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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Purim – One Christian’s Perspective

on February 24, 2013

purim one christians perspectivePurim – One Christian’s Perspective

          Purim is a festival (holiday) from the book of Esther that celebrates God’s protection for His people. The word Purim is an Aramaic word meaning “lot”. Lots, somewhat like drawing straws, were chosen in the book of Esther to determine the date in which the Jews were to be destroyed. Haman, an enemy of the Jews, had sought to destroy them. Purim was instituted when God lead the enemies of His people to their own destruction. Purim is therefore about deliverance.

A Reminder of God’s Faithfulness.

The feast of Purim is an annual reminder of God’s faithful on behalf of His people. It is celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Adar.

Esther 9:18 NKJV    

“But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.”

A Reminder of God’s Providence and Protection.

We can learn many things from the story of Esther and from the feast of Purim. As a child of God, we too, are in the hand of God’s providence and protection. God intervenes on our behalf. As we look back on our life we can see where God has been working on our behalf.

Psalm 37:23  NKJV   

  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”

     Just like the Jews in the book of Esther, we too, have an enemy that is out to destroy us.

I Peter 5:8  NKJV    

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversay the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

      God’s hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people is evident throughout the book of Esther even though His name does not appear once in the book. The hand of God, working on behalf of His people is seen throughout the entire book. God’s plan of deliverance saved the Jewish people from a plot to destroy them. Just like the Jewish people in Esther, God has planned a way of deliverance for us from Satan, our enemy too.

 

Celebrating God’s Promise To Preserve His Children.

Purim has evolved into a holiday about rejoicing. Traditionally on Purim the entire book of Esther is read from a megillah (scroll). As the book of Esther is read the children make a noise with a noise maker every time the name of Haman is read. Also, the name of Haman may be written on the bottom of their shoes and then they stomp their every time the name of Haman is read.

Purim plays are popular. The story of Esther can be acted out in many different ways, and the people really have fun doing it.

A custom of Purim is , Mishloach Manot, the sending of gifts. It is very popular and important. These gifts usually take the form of festively wrapped food to your friends and gifts to the poor.

Children around the world celebrate Purim in many different ways. Sometimes children celebrate Purim by dressing up as Queen Esther, Mordecai, and Haman and parading through the streets. People sometime wear costumes on Purim because Esther had to keep her identity a secret when she first became queen. Some people have a bonfire and burn a replica of Haman

Jewish children in Russia make a  “snowHaman”, After the Purim seudah the entire community gather around the “snowHaman” and burn rags and wood at its feet until the snow is melted.

In Yemen, for Purim the children build a life-sized “Haman” scarecrow. They dress it in colorful tattered  clothes and silly decorations are stuck to it. The “Haman” is placed on a wooden horse. Then the children lead the “Haman” through the streets calling out “This is what will be done to the wicked Haman.”

In Tunisia all the children make figures of Haman. The younger ones use paper, the older children use rags, straw and old clothes to build life-size dummies. All the families gather by the school house. A bonfire is built in the school yard and one by one the children will throw their “Haman” into the blaze. Afterwards, salt and sulfur are poured over the fire and the children take sticks and beat the fire, crying out, “Long live Mordechai, cursed be Haman, blessed be Esther.”

In Afghanistan Jewish children draw pictures and make cut-outs of Haman on wooden board and cardboard. During the megillah reading they throw these pictures on the floor and stomp on them and make a lot of noise when they hear the name “Haman.” When the reading is finished, the adults lift the carpet and children jump up and down just in case Haman is hiding there.

Purim usually ends with a party that includes a lot of music and good food, including a special triangle-shaped cookie called Hammentashen (Haman’s ears).

No matter how you may choose to celebrate Purim, you should always remember that God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome. God is in control, even while He is concealed,

What We Can Learn From The Book Of Esther.

* God will lead our enemies to their own destruction.

* When we take time to find out what the King of Kings likes, what pleases Him, we will find favor in His sight.

* We must prepare ourselves to go into our Kings presence.

* When we take time to find out what our King likes and prepare ourselves to go into His presence, we will be able to be used by Him to deliver others.

* We must be properly clothed (we must cloth ourselves with the righteousness of Christ) – we must prepare ourselves to look like the bride of Christ.

* As we stand before our King, properly clothed and prepared, we will not be separated from His presence by death.

* God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome.

* God is in control, even while He is concealed.

* God is faithful to His people.

* As a child of God, we are in the hand of God’s providence and protection.

* God intervenes on our behalf, even when we are unaware of it.

* You must realize that you are in danger, know who can save you, then go to the person that can save you. Our salvation comes only from God, through Jesus Christ.

* We should never stop rejoicing in the salvation that God has given us.

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