PROPHETIC PARALLELS, A MESSAGE OF DELIVERANCE, 10.03.20
FEAST of PURIM: THE STORY OF QUEEN ESTHER
FOR ANYONE NOT COMPLETELY FAMILIAR WITH THE STORY OF ESTHER, A REVIEW OF the BIBLICAL BOOK of ESTHER IS RECOMMENDED. For the purposes of this article there will only be selected Scriptural references, in addition to quotes from a MESSAGE by RABBI CAL GOLDBERG, MESSIANIC LEADER OF BETH SHECHINAH, HOUSE OF GLORY, CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA (see References below).
When Queen Vashti refused to parade herself in front of a crowd of leering drunken guests of King Ahasuerus, God quickly moved Esther, a young Jewish girl, into a very strategic position. It was to be no ordinary position; in fact it would place her in a unique situation in which she would play a key role in saving her people from annihilation.
“Purim is a story of God’s supernatural intervention & His deliverance of our people; a great national calamity was averted” (Goldberg, 01.03.20 “Feast of Purim . . .”).
When Esther’s Uncle, Mordecai, a Jew, informed her of the decree put forward by Haman, King Ahasuerus’s Governor, which would essentially exterminate the Jews, she hesitated ever so briefly. Upon considering Mordecai’s stern warning she quickly stepped up to the plate.
“What Mordecai said was very prophetic . . .” (Goldberg):
13 “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.
14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
The story of Esther is remarkable in many ways; but our focus in this brief study will key in on the prophetic aspect, identifying parallels from what Esther undertook and experienced, to the similarities of the believers’ journey, ultimately making connections with the most exciting event yet to come – the event most anticipated by those who are true followers of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah, for “we eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (Phil.3:20).
Comparing the current threat of this COVID pandemic, Goldberg points out that: “There are lots of parallels between Esther and today’s society . . . . everyone was living a comfortable lifestyle; things were going well for them at that time, then, all of a sudden they were under threat. Here today there is much apathy, until all of a sudden with this corona virus, everyone is experiencing panic.” It often seems the case that when complacency sets in, there will be a disaster, or threat of disaster of some sort. It takes a crisis to jar people out of such complacency.
In an effort to jar believers out of such complacent attitudes, God’s Word repeatedly warns that Messiah’s return will catch everyone off guard, that they need to be ready:
27 “For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’[f] with power and great glory.
31 He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
42 Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming.
44 So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
13 We wait for the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua.
14 He gave Himself for us so that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and so that He might purify for Himself a chosen people, zealous for good deeds.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:16
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:2
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The book (of Esther) is a foreshadowing of the end-time believer . . .” (Goldberg, “Feast of Purim . .”). The end-time believer is on the verge of experiencing what Esther foreshadowed:
“that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give the glory to Him!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready,
8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean!
For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim.”
9 Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are
those who have been invited to the
wedding banquet of the Lamb!”
“We have a responsibility to make ourselves ready,” Goldberg states; we are to be like that spotless bride, ready for our coming King. Another parallel that Goldberg aptly points out is that “The purification process that Esther underwent is a picture of the purification process that Christ’s bride must undergo in preparation for Messiah’s return” (Goldberg, “Feast of Purim . .”). “Purim is a month of preparation. We prepare for Passover. We are reminded of, and challenged to purge the leaven from our lives, to prepare our hearts. As we celebrate the Feast of Purim may we be reminded that we are the Bride of Messiah. This is our destiny, and we need to make ourselves ready. We were delivered from death, & we are coming into our time of readiness to be His Bride.”
Goldberg paints a descriptive, and colourfully accurate picture of what God did, demonstrating the parallels, once again between what occurred then, and what believers have/will experience(d), when he states: “God took a nobody, an unknown, and she was given a make-over, and a position of authority . . . . God has a way of making a way for us . . . As Esther was grafted into royalty, so also are we. Everyone of us here were nobodies, but God chose us and grafted us in; we went from nobody to become somebody: children of God.” God is an expert in turning nobodies into somebodies; Jesus/Yeshua said: “I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the sinful” (Matt.9:13; Mk.2:17; Lk.5:32).
1 You were dead in your trespasses and sins.
2 At that time, you walked in the way of this world, in conformity to the ruler of the domain of the air—the ruler of the spirit who is now operating in the sons of disobedience.
3 We too all lived among them in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind. By nature we were children of wrath, just like the others.
4 But God was rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.
5 Even when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Messiah. (By grace you have been saved!)
6 And He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua
3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,
4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),
5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
Just as God removed/reversed the decree of death to the Jews in response to Esther’s brave request, so also did Jesus/Yeshua remove the decree of death from all who would believe in, repent, trust, and follow Him, another parallel of the story of Esther.
I PETER 2:
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
10 Once you were “not a people,”
but now you are “God’s people.”
You were shown “no mercy,”
but now you have been shown “mercy.”
Just as the Jews were chosen then, and became His people, so also are those Gentiles who have chosen Jesus/Yeshua as their Messiah – chosen, adopted, grafted in. And who knows whether those of us who have been chosen, alive and waiting now for Messiah’s return, “have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”(Es.4:14).
1 Thess. 4:16
2 Thess. 5:2
Book of Esther
Rabbi Cal Goldberg, “Feast of Purim, Prophetic Insights,” Beth Shechinah House of Glory, 01.03.20, http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/feast-of-purim-prophetic-insights-rabbi-cal-goldberg/
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.