Terrible things happen in this flawed and fallen world. People hate, they scheme, steal, kill, and destroy for their own needs, desires, lusts, and pleasure. This things are not from God, they are from the enemy. But God is Awesome and Almighty. He uses all those things for the benefit of His beloved bride, His believers.
The day had finally arrived; the day Haman had meant to annihilate the Jews was here. But because Mordecai had stepped in and Esther had revealed the truth to the king, the Jewish people were now allowed to fight back against the people who hated them and would kill them. Haman, the enemy of the Jews meant the day for the obliteration of the Jewish people; God used it to strengthen them and so glorify Himself. Verses 1-10 read,
Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. 3 All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful.5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha 8 and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha 9 and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, but they laid no hand on the plunder.
The Jewish people didn’t win because they were stronger or better at fighting. They won because of God’s reputation. They won because The Lord put fear into their hearts, fear of Him and of His people. Mordecai had gained a reputation as a man of God, highly favored by God. People knew that Mordecai’s God would fight for him. Verses 11-16 read,
That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled.” 13 And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.” 14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.15 The Jews who were in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they killed 300 men in Susa, but they laid no hands on the plunder.
16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder.
Everything Haman had meant for God’s people came back onto their enemies who tried to kill them. The death meant for the Jews was doled out to their enemies. The disgrace meant for Mordecai was poured out on Haman and his family. The Jewish people never laid a hand on the plunder, though the edict gave them the right to do so. But God had told them not to take it this time. They were not killing for the riches, they were killing because God was taking vengeance and showing His greatness to the people. Their riches rotted as God’s people triumphed. There were people who did not fight, who did not hate the Jews. Those people watched and saw the greatness of our God.
When the fighting was over, there was a great celebration. The triumph was immense and celebration poured out. The Jewish people had been handed over to certain death at the hands of the enemy of the Jews, but God had given them a witness in Mordecai and a savior in Esther. He had made a way for their salvation and instead of certain death they were given miraculous life. Verses 17-19 read,
This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. 18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another.
The enemy of the people had wanted their death and defamation and he wanted glory for himself. But God used his evil plans for the good of His people and the Glory of Himself. He wanted the Jewish people to forever remember the day of their salvation and so He had it commemorated and made a feast to be celebrated just as He had commanded other feasts to be celebrated. Verses 20-32 read,
And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,21 obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22 as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25 But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term Pur. Therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them, 27 the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming this second letter about Purim.30 Letters were sent to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth, 31 that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther obligated them, and as they had obligated themselves and their offspring, with regard to their fasts and their lamenting. 32 The command of Queen Esther confirmed these practices of Purim, and it was recorded in writing.
Purim is a joyous, truly fun holiday to celebrate. People dress in costumes, have contests, and take sweets to neighbors and friends. The book of Esther is read and whenever Haman’s name is spoken they all make loud noise and boo to drown it out. It is traditional to eat, drink and be merry.
We are supposed to remember and celebrate our salvation. Salvation is a wonderful and beautiful miracle. If we don’t celebrate it, if our lives don’t testify to it, then how will others ever know how good and awesome God is?
The enemy, Satan means bad for us. Peter describes him as a prowling lion seeking to devour someone (1 Peter 5:8). Paul said he has evil schemes and we are aware of them (2 Corinthians 2:11). But we have The Lord. We don’t have to fall to those plots against us. Satan is a coward and just like the enemies of the Jews in Ancient Persia were too afraid to fight back, Satan is too. We don’t even have to fight him! We only have to submit to God and resist him and he runs off with his tail between his legs. James 4:6-8 says it this way,
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The enemy has bad plans for us but God’s plans for us are good. We are more than conquerors! Romans 8:28-39 says it this way,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Believer, you do have an enemy but more importantly you have The Lord God. If God is for you, who can be against you? Trust Him, know that He has good plans for you and He will bring those plans to fruition. Celebrate your salvation, celebrate the greatness of the Lord.