From fear to festival
Sundown, February 25, 2021 is the beginning of Purim. Purim is a feast day instituted by Queen Esther of the Persian Empire, a chief imperial superpower of the ancient world. Esther’s decree appointed this Feast be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city (Es 9:28). Purim was to be a perpetual festival of joy commemorating the day when fear of Haman’s decree transformed into exuberant laughter and celebration.
During Esther’s reign, a high government official—second only to the King himself—smoldered with incredible hate for a certain people group. His intense hatred gave rise to a diabolical plan of annihilating the people he so greatly despised. These people were known as Jews—and he hated them all. Who was this diabolical fiend? “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” Haman was the notorious architect of a plan dictating total annihilation of God’s people.
SPIRIT OF HAMAN
There are some uncanny parallels between Esther’s day and ours. Ironically, Haman is found in 45 Scripture verses and, during America’s 45th President, this same diabolical spirit manifested yet again. It’s as though we are living in a modern-day Esther story, a story of devious conspiracies to exterminate God’s people and diabolical decrees signed and sealed by Haman. This Haman was not a king, but a secondary power. Our 45th President Donald J. Trump clearly stood in support of Israel and became the first American President to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, this recognition became the first active affirmation and signed proclamation since ancient times and the Persian Empire. While President Donald J. Trump stood with Israel and fought for the church’s freedom, this wicked spirit schemed in frenzied, hysterical ways. This spirit is a secondary governing power opposing life and freedom; a secondary government with plans and decrees to obliterate God’s people; a secondary government with the spirit of Haman.
FLAMES OF AGAG
But take heart, Church, Purim is coming! We are about to celebrate the deliverance of God’s people from Haman’s diabolical plot yet once more. Haman’s verdict will fall on his own head! Fear of his decrees will turn into laughter and celebration. Don’t forget, God isn’t ringing his hands in despair, He sits in the heavens and laughs as nations rage.
A YEAR OF FEAR
Haman and his cabal arrogantly cast lots in the month of Nisan, the 1st month of the biblical Hebrew year. Little did Haman know of Nisan’s anointing to open the way for victory and bring miraculous deliverance from one’s enemies. Nisan is the month of Passover and God’s incredible deliverance of His people from Egypt.
In 2020, what began as “Two weeks to flatten the curve” turned into nearly a year (so far) of lockdowns. Fear of the virus, fear of lockdowns, fear of death, fear of fines, fear of bankruptcy… Frenzied, hysterical fear of Haman’s diabolical plans. But, Purim is coming—the joyous time when fear transforms into festivities as enemies’ plots are foiled.
There are two Adar’s in Scripture – the month Adar and the city Adar. Ironically, the month Adar means “fire”, and it won’t be just a flickering flame. This is a raging fire burning in response to the angry, hateful Flame of Agag. It’s the Consuming Fire of Almighty God in judgment of those who dare have “plots and thoughts” against His people. Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked.
…as a consuming fire he shall destroy them…
The city Adar was part of Judah’s inheritance and has a different meaning: ample. It comes from the root: to expand, be great or magnificent, to become glorious. The season that looked like it would completely wipe out the Jews became a season of their expansion. The Jews gathered themselves together--and all provincial rulers, lieutenants, deputies and king’s officers helped the Jews. Mordecai-the-despised had become Mordecai-the-great, a man held in high regard. Their narrow place became a place of enlargement. Others had come to fight with them. As Haman’s decree was put into execution on Adar 13, it was turned to the contrary! A divine reversal took place! Jews dominated those that hated them. Their enemies were destroyed.
TO THE CONTRARY
The Agag spirit that set out to eradicate God’s chosen seed was turned on itself. Haman’s verdict fell on his own head. Haman hung on gallows he built for Mordecai. His conspiracy against the Jews became his own destruction, his sons and any who collaborated with him.
Haman plotted evil, but God had a different plan. Like Joseph, Esther and Mordecai could say, “…as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good … to save much people alive.” Gen 50:20.
An entire holocaust was averted that day. Though ruin had been dictated, deliverance occurred. Yet, their deliverance wasn’t automatic nor assumed. It came at great risk and great cost. Mordecai did not bow, but remained standing! Esther risked her life! They all fasted. They wept. They prayed! They all gathered together! They all fought! They all won!
Adar 14 became a celebration day as Mordecai and Esther established Purim to confirm their “fastings and prayers had brought about great deliverance for themselves and their seed”. Not only did this day become a day of remembering the ruin of their enemies, but again and again on this day throughout history the enemies of God’s people have come to sudden destruction.
Purim should instill the awe and fear of God into each of us. Our God is still a consuming fire! He still saves and delivers! He still has a strong right hand. His enemies are still destroyed on this day! Plans against Israel are still thwarted on Purim, because Purim is perpetual.
In the winter of 1953, Joseph Stalin had savage plans for the Soviet Jews. Murders, massacres, assaults, and fear were the norm. The trial against the Kremlin physicians, many of whom were Jewish, was set to begin in just a few weeks. As it reached a crisis point, they found him dead … on Purim.
In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. As international pressure mounted, Iraq fired SCUD missiles into Israel hitting a large apartment complex. The injuries were all mild. Even the non-religious declared it a miracle. Another SCUD scored a direct hit on a bomb shelter turned into a temporary sanctuary filled with 200 worshippers. No one was injured—another miracle. Allies entered the war in January of 1991 and in February, the war ended … on Purim.
For this is what the Lord Almighty says…whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye. Zec 2:8
Anyone with “plots and thoughts” against the Lord’s anointed ones, you are in a danger zone. Repent and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ and His shed blood. He promises to remember our iniquities no more. By His grace, you too can be saved from the day of destruction.
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rom 10:9
The wages of sin is death, but Jesus paid the bill. Apply His blood to the debt you owe. Trade your curse for blessing, your sin for righteousness, and your death for life.
perpetual celebration day
We may not have seen our deliverance yet, but Purim is coming. Our fastings and prayers have not gone undetected by our Mighty Deliverer. He saves every prayer and every tear. He sits in the heavens and laughs. It’s time to laugh with Him. Let your fear of Haman’s decree transform into the exuberant laughter of a redemption festival. The joy of the Lord is our strength. This Adar, the Consuming Fire will overtake the Flame of Agag. We are in the season of Purim! The season of miraculous protection is upon us. Step out of the year of fear! The season of divine reversal is here!
I pray you will be blessed above and beyond your wildest imaginations, as you feast on His Food! ~Wendy 🌹