Purim is the ancient Jewish holiday that celebrates the remarkable story of how the Lord used two faithful believers — Mordechai and Esther — and a movement of prayer and fasting to save the Jewish people from an evil Persian (Iranian) regime determine to annihilate them. We’ll be celebrating Purim as a family this weekend. I hope you will, too!
Last year, you may recall that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu presented President Obama a decorated copy of an Esther Scroll telling the Biblical story, and they discussed the parallels between ancient times and today. There are many remarkable parallels, as I describe here in a video blog.
Here are four ways you can celebrate this year:
- Learn – Jewish families around the world read the Book of Esther as a family to remember all the details of this amazing story, and Christians should, too. To read the Book of Esther on-line, please click here. To read notes of a message I gave to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in 2010 on “Israel, The Iran Threat, and Modern Day Lessons From The Book of Esther,” please click here. Or perhaps you might watch the video blog we made above for The Joshua Fund.
- Pray– We are to praise the God of Israel that He saved and redeemed the Jewish people….we are also to thank Him that He also saved so many Persian people who turned to the Living God at the end of the story (many people miss this part)….and especially this year we should follow Mordechai and Esther’s example by praying and fasting for the redemption of the Jewish people amidst this current showdown with an evil Persian regime that wants to annihilate them, and praying for the Persian people to be saved and redeemed, as well.
- Give — On Purim, the Lord encourages us to give food and other gifts to the poor. As we read in Esther 9:20-22, “Then Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same month, annually, because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor.”
- Go — If you’d like to give to a ministry that is providing food and other gifts to the poor and needy in the Land of Israel, please go to The Joshua Fund’s website at www.joshuafund.net.
May the Lord bless you, and all of Israel, and all of the Persian people this Purim season.