Archive for February 7th, 2018

And so we come to the end of an incredible book.  A book that is recorded for all of history as a testimony to the fact that God is in total control, and He can be seen in the ‘circumstances’ of everyday life.  On the very day decreed for the destruction of the Jews, the Jews gathered together an army that was invincible (Est 9: 1-2).  Their enemies were afraid as the Jews had the authority of the king to defend themselves.  They were ruthless in their execution of that defence and many people died (Est 9:5-12).


My NIV notes here record: The Jews attend to the unfinished business of ‘blotting out the name of the Amalekites (Ex 17:16; Dt 25:17-19).  This incident is presented as the antithesis of 1 Sam 15:  the narrator is emphatic that the Jews did not take plunder, in spite of the king’s permission to do so (Est 8:11).  Seizing the plunder 500 years earlier in the battle against Amalek had cost Saul his kingship (1 Sam 15:17-19); here not taking the plunder brings royal power to Mordecai. Mordecai rises to become second only to the king himself and was held in high esteem because of his work for the good of the Jews (Est 10).


Haman’s ten sons were all killed by the sword and yet Esther petitioned the king to allow the Jews in Susa an additional day of fighting and to have the bodies of Haman’s sons hanged – a grotesque yet public display of the fate of men who, ‘like father like son’, attempted to destroy the Jews and paid the ultimate price.


The resulting victory was celebrated and remembered in the establishment of an annual festival (Purim), one of two festivals that is not commanded in scripture.  The other is Hannukah, originating in the time of the Macabees.  Purim was a spontaneous expression of Joy, and Mordecai’s letter simply standardised its date (Est 9: 29-32).


We need festivals of remembrance because we forget all too easily.  Jesus recognised this and gave us a festival to continually remember all that He has done for us. The Apostle Paul records this for us in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:23 26).










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Prayer:  Father, I thank you that regular communion enables me to ensure I never forget the grace you have shown towards me – until you return or take me home. Amen.

February 2018
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