The first time I celebrated Purim I was aghast. First, the streets of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were filled with drunken men and women in costumes that made me blush and behavior that belonged more at Mardi Gras than in Israel. But what was more discouraging was the celebration at my Messianic Congregation. The costume clad revelers were just as obnoxious although dressed more conservatively. What I couldn’t understand is why those who should understand the real meaning of Purim were reduced to following the meaningless traditions of those who didn’t. Then there was the advice of one whom I respected who said, “Why not skip this holiday in your teaching? It really is such a minor holiday.” But is anything in the Kingdom of God “minor?” I answered my friend, “Although Purim is not a Levitcal feast of the Lord, it has great significance to Israel and personal application to the church of Jesus, especially in these challenging days. On the surface, Purim seems to be simply the celebration of God’s protection of the Jewish people from the annihilation planned by the Persian Empire. But as with other aspects of the story, there is more under the surface. Purim is all about purpose and destiny:
- For Israel
- For the Church
- For each of us
As with the all of God’s appointed times and celebrations, we need to put Jesus at the heart. When He is preeminent nothing in the Kingdom is “minor.” So let’s consider Purim from the same five perspectives as the other holidays.
Purim is the final holiday of the Biblical calendar year, occurring in the winter, exactly one month before Passover.
Purim commemorates God’s protection of Israel from annihilation planned by Haman, the chief administrator in the Persian Empire.
Purim also reveals the truth of God’s word regarding His unique relationship with Israel:
- He who keeps Israel never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121)
- Israel is the apple of God’s eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10; Zechariah 2:8)
- He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her. (Genesis 12:3)
- Anyone who tries to destroy Israel will themselves be destroyed. (Joel 3:1-3)
Purim manifests God’s unique relationship with Israel. The story reveals His sovereignty and His ominipresence over all people and nations.
The turning point of the story was Esther’s determination to fulfill God’s purpose for her life. This foreshadowed the greater determination of Jesus to fulfill the Father’s purpose for His life.
God has created each of us for a purpose and destiny. The Holy Spirit has been given to every follower of Jesus to fulfill that purpose and destiny.
How you celebrate Purim is not the issue. What IS important is WHO you are celebrating – the God and Savior of Israel
JESUS THE MESSIAH!
To pray for Israel during Purim go to:
Following is an excerpt from the book, “Celebrate Jesus! The Christian Perspective of the Biblical Feasts.” Click here to order your copy or any of the other books on the feasts:
Seeing Israel from the air was shocking. The Land of milk and honey was just a tiny strip of brown. I whispered through my tears, “Daddy I’m home.” Eventually He gave me a date to return and a purpose. During the next few weeks, God confirmed that Israel was to indeed become my home, although the process would take three years. The wait seemed interminable. Finally, after a week of fasting, praying, and devouring books on Israel’s prophetic future, I heard the Lord’s voice. He gave me a date: December ninth. Then He gave me a purpose: Declare the good news of My salvation, first to the Jews and then to the nations. Purpose is one of the main themes of Purim. Jesus came for a purpose and God has designed a unique purpose for Israel, for the church, and for each of us.