Insights from Purim:
God is Faithful When His People Are Not
– and the rest of humanity – place ourselves in danger when we ignore
God’s voice and His mighty deeds which ascribe glory to Him alone.
The holiday of Purim reminds us of this real and present danger
when God’s people – the Jews and Christians– ignore His grace and
faithfulness to His purposes of redemption. (The Holocaust is another
grave reminder of failing to heed the Providence of the LORD to
keep His prophetic and covenantal promises). The LORD remains faithful
in His love and for His Holy Name’s sake, even when we do not.
4:13-14 God’s sovereignty and faithfulness, and our own personal
Ezra 1:1-4 the proclamation of Cyrus, King of Persia
Purim is the only major Jewish holiday instituted outside the Land
events which happened to the Jews at the time of Queen Esther and
Mordecai occurred about 50-60 years after King Cyrus had issued
the call for the people of the LORD to return to the Land of Israel
to rebuild the Temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. Most of the Jews
did not go up but rather remained in the galut (exile). They apparently
preferred the life amongst the people who served other gods and
had little taste for returning to the harsh life of rebuilding society
under the Hand of God.
the LORD had left some believers in Persia in order to preserve
His people and a testimony for His Name. The scroll of Esther is
notable for not mentioning God directly. While it is evident throughout
the book that the God of Heaven was overseeing and intervening through
events here on Earth, it is also a picture of the galut mentality
that the Name of the true God is forgotten by His people. Practically
and spiritually the people are in exile: they do not know who their
God is, and have no personal relationship with Him. They celebrate
their freedom like pagans rather than in a manner worthy of Him
who has called them to serve Him who is Lord over all.
is the present reality of Israel – both within the land and without.
Because of unbelief and unwillingness to return to the LORD, the
Father of Israel, through His beloved Son Yeshua, the Jewish people
continue to find themselves threatened with annihilation by those
who oppose them for being the people chosen by God, and primarily
rely on their own skills and power to prevail.
as the LORD has kept His Word in the past – when He preserved and
redeemed His people out of Egypt, and again delivered them from
destruction by their enemies like Haman, and again saved a remnant
through the Holocaust and re-established a sovereign nation-state
in our own day – so too will God be faithful to Himself and to Messiah
Jesus, who died on the cross to allow God to accomplish all His
purposes for His people, and bring the Jewish people and Israel
through its worst crisis. In doing so, He will also save many other
people as well, just as in Egypt, Persia, Europe, when they saw
Him act on behalf of His chosen – even while they were outside His
full covering. Praise the LORD!
9:27 - For believers in Jesus – whether Jewish or not -- the story
of Purim has lessons for us:
is God’s Name? – Many who are called Christian/Messianic live their
lives as if in exile: not actively representing the Kingdom of Messiah
in the country in which we live; not confessing the Name of Jesus
before men out of fear or because of what public faith in Him requires
of us. We can either serve the Lord Jesus or not, willingly or not,
but He will ever remain faithful and true to His name.
outside our worship. – There are local churches who, in the Lord’s
eyes, have kept Him outside; they are in spiritual exile, yet He
calls to those inside to repent and return to Him, and so He to
spirit in celebrations. – Many called Christian celebrate their
sacred days in a manner more like the heathen than honoring the
holy God who purchased them with His own blood.
Vengeance is YHVH’s. – When we are far from the close relationship
with our Father in Heaven, we often resort to carnal and desperate
means for protecting ourselves from our enemies. That itself should
be a clue to us that perhaps we are not where we should be. Vengeance
is the LORD’s! He will judge and war against those who curse His
people and seek to wipe them out.
suffers for righteousness sake. – Mordecai and Esther were willing
to suffer for righteousness sake in order to honor God and to seek
protection for their people against their enemy, who only seeks
his own glory. They represent a believing remnant who fear the LORD
and identify with His/their people.
and the Church will prevail! – The faithfulness of God to Israel
gives comfort and hope to the believers in Jesus. God’s sovereignty
and providence work all things together for good to those who love
Him and are called according to His purposes. No weapon formed,
not even the gates of Hades, will prevail against the people whom
God has chosen for His inheritance and glory!
Howard Bass Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation
in Beer Sheva firstname.lastname@example.org
is the way,” Yeshua said, “that leads to life.” Here the congregational
leader of Beer Sheva, the congregation which was the target of attack
by a religious mob on December 24, 2005, speaks to Jewish and Christian
believers alike. It is a reminder to us all that we must ‘keep the
first thing first.’
When our priorities right, our prayers will follow suit.
Incense of Prayers
of the Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation in Beer Sheva, Israel.
Theology began a long time ago, when first, Jews and then, Christians
went to the left or to the right of the Spirit of Truth of God the
Father’s Word. We replaced the commandments and promises of God
with traditions of men and hope in this world, which opposes the
Kingdom of YHVH God and of His Anointed One.
Messiah and Son of God Himself has taught us to pray firstly for
the sanctification of our Heavenly Father’s name, and that HIS will
be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. As believers in the Lord Jesus
Christ (I’m writing English, and this name honors Him), we
are commanded by Him to seek first God’s Kingdom and His
I may turn aside for a moment after what I’ve just written: if
born-again believing Christians get involved with all kinds
of unprofitable nonsense over the name of our Lord and Savior, we
can certainly not expect much favor from God. In this we show ourselves
to be like the Jewish people who, too, have made a mockery of The
Name of the God who chose us! All this done in the interest of sanctity
all her significance and importance in God’s plan and purposes,
Israel is not the focus in His sight: Jesus Christ is.
He—or the nation—who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is the
liar, or, in other words, is the false prophet. He—or the religion—that
denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist, or, in other
words, the one who would both take the true Messiah’s place and
also oppose Him.
Messiah is anointed to be the Prophet greater than Moses; the High
Priest according to YHVH God’s word to Melchizedek; and the King
of kings, heir to the throne of David and to the Father’s. Those
who do not believe in Jesus/Yeshua for who He is also do not have
the Father. This is no small matter.
is a very big matter when it comes to our prayers, which are offered
as a sacrifice to God on the basis of Jesus’ death on the
cross for our sins and the sin of the world. Do we know that we
are forgiven? Is the world crucified to us? Are we crucified to
the world? Those who do not worship God in the way which HE has
prescribed are idolaters, whether they profess to believe in only
one God or not. Jesus is the Way, and He has shown us the way.
is still under God’s righteous judgment despite being partially
re-established in part of the land promised to Abraham, to
Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants forever. Israel/the Jewish
people still resist the Holy Spirit of God and persecute Yeshua
and His church, especially when Jews are part of the composition
or Jews are the object of the good news of God’s grace and righteousness.
the other hand, Christians who currently believe and understand
God for His purposes regarding Israel – as relevant and significant
as that is – are not deemed more righteous in God’s
sight than some other believer who, at present, does not. There
are many believers (and even unbelievers) who stand with Israel, but are missing His mark
in other vital areas pertaining to standing with Jesus and manifesting
fruit of holiness and righteousness in their life. And, likewise,
there are some dear saints and prophets of God who, for whatever
reason at present, just don’t see it, but are precious to God and
to many others. Humility (in bold letters!) is the woof and web
of our God our Father’s character and of His Son.
Everything that is taking place in the Middle East and the rest
of the world must be seen and understood in the light of the revelation
of Jesus Christ. He is coming again to judge the nations – including
His chosen nation Israel – and to rule them in righteousness and
justice. These terms, in righteousness and justice, are
related but they are not synonymous; they are too often confused
and misused. Without understanding this perspective, our prayers
and intercessions will be short-sighted or wrongly motivated.
fervent and righteous prayers of the saints which God has been “collecting”
-- until the appointed time to begin answering them – have to do
with the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Lk 18:1-8; Rev 8:3-6).
When we grasp that the justified believers from all history
who will have part in the first resurrection will be reigning priests
with Messiah over Israel and the other nations, then it is evident
that neither is the Church “Israel” nor Israel “the Church!” These
replacement theologies have made void the manifold promises and
blessed hope of all creation with false expectations and fables!
Jesus promised that when the Son of Man returns He “will bring”
righteous justice, but added “when the Son of Man comes, will He
find faith on the earth?”
religious and secular who trouble the believers in Israel (and elsewhere)
are a mixture of God-fearers who really believe they are doing God’s
will, and of “worthless, lawless people” (bnei belial), or
rabble rousers. By the grace and power of God, some of these will
ultimately repent and be saved, and many will not. Better to be
saved NOW through repentance and faith and to have part in that
blessed and holy first resurrection, than to wait in uncertainty
whether God will show mercy on them or not.
the Torah, a false prophet was to be killed. According to rabbinic
Judaism, Jesus is considered the false prophet deserving of death.
Therefore, we who believe and follow Him in our worship of God are
likewise under a death sentence. As the Lord informed us, there
will be those seeking to kill us, thinking it to be God’s will.
This is what the “great” Jew Saul was doing before he “saw the Light”,
and became “little” (Paul) in his own eyes.
God has warned that He will judge those who divide HIS land, He
also allows room for it being divided as long as the Jewish
people are unrepentant and refuse to return to Him through Jesus.
This Jesus, whom He sent to restore not only the tribes of Jacob
and the preserved ones of Israel, He sent also to the Gentiles who
are called by His name. “Stumbling will come, but woe to him through
whom it comes!”
Israeli Jewish people do have claims of sovereignty in the land
from the LORD—but without receiving Jesus, who alone comes in the
name of YHVH, they have no blessings and no peace or security.
Arabs do have a right to live within the State of Israel and to
be treated justly. The “strangers in the land” are those gentiles
(non-Jewish Israelis) who are with the people whom God has
chosen and who honor the God of Israel. The “alien, or foreigner
in the land” is a “thorn in the side”, ones who do not join themselves
to the calling and destiny of Israel.
Arabs and other gentiles have no claims of sovereignty over
the land of Israel, but the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob
is offering both Jews and Arabs much more in Christ now than
what both sides are in fear and conflict over now. And this is
our message to them: the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and the Kingdom
of God—as they receive the forgiveness of their sins, are baptized
and filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive the free gift beyond
all imagination of eternal life with God the Father and with Jesus
prayers and intercessions for the salvation of Muslims – who deny
the Father and the Son – are of major concern to God. Being gentiles,
the one true living God will give them a new heart and a new Spirit
with which to show mercy to Israel and to provoke
Israelis to jealousy for their God. What a deliverance from darkness
to light, from revenge born of bitterness to love born of the triune
God! The gospel is the power to save both Jews, Arabs, Greeks,
are not Israel’s savior. We are only witnesses of the One who is
Israel’s savior, and we serve Him in God’s wondrous plan of redemption.
we believers are facing in Beer Sheva, in Arad, in Rishon LeZion,
in the Galilee around Tiberias is not something strange. Many other
believers in Jesus as Lord and Messiah have suffered – and are even
now suffering – for His name’s sake. The enemy is waging a war
of attrition to wear down the saints.
God for Jesus in Whom we have the victory through His resurrection
and the hope of our ultimate redemption! May we all be filled with
the Holy Spirit in order to love and to bless those who now hate
us and curse us, even as we pray and proclaim the Truth. We want
to be faithful to Him who has shown such love to us, and be so used
of God that the Holy Spirit will convict them of righteousness,
of sin, and of judgment. Let our salt be salty and our light shining.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!