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The Festival of Purim
Last night at midnight (Saturday night) the official Jewish Festival of Purim began. In recent years the Jewish community added festive clothing, holiday foods and a carnival-like atmosphere to services when the Book of Esther is read. Audience participation is encouraged. It is appropriate to stomp your feet, hiss the villain, Haman, and cheer the heroes, Esther and Mordechai. In some congregations noise makers are handed out to increase the bedlam. It reminds me of the old melodramas of the silent film era.
The film, “One Night With the King,” is a film account of the Biblical book of Esther. It’s a first-rate account of what happened when a Jewish girl was used by God to champion her entire nation. The visual effects are stunning. When you see it in conjunction with the reading of scripture, you can easily see it is a call to a deeper intimacy and trust of the King in the believer’s spiritual life. We are His Esther in whom He loves, trusts and believes.
LESSONS FROM ESTHER:
(This presentation is most effective with a younger woman reading the narrative. It takes an average of 35 minutes to read all 12 chapters NIV.)
March 4, 2,007 - Sheepfold Ministries
Rev. Phil Roland
The Festival of Purim
The Story of Esther – The Festival of Lots
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
“The book of Esther is an awesome story of love, intrigue, mystery and romance. It is also a picture of God’s incredible provision for His people. If God can use a single Jewish girl to save a nation, what can He do with your yielded life?”” Pastor Phil Roland
Facts about the Book of Esther:
1. There is no mention of G-d, Ha-shem, Ado-noy, or a supreme being.
2. There are 190 references to the Persian King.
3. Out of 167 verses, there is no mention of sacred Law, Sacrifices, or Prayer
4. The historical time frame for Esther is between 539 and 332 BC.
1. ESTHER - Jewish orphan named Hadassah, raised by her cousin.
2. MORDECHAI - Esther's uncle or cousin, who raised her after she was orphaned at birth.
3. King Ahasuerus/Xerxes – King of Persia, who chooses Esther for his Queen.
4. Haman – Descendant of Amalek, who hates the Jews
1. Haman is from the linage of Amalek, grandson of Esau – Gen. 36:12
2. G-d hates Amalek – Ex. 17:14-16
3. Even Amalek’s memory must be blotted out – Deut. 25:19
4. Saul spares Agag, disobeys the Lord and loses the anointing. God’s instructions were to utterly destroy Amalek. 1 Sam. 15
I. REBELLION – Chapter 1 –Vashti’s refusal to make an appearance.
The stage is set for a new Persian Queen
Queen Vashti is disposed
II. REPLACEMENT – Chapter 2 – World’s greatest beauty pageant
Esther replaces Vashti
III. RULING – Chapter 3 - The Feasts of Esther
Mordecai uncovers a plot by high ruler Haman to destroy the Jews
IV. RESOLVE – Chapters 4-7 – Esther acts to protect the King
Mordecai persuades Esther to help
Esther’s Request to the King: The First Banquet (5:1-8)
A sleepless night (5:9-6:14
Haman hanged: The Second Banquet (Chapter 7)
V. REVENGE – Chapter 8 – All Jews are armed for a day of massacre
The King’s edict in behalf of the Jews (Chapter 8)
VI. REMEMBRANCE – Chapters 9 to 10 - The Feasts of Purim
The King’s Edict in behalf of the Jews (Chapter 8)
The Institution of Purim (Chapter 9) - The Promotion of Mordecai (Chapter 10)
The Festival of Purim
EXODUS 17:8 – The Amalekites attack the Jews
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
EXODUS 17:14-16 - God’s War Against Amalek
“Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.". . .The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."
DEUTERONOMY 25:19 – Oppose Those Who God Hates
“When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!
1 SAMUEL 15 – Saul spares Agag, disobeys the Lord and loses the anointing
God’s instructions were to utterly destroy Amalek, but Saul saved the best of the captured spoil and spared King Agag.
THE STORY OF ESTHER (Purim)
Once upon a time, between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple, the Jews were almost destroyed.
He convinces King Ahasuerus to issue an edict which orders the destruction of all Jews in the land. (Xerxes is his Persian name. Ahasuerus is his Hebrew name.)
WHO WAS ESTHER?
Queen Esther saved the Jews from annihilation in Persia.
The Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther) relates how Esther became the Jewish Queen of Persia and the heroine of the Purim story.
A Jewish orphan named Hadassah, she was raised by her cousin Mordechai. She later assumed the name Esther. When the King of Persia, Ahasuerus sends his wife Vashi away for disobeying him, he chooses Esther to be his new wife. Esther, without revealing her Jewish identity, became queen of Persia.
Haman, the king's prime minister, decides to kill all Jews because he is angered when Mordechai refuses to bow down to him. Haman manages to get the king to agree to his plan by telling him that there is a scattered people in the land who refuse to obey the king's laws.
Haman casts lots (purim) to decide in which month to murder the Jews. Haman then distributes orders to slay all Jews on the thirteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar. The Jews fast and mourn. Mordechai asks Esther to appeal to the king. Esther risks her life by going to the king and asking him to end Haman's plan. The king is angered by Haman's mischief, and Haman and his sons are hanged. Thus, the Jews are saved. Mordechai then declares the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the Hebrew month of Adar as days of rejoicing, as the feast of Purim.
WHO WAS MORDECHAI?
Mordechai was the hero of the Purim story.
As Esther's uncle or cousin (dod), he raised her after she was orphaned at birth. Esther later became queen of Persia. When Mordechai refused to bow down to the king's prime minister, Haman, Haman was motivated to form a plan to annihilate the Jews - a scattered people who refused to abide by the king's laws.
Mordechai encouraged Esther to save the Jews by asking the king to stop Haman's plans. Esther appealed to the king, and the king had Haman and his sons killed instead of the Jews.
Mordechai, due to his revelation of a conspiracy against the king, was then promoted to become the king's prime minister.