full victory is won.
The Church alone is in a position to have access, not to an earthly king, but to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Hebrews 10:19-22). Only she can effectively come before God to intercede on behalf of His people.
It is the Church who possesses the knowledge of the plan of God and the purposes of God on the earth; only she can understand the importance of Israel to that plan; only she can care enough to come boldly before the King to pray for Israel’s deliverance and salvation.
But will she?
Esther, at the most crucial point, was tempted to abandon her calling. “It is far too dangerous, I will lose my life,” she thought.
“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, 'Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether hold thy peace at this time, then enlargement and deliverance will arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'” (Esther 4:13-14)
Will the Church awaken and turn from herself to God? Will she turn from self-centered enjoyment of the world in order to stand before God?
Or will she leave Israel to fend for itself?
Will she awaken to her calling and fulfill it by rising in great courage, wisdom, and grace, to stand before God and intercede for His people?
The Church should know: 'As goes with the Jews, so with the Christians', for they are grafted into her.
God will save Israel. “Enlargement and deliverance will arise to the Jews from another place..” BUT, it does not have to. Esther awoke, arose and shined in her moment to effect a complete turn around. We are praying that the Church will arise likewise in this, her moment.
Pray for Israel and fervently beseech the Lord to save her from those who want to destroy her.
Pray for her safety and victory over those who want to destroy her, wiping her from the face of the earth.
Pray for the Church, that God will mightily shake and awaken her to her calling. Pray that she might come into the fullness of her true anointing, and enter the presence of God in the name of her King and Savior.
[Note on present dangerous situations:
There is much unrest in the Palestinian areas – A possible 3rd Intifada is brewing.
The unrest in the Middle East has created an opportunity for terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah to receive arms from Libya, Syria and, of course Iran.
Hezbollah has over 60,000 rockets aimed at every part of Israel. There have been efforts to smuggle into Lebanon, Anti aircraft rockets, long range rockets and possibly Chemical weapons.
Iran of course, is racing to build an atom bomb.]
Blessings from Jerusalem
Ofer Amitai - Israel Prayer Center