Hamentashen from our neighborhood bakery. The sign on the left says “rosemary” and the sign on the right says “nuts”.
We want to wish you a very Happy Purim and encourage you to read the account of Esther. Purim falls on March 1st this year.
Baruch has written a little article about Purim, which I am posting here. Enjoy!
Many believers in the Messiah do not place the proper significance on the holiday which is found in the book of Esther. This special day occurs on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar, exactly one month before Passover. This festival day is called Purim, which means lots. It refers to the fact that wicked Haman casted lots to find the time to destroy the Jewish people. Throughout history, there have been many individuals like Haman, who made it their objective to remove the Jewish people from this world. Why is anti-Semitism so common? The answer is because there has been, there is and there will be Satanic influence in this world until the Messiah establishes His Kingdom. In fact, the worst time of anti-Semitism is yet to be. The prophet Daniel reveals that the worst suffering for the Jewish people is the time immediately before the final redemption (see Daniel 12:1).
Satan hates the Jewish people because he knows that G-d has placed upon them a call to be His instrument of blessing. As Paul stated, “the gifts and calling of G-d are irrevocable” (see Romans 11:29) and therefore Satan knows that if he can destroy the Jewish people, the world will not be blessed, i.e. the Kingdom will not be established.
In the book of Esther, it is Mordechai the Jew who hears a plot to kill the king. Mordechai reported this to the proper authorities and it was investigated and found to be true and the two conspirators were hung. Immediately thereafter, the king who Mordechai saved, made an agreement with the wicked Haman to destroy the Jewish people. It would have been easy for Mordechai to think that he had made an error by saving the king’s life. Perhaps, if the king had been killed, then this agreement would not have taken place. Mordechai never thought this. He knew that it is always right to do the right thing.
There is wisdom for us in this way of thinking. A person does not know the future and the one who tries to anticipate what will be is usually very wrong. Therefore, do the right thing always and leave the outcome to the L-rd.
Although Mordechai did in fact save the king, he initially received nothing for this deed. What if the two men were successful and the king was killed? Perhaps the new administration would have looked at Mordechai as a loyalist of the old government and he too would have been put to death. Here again, it is not wise to think too much about the consequences of one’s actions, because one does not know the future. True wisdom behaves according to the truth of G-d and trusts that in the end, doing the right thing will lead to godly results.
It has already been stated that initially Mordechai received nothing for his proper behavior, and in reality the king was never told about Mordechai. Mordechai could have become angry and felt disrespected. Such attitudes are not productive and not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Do the right thing, not because you are expecting something in return, but in order to honor G-d.
When reading through the book of Esther, one learns that eventually the king found out about Mordechai’s righteous deed and did reward him. This occurred at just the right time. In fact, it was immediately prior to wicked Haman going to request from the king that Mordechai be put death, that Mordechai’s deed was made known to the king. One could say that Mordechai’s saving the king actually ended up saving himself. Furthermore, it allowed Mordechai to be positioned to alert the other Jews about this plan and gather them to fast and pray about the situation. In the end, Mordechai became very similar to Joseph in Egypt, second in the kingdom only to the king, but the one who in actuality was administrating the Empire.
I hope you see that it is doing the right thing that results in the Holy Spirit positioning the believer where he or she can be of greater service unto the L-rd. Never spend time deciding whether or not to do the right thing. Simply do it immediately, before one of Satan’s tools can deceive you. What is that tool? It is our rational mind. The right thing is usually not derived from how we think, but is the outcome of the revelation of G-d. Remember what king Solomon taught in the book of Proverbs— The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the L-rd (see Proverbs 9:10).
Another important truth found in the book of Esther is how many small things that were done, ended up having some very significant consequences. Similarly, one learns that G-d was at work in the situation for the benefit of His people, long before there was any visible evidence of this that the Jewish people could detect. Once again, it is important that we trust in G-d to be faithful even when we at first do not see any signs of His faithfulness.
We are entering a time of an increase in anti-Semitism in the world. Another Hamam is certainly going to rise up. How will believers respond? Although there were exceptions, most of the church failed miserably during the Holocaust. Today there is a growing trend in “Christian” theology to want to remove the role of the Jewish people from G-d’s purposes in the last days. For example, there is an organization called the Gospel Coalition. This is a fellowship of evangelical churches in the Reformed tradition. I strongly disagree with Reformed theology and believe that its basic tenets are very dangerous. The Gospel Coalition believes that “The earthly Jerusalem is no longer central in God’s purposes.” They state that they look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, i.e. the New Jerusalem. I do too, but one must not forget the Millennial Kingdom which Yeshua (Jesus) will rule from for a thousand years. A major problem with many in Christianity is that they tend to ignore or deny outright the Millennial Kingdom. They also tend to be prophetically illiterate and do not know what the prophets reveal in the last days and how indeed Jerusalem and the Land of Israel in general will play a Major Role in the G-d’s plans and purposes.
In an article by the Gospel Coalition entitled, “7 Reasons Christians Are Not Required to Tithe” by Thomas Schreiner, on March 28, 2017, he writes, “Abraham isn’t heir of the land of Israel, but the whole world (Roman. 4:13).” The problem is that this promise will not be fulfilled until the Jewish people are back in the Land of Israel and Israel’s borders are enlarged. Dr. Schreiner states the conclusion, but ignores the events that must take place for the end results to be realized. It is like ignoring the Cross and only speaking of the Resurrection.
Purim falls on March first this year. I strongly recommend reading the book of Esther and giving financial gifts to the poor and baskets of food to friends and family to celebrate this festival day which proclaims the faithfulness of the L-rd G-d of Israel. Shalom