Haman rose to power as the king’s right hand man over the Persian Empire. Mordecai, a servant at the king’s gate and a follower of God, refused to bow down and pay Haman respect like the other servants so he wouldn’t dishonor God. Haman grew angry at this perceived disrespect – so angry that he obtained the king’s permission to destroy not only Mordecai, but his entire people – the Jews. Haman cast lots, or purim, to choose the date this atrocity would occur.
Mordecai sought the help of his cousin, Esther, who just happened to be queen over the empire. He suggested she use her position as queen to implore the king’s prevention of this atrocity – but approaching the king without first being summoned by him was punishable by death. Would she risk her own life to save others?
Mordecai reasoned with Esther, “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and
On March 9, the Jewish nation will celebrate God’s deliverance of His people from the Persians during the festival of Purim, named after the lots Haman used. Purim is celebrated by reading the book of Esther aloud. It’s traditional for those listening to make a commotion every time Haman’s name is mentioned – a total of 56 times!
Purim is also marked by donating to charity in honor of Esther 9:22, “…the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” But what fun would a festival be without good food? The day ends with a delicious dinner and a special dessert called “Haman’s Ears” – a jam-filled, three-cornered pastry – because Haman received his “just dessert.”
A PURPOSE AND A PLAN.
Like Esther, God has a purpose for each of His children. Psalm 119:12, 16 says, “For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb…Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” We can take comfort that God didn’t just know we were going to be born, but intended each of our days to have purpose before the foundation of the earth was even laid.
While Haman left the date of the Jew’s destruction up to chance by casting lots, God doesn’t gamble with our lives. He has specific reasons for having each of us in a particular place at a particular time. II Timothy 1:9 says, “God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” There are lessons we can learn, people we can bless, and opportunities for our faith to grow, living a life of purpose to God’s glory and because of His deliverance, as the Jewish nation so aptly celebrates this time of year.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Family Radio Staff