Summary: This is the 10th sermon in the series "God Is Here". This sermon is an overview of Esther and a glimpse of the Feast of Purim. Have fun with this celebration, (even if it's Baptist style- Like we did). After all, we always need a reason to eat at Church.
Series: God Is Here [#10]
IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE
There are times in life that we need to celebrate. Look with me at these final verses in Esther.
Esther 9:20-10:3 (MSG)
“Mordecai wrote all this down and sent copies to all the Jews in all King Xerxes' provinces, regardless of distance, calling for an annual celebration on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar as the occasion when Jews got relief from their enemies, the month in which their sorrow turned to joy, mourning somersaulted into a holiday for parties and fun and laughter, the sending and receiving of presents and of giving gifts to the poor. And they did it. What started then became a tradition, continuing the practice of what Mordecai had written to them. Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the archenemy of all Jews, had schemed to destroy all Jews. He had cast the pur (the lot) to throw them into a panic and destroy them. But when Queen Esther intervened with the king, he gave written orders that the evil scheme that Haman had worked out should boomerang back on his own head. He and his sons were hanged on the gallows. That's why these days are called "Purim," from the word pur or "lot." Therefore, because of everything written in this letter and because of all that they had been through, the Jews agreed to continue. It became a tradition for them, their children, and all future converts to remember these two days every year on the specified dates set down in the letter. These days are to be remembered and kept by every single generation, every last family, every province and city. These days of Purim must never be neglected among the Jews; the memory of them must never die out among their descendants. Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, backed Mordecai the Jew, using her full queenly authority in this second Purim letter to endorse and ratify what he wrote. Calming and reassuring letters went out to all the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of Xerxes' kingdom to fix these days of Purim their assigned place on the calendar, dates set by Mordecai the Jew--what they had agreed to for themselves and their descendants regarding their fasting and mourning. Esther's word confirmed the tradition of Purim and was written in the book. King Xerxes imposed taxes from one end of his empire to the other. For the rest of it, King Xerxes' extensive accomplishments, along with a detailed account of the brilliance of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, that's all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia. Mordecai the Jew ranked second in command to King Xerxes. He was popular among the Jews and greatly respected by them. He worked hard for the good of his people; he cared for the peace and prosperity of his race.”
I want to give you an overview of the Book of Esther before we look at the Feast of Purim.
1. Will always have enemies.
Satan will always do everything he can to destroy us. Not only is Satan our enemy; but he uses anybody he can to trip us up. In Esther, Satan used Haman to try to destroy all of God’s people.
2. Will always have a way to be delivered.
Just when it looked like Haman was going to have victory, God turned the tables on him. Esther put her own life at risk to speak to King Xerxes on several occasions and God honored that. We need to remember that God gives us a way out of each temptation, and that we have the opportunity to be delivered from evil.
3. Have been called to lives of warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
We are in a spiritual battle every day.
4. Have been promised ultimate victory.
Revelation 21:1-7 (NIV)
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”