Updated: Apr 28
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Tonight was the celebration of the Feast of Purim. Tonight we remember Esther. She was a woman who trusted God, saw her calling and willingly stepped into it. She is one of my biggest heroes.
At our house, we put on a huge spread, some of our friends and family came over, we decked out in costume and we celebrated the deliverance God brought His people through Queen Esther. Our only granddaughter was so excited to dress up as Queen Esther. She really wanted to wear her Esther costume to school this morning. She put it on very early this afternoon. I think she is the most beautiful Esther ever, well, since the original. But that's just me talking.
We have all been reading the book of Esther on our own and tonight my husband finished reading it during dinner. We saved the good part for tonight; the part when Haman’s evil plans turn upside down and he gets what’s coming to him. The kids loved drowning out the name of Haman with noise every time Papi said his name.
For dessert, our good friend Patty brought some delicious Hamantaschen, which is a triangular shaped pastry/cookie filled with a variety of fillings. She chose strawberry filling. They were yummy.
Purim literally means lots, or dice. In the story of Esther, the bad guy, Haman, cast lots to determine which day would be the day of destruction for his hated enemies, the Jews throughout the Kingdom of Persia. I love that the Jews named their perpetual festival after the method that was used to choose their day of destruction.
If you have never read the book of Esther, I highly recommend reading it. It’s a great tale of intrigue and the hand of our God, who saves and rescues.
When Jews talk about Purim and the story of Esther, they use a Hebrew phrase, “V'nahafoch hu” which means “it turned upside down.”
The truth is that God continually does this, and not just in the book of Esther. The Bible is filled with stories of times when God turned it all around. Think of Joseph, sold into slavery, imprisoned; ended up saving his entire country and his family.
Jews also have the saying, “G-d always prepares the cure before the hurt.” Indeed He does. We see the cure prepared ahead of time at the Cross. In two days, it’s Good Friday. The most significant time we see V'nahafoch hu is at the Cross of Calvary. Jews who haven’t believed that Yeshua, Jesus, is their Messiah would probably be offended, it is even likely they would feel angry that I would coopt this phrase and apply it to something that they see as strictly “Christian.” But if V'nahafoch hu applies at Purim… when God turned Haman’s evil plan upside down and saved the Israelites…How much more so at the cross, when he turned Satan’s plan upside down to save all of humanity. Satan intended to wipe out Messiah that day at Golgatha… but… Praise Hashem! V'nahafoch hu! It was the plan all along. Christians sometimes say, “what they meant for evil, God meant for good.”
The Jews would say, “V'nahafoch hu.”
There is so much foreshadowing in the Old Testament of things that would come to fruition later. I believe that the whole story of the salvation of the Jews of Persia through Esther, a little orphan girl from Shushan, when Haman’s plan was turned on its head…was a foreshadowing of the salvation of the Cross.
So as you think of Esther, look at your own life; at the situations in which God has placed you. Remember the courage of a young orphan girl, and step into the calling God has for you through His strength. One person can make a difference.
Enjoy this song tonight and tormorrow. Purim goes for two nights because it took two days to spread the word that the Jews were saved throughout the Kingdom. So enjoy this Purim song from the Maccabeats.