I wanted to share with you a very special teaching series I filmed for you in Jerusalem on the biblical significance of the feast of Purim. There are so many valuable lessons God is teaching us through Purim, that are relevant to our lives today more than ever. This is part 1.
The Feast of Purim is a biblical feast that we can read about in the book of Esther, and is all about the miracles of God. As the whole nation of Israel is preparing to celebrate Purim, we can find amazingly relevant lessons from this feast and the book of Esther for us today.
The entire story takes place while the nation of Israel was in exile. They were taken away from their Land and sent away because of their sins, but during their time in exile they turned back to God and He began blessing them, preparing their exit from the Persian Empire (modern-day Iran) and bringing them back to their homeland once again. The book of Esther takes place during that preparation process.
God is always involved!
When I think of the feast of Purim, celebrating it here in Israel every year, I think about God’s divine intervention into our lives. Usually, throughout the Bible, we see God’s clear and strong connection when He directly speaks to (and through) prophets to the people, but interestingly enough, throughout the Book of Esther, the name of God isn’t mentioned, not even once! However, the entire book deals with His works, His plans, His promises, and how He works in mysterious ways, that even when people couldn’t see the Lord was involved, He was very much present, guiding and working miracles.
Think about your life. How often were you going through moments or seasons where you couldn’t see God working in your life, you didn’t have any dramatic experiences with the Lord, yet when you look back you know now for a fact that God was with you every step of the way, working in you and guiding your steps even when you couldn’t sense Him.
The book of Esther and the feast of Purim are a reminder of the remarkable works of God in our lives.
God’s divine protection
Purim is also all about God’s divine protection. The enemy rose against Israel and wanted to destroy it, God protected His own. Even while there were serious plots and schemes in governmental circles when people within the government were plotting against God’s people; He showed that He was with His people and He would protect them, even if it meant working on the king’s heart and changing his mind.
That is a powerful reminder to us that God is our protector! We might be facing a different season in life, we might be going through attacks in our lives, but if Purim comes to remind of something, that is that through generations God is still faithful. He will always protect you. He will send angels, He will raise up people in your life; He will get involved one way or another, but He will not leave you unprotected.
God’s power to deliver
Another powerful lesson that Purim teaches us, is God’s power to deliver you from any difficulty and hard circumstances. When the nation of Israel thought they were dying; they were sure it was the end for them as a nation, but they decided to “take a chance” on God, to fast and pray and seek His deliverance.
The Power or Fasting and Praying
Queen Esther sent a letter to the whole house of Israel in Persia, urging everybody to unite with her in prayer and fast for the salvation of their nation. That is another powerful lesson from the Feast of Purim: it teaches us the power of prayer, fasting and humbling ourselves before the Lord.
Esther urged her people to take 3 days of fasting and prayer, and just cry before the Lord. She never claimed or promised that God will deliver them, she said “if we humble ourselves, maybe God will hear us and deliver us.”
Throughout the whole Persian empire, the nation of Israel united and stood together in prayer, fasting and humbly interceding for their deliverance before the Lord. Guess what? God honored their prayers! He came through and started to move on their behalf.
Even today, we have amazing promises of God, and we have seen so many wonderful miracles in our lives, but there are times when we have to be sensitive and open to the Spirit of God to lead us.
Sometimes the only way to overcome certain situations is through fasting and praying. That is a mighty tool God gave us: Tzom ve-Tfilah (fast and prayer). When we take the time to pray and fast, God begins to move on our behalf and starts changing first and foremost our hearts and our lives, while also changing circumstances around us.
Esther’s story is one of courage, but it is also an amazing lesson on the power of prayer and fasting as a nation before victory and breakthrough come.