The Feast of Purim this year begins tomorrow evening, Wednesday, March 16 and it ends the next evening, Thursday, March 17. Purim is not one of the appointed feasts of the Lord, but it is a feast that will be celebrated throughout all eternity. The feasts of the Lord listed in Leviticus 23 and along with Purim and Hanukkah are historical events but they are also a shadow of things to come, Yeshua, our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, being the substance of them all.
During the feasts the Lord promised to draw near to His people to accomplish a specific work in our lives. I believe this is what David was rejoicing over when he penned the following words: Psalm 133. A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.
David was on his way to Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles with such expectancy that his heart was bursting with joy, praise, and worship. Why? I believe David could already sense the Lord drawing near to command a blessing over His people. There was an impartation that would be released during Tabernacles that David said was so tangible that it was like the anointing oil running down Aaron's beard. Wow! This blessing can only be received in the corporate setting of the feasts of the Lord. When the Hebrew letters and pictograms for Esther are interpreted it says the following: “Behold! A door to the place where heaven and earth touch!” Or it could be said this way, "Behold, the place where God draws near to His people!"
Notes for the audio provided below and attached as a PDF for downloading to print.
The Feast of Purim
Now before we get into the Feast of Purim I feel I need to explain a little of what the feasts are and what they are not because if you are not familiar with them you are probably thinking to yourself right about now, has Samuel converted to Judaism? Nope.
So let me explain a little about the feasts and then we will get into the Feast of Purim. Most Christians who have heard about the feasts or who have read about the feasts in the Bible think of them as the feasts of the Jews. In fact, that’s what they are called by most people, but the truth is they are not called the feasts of the Jews anywhere in the Bible. The Bible teaches that the feasts are the Lord’s feasts. They are Yahweh’s appointed times every year when His people are called to a holy convocation, a sacred assembly.
Leviticus 23:2 NKJV "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
The feasts were given to the Israelites to steward them. They were to teach their children about them by retelling the story of the feast and their children were to teach their children. The feasts were set at appointed times on the same day every year. God gave clear instruction that the feasts were to be taught throughout all generations.
The feasts were times when Yahweh promised to draw near to the people to accomplish a specific work in their lives…if they showed up.
Psalm 133:1-3 NKJV
1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing--Life forevermore.
These seven feasts are appointed times. In addition to these seven feasts, there are two feasts celebrated every year that are not appointed but are recorded in the Bible and the Apocrypha (extra-biblical text).
Though the feasts of the Lord are appointed times kept for thousands of years. They are also prophetic symbolism revealing Yeshua. All the feasts point to Yeshua and His accomplished works or the fruit of His works. The feasts are a foreshadowing of things to come, and Christ is the very substance of them. We know when Yeshua first came He fulfilled the first four feasts, which are called the spring feasts, on the very day they were to be celebrated.
The Feast of Purim (not an appointed time) – Esther 9:26-32
1. Passover – Jesus fulfilled as the Passover Lamb Himself
2. Unleavened Bread – Jesus fulfilled by being crucified and buried
3. Firstfruits – Jesus fulfilled by being resurrected on the third day the firstfruits of many brethren.
4. Pentecost – Fulfilled by the giving of the Word at Sinai in Exodus, and later the Spirit in Acts 2 (both on 7 Sevan)
5. Trumpets / Rosh Hashana – Yet to be fulfilled
6. Atonement - Yet to be fulfilled
7. Tabernacles - Yet to be fulfilled
Hanukkah (not an appointed time) – 1 Maccabees 4:59; John 10:22-23; Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.
Since Yeshua fulfilled the first four feasts on the very day they were to be kept. We can expect He will return a second time and fulfill the last three feasts on the very day Yahweh appointed them to be kept. Yeshua’s second coming will be on the Feast of Trumpets. We just don’t know which one.
So there you have it, a short teaching on the feasts of the Lord mentioned in the Old Covenant. There are also references in the New Covenant to the feasts, but in the context of the believers keeping them.
God’s Festivals in the New Testament
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:5
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
Matthew 26:2, Matthew 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 2:41-42; Luke 22:1; Luke 22:7-20; John 2:13; John 2:23; John 6:4; John 13:1-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NKJK
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
2. Feast of Unleavened Bread
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:6-8
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 2:41-42, Luke 22:1; Luke 22:7; Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
3. Feast of First Fruits (Pentecost)
4. Feast of Pentecost
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:15-22
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
Acts 2:1-21; Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8;
5. Feast of Trumpets*
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:23-25
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 11:15
*Although the Feast of Trumpets is not mentioned by name in the New Testament, the theme of the day—the sounding of trumpets announcing Jesus Christ's return—is mentioned by several New Testament authors as noted in the references.
6. Day of Atonement
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:26-32
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
7. Feast of Tabernacles
Commanded in Old Testament: Leviticus 23:33-43
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Church in the New Testament:
There are two passages I want to share with you that are referring to feasts and seem to contradict each other but they actually do not. Because of this one of the passages is always misinterpreted by people who do not understand the context of the passage or they have not researched it out for themselves. This leads to bad doctrine and much confusion. So I want to clarify them so you are armed and dangerous when the devil tries to steal your blessing the Lord established for you on day four of recreation.
Colossians 2:15-17 NKJV
15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Galatians 4:8-11 NKJV
8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how [is it that] you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
The Feast of Purim
Now that you have a basic understanding of the feasts, let’s look at the Feast of Purim.
Purim – fate, destiny, or lots
Purim – dice or lots, plural form for Pur. פור
Matt. 27:35 “And when they had crucified Him, they divided and distributed His garments (among them) by casting lots so that the prophet’s saying was fulfilled, ‘They parted My garments among them and over My apparel they cast lots.’”
Ps. 22:18 “They part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment.”
The underlying principle of Purim is found in the Abrahamic covenant. “And I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.” (Gen. 12:3)
Anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon. Israel’s enemies have plotted the annihilation of the sons of Jacob throughout the ages. The spirit of Haman is alive and active today.
The historical setting
The historical events recorded in the Book of Esther occurred between the time of Zerubbabel and Ezra – 538 BC and 458 BC. The first “Aliyah” (return of the Jews to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon) was under Zerubbabel in 538 BC, when King Cyrus ruled. See Isaiah 45. To review: Israel had sunk into immorality and idol worship and rejected God. They were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and carried away captive to Babylon – a pagan land of idol worship and life without God. However, at the appointed time God raised up a remnant who would return to Israel (Jerusalem) where His plan of redemption could come forth. Zerubbabel means “those who have come out of Babel or Babylon.” The experiences recorded in the book of Esther happened to the Hebrews that did not return to the Land but stayed in Persia.
The current application
Though Esther is a historic book it is a shadow of things to come. It has profound prophetic application for our generation today. God’s people have been scattered throughout the earth. But He once again is calling them back to the land of Israel so that the final plans for the redemption of all mankind can be set into motion. God raised up a modern-day Cyrus (Harry Truman) and used him at the time that the modern state of Israel was re-born. Today, the call to “Aliyah” has gone forth to every nation. Only a handful of Jews have heeded the call. Certain of God’s plans and purposes hinges on the Jews being in His Land. The forces of darkness are at work to prevent that from happening.
Who are the characters that will take center stage as the great drama unfolds?
The main characters
The King – King Ahasuerus is a Persian monarch who rules over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. He reigns over the vast Medo-Persian empires. 127 is an indivisible number signifying he is the most powerful man on earth at the time of his reign. There was nothing that he did not control. Even Israel and all the Jews living in Jerusalem were under his rule – however, Israel was God’s ‘Goshen’ set aside for the purposes of God and His people.
Mordechai – son of Jair, tribe of Benjamin. He was a descendant of the first king of Israel (Saul) and Mephibosheth (the crippled son of Jonathan with whom David was in covenant. Remember, David, sought him out to bless him and bring him to his table after the defeat of Saul).
Mordechai is a Babylonian name. Hebrews translated it “servant of God” and “pure myrrh”. He was a master of languages. He had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives. He was a righteous man and had a prophet status - and he had raised his uncle’s daughter, for she had “neither father nor mother”. Her name was Esther/Hadassah.
Esther – Hadassah (Hebrew) – means myrtle tree – Star
Myrtle is a common indigenous shrub having dark green, scented leaves and starry like white flowers and berries which are eaten. It is used in the Feast of Tabernacles and is a symbol of victory. Myrtle was put into the tombs of the dead and into the crowns of the Bride.
Esther was a Jew but she was asked to keep her identity “secret” until the appointed time. She was in good company (Moses and Joseph both took on the identity of Egypt until the appointed time).
Hadassah written in Hebrew:
hey samech dalet hey
hey – Behold! Breath of God! Brings divine revelation
dalet – Door, pathway
samech – Circle, support, trust, place where heaven and earth intersect
hey – At the end of a word means to behold what comes from the letters
“Behold! A door to the place where heaven and earth touch!”
Queen Vashti. The wife of the King. Her name means beautiful and she was “fair to behold” (although we never get to see her!) She was a descendant of Nebuchadnezzar.
Haman – Haman was an heir to Amalek, the nation that personified evil, insisted that God was absent in the world and everything happened by chance – exactly the opposite of Biblical faith. The Amalekites had an inborn hatred of the Hebrews. It was said that as long as Amalek walked the face of the earth no Jew was safe.
Deut. 25:17-18 "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you had come forth from Egypt, How he did not fear God, but when you were faint and weary he attacked you along the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear. Therefore when The Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about in the land which The Lord your God gives you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens; you must not forget."
Some say Amalek was the grandson of Esau through a concubine of his (Gen 36:12) and some say he had an earlier ancestry.
Amalek is the singular form of ‘giant’. The Amalekites were known for their ruthlessness, trickery, and tyranny.
Ex. 17 When Moses was moving through the Wilderness of Sin, he encamped at Rephidim (this is the story where there was no water to drink and the Lord told Moses to strike the rock and water came forth), v 8 says, "Then came Amalek and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Aaron and Hur held up Moses's hands while Joshua mowed down and disabled Amalek.
vs. 14 says, "I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens...v16 - Because theirs is a hand against the throne of The Lord, the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
Every generation will face war with Amalek. Read I Sam. 15:1-35
I Sam 14:48; 15:2-8, 15,18,20,32; 27:8; 28:18; 30:1, 13,18 II Sam 2:1, 8,13; 8:12
I Chron. 1:36, 4:43; 18:11 Ps. 83:7
Haman is called Haman the Agagite, so he was a descendant of Agag – an Amalekite. Though the account in I Sam says Saul killed them, there were a number that escaped before he could get to them. I Chron. 4:43 – 500 years later talks about the tribe of Simeon destroying Amalekites so we know there were some left.
The book opens with the details of the vast kingdom.
Read Esther 1:4-7
4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days [in all]. 5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. 6 [There were] white and blue linen [curtains] fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; [and the] couches [were] of gold and silver on a [mosaic] pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble. 7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.
Looking at a ‘counter covenant’ – the enemy distorting what the true plan of Yahweh is.
*According to the rabbis the 180 day banquet was concluded on the 8th of Nissan and began on the 8th of Tishrei (482-3 BCE). This was the anniversary of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In the counter covenant, the King of Persia was saying he had become the heir to Solomon’s glory and throne.
After the 180 day feast for the royals, the king throws a 7 day party for everyone in the capital city. The king has on display the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty.
**The banquet ended on the 8th of Nissan and he then invited the locals to a feast that lasted for 7 days – 9th of Nisan to the 15th – Passover. Remember, the remnant had returned to Jerusalem to celebrate Pesach there – although the Temple had not yet been rebuilt and the remnant was in total disarray.
Back to Shushan - The story goes that the instigator of this banquet was Haman – he was scheming to trap the Jewish people. They forsook the Torah and joined themselves to the world, eating and drinking in what I call the “court of the impostor.”
Read v 9 - 12 In the historical account the king was drunk and the story goes he wanted her to disrobe in front of all the subjects of the kingdom – which she rightfully refused.
Herein ends our historical look at this book. I want to for a moment draw a parallel to the counter-covenant of today. We are at a crossroads – the harlot bride, the one who ends up marrying the anti-Messiah will wake up one day and see what his purposes for her are – she will be required to disrobe. While the true Messiah has shed His blood for His bride, the anti-messiah expects his bride to shed her blood for him. We are plunging headlong into the final act and we must now look at this Book through the prophetic lens.
A King, a Bride, and a Kingdom
Now let's look at the story again....this time as it was intended...Read vs. 4-7.
A king - showing the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his majesty - there is no one more excellent. All the people were there - from the greatest to the smallest in the courts of his majesty - experiencing the glories of his kingdom. All were served in golden vessels in abundance, according to the generosity of the king - v.8 all were served only as each guest desired (remember the covenant types - they are progressive, all are invited, but each one partakes according to his own desire) –
Then on the 7th day of the second feast when the king's heart is merry with wine the king desires to display his bride, Queen Vashti, so that everyone can see her glorious beauty.
Read v 10-11
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, [wearing] her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she [was] beautiful to behold.
What happens on the 7th day? One of the things is that Yeshua will return to His people Israel and re-graft them into His vine.
7 is the number of divine completion and perfection - on the 7th day, God finished His work and 'rested'. He blessed the 7th day and He sanctified it - and set it apart for His purposes. The ancient Rabbis have said that the 7th day is the greatest and most precious gift mankind has received from the storehouses of God. This is why he was calling for His bride - to bestow upon her the most precious gift mankind can receive. Let's look at the word rest again for a moment - remember we also said that in Hebrew thought 'rest' was an act of creation - it is actually a substance, in Hebrew it is called menucchah (החנומ). On this day The Lord is going to release something that every other generation tried to enter but the Book of Hebrews (chp. 3-4) said they couldn't because of unbelief – There is a Sabbath Rest (7th day rest) where every covenant promise is going to be actualized!! When all will be at rest with God and at peace with the world. Eternal life! We must strive to enter that rest!
While in the counter covenant the story goes that the king was "drunk", but here the Hebrew word for merry is tov (טוב) - a good thing, beautiful, best, cheerful, at ease, gracious, joyful - wanting to do good deeds. Excelling to show kindness to someone - for their welfare - good, kind, upright. The King is delighting to bless His Bride with good things.
What happens? Queen Vashti refuses. Her reason is not stated. Everyone can, but sadly, everyone will not. Whosoever will.
God rose up King Cyrus and Zerubbabel to return to Jerusalem - everyone could, but not everyone did. Some remained behind in Persia. God sovereignly brought the state of Israel back today. Why? So the Jews would return - everyone can, but not everyone will. God is calling us to a place of separation and preparation today - everyone can, but not everyone will. God is calling His people out of Babylon and back to Jerusalem today - everyone can but not everyone will. For whatever reason - the King is calling, but they will not come.
Eph. 5:27 Yahweh's purposes have not changed "That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things (that she might be holy and faultless)."
Rev. 19:7 “Let us rejoice and shout for joy (exulting and triumphant)! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb (at last) has come, and His bride had prepared herself." This is actually the realization of Ps. 118:24 -"This is the day which The Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
This is it...the last day. The king wants to display the glory of his bride - the crown jewel of His kingdom - and she says no.
Yeshua wants to display to the world His Bride. That is the context in which we will look at the Book of Esther today...
We'll pick the story up in vs. 13 of chp. 1 The king spoke to the wise men who knew the times...
Read the rest of the chapter.
Est 1:13-22 NKJV 13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this [was] the king's manner toward all who knew law and justice, 14 those closest to him [being] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king's presence, [and] who ranked highest in the kingdom): 15 "What [shall we] do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus [brought to her] by the eunuchs?" 16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: "Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who [are] in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 "For the queen's behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.' 18 "This very day the [noble] ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king's officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus [there will be] excessive contempt and wrath. 19 "If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 "When the king's decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small." 21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 Then he sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.
Let them learn His language.
Esther 2:1-3 NKJV 1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her. 2 Then the king's servants who attended him said: "Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king; 3 "and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women's quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given [them].
Read - Haygay - worthy, fit, suitable
Training for the reign
There are many kingdom principles that we can learn from this book but what we will focus on for this part is found in vs. 3 - the purification of the bride.
Read v 4-12
Esther 2:4-12 NKJV 4 "Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This thing pleased the king, and he did so. 5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name [was] Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. 6 [Kish] had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And [Mordecai] had brought up Hadassah, that [is], Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman [was] lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. 8 So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, [under] the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. 9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best [place] in the house of the women. 10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal [it]. 11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women's quarters, to learn of Esther's welfare and what was happening to her. 12 Each young woman's turn came to go into King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months' preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
If you desired to come before the king you were required to complete 12 months of beauty treatments.
12 - Number of authority and power - governance. Order and protocol. (Back to the pattern)
12 gates into the city of Heaven
Let's go back to the number 7 - the 7th day. Number of perfection and completion. Joining the numbers 3 and 4 – Number 3 = Gimel (Heavenly Godhead - Father Son Holy Spirit - Yeshua Lord of Heaven). Number 4 = dalet - a universal number representing the four corners of the earth - Yeshua Lord of the earth. Melek ha Olam (King of the world) - Lord of Heaven and Lord of earth. Samech - where heaven and earth touch. Behold the door, the way to The Lord of Heaven and earth - He is calling His bride to come into her time of completion and perfection. He is calling to her to make herself ready.
He will equip us to come to a perfect man - Eph. 4:13. READ Eph. 4:10-13
I Peter 5:10 "(After you have suffered a little while)...The God of all grace (Who imparts all blessing and favor), Who has called you to His own eternal glory in Yeshua Ha Mashiach, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you..."
If there is one thing we have learned in these classes it is that there is a pattern to everything - a Kingdom protocol. We cannot do things our way. There is a purification process to which we must submit.
6 months of myrrh, 6 months of sweet spices and perfumes, and the things for the purifying of the women.
He has a process we must be conformed to - our ability to walk in authority only comes after preparation and submission to His protocols.
It is time for the processional! Vision of Bride - straightening her veil...
The climax in the story of Esther is that her actions literally changed the course of a nation. But it was the foundational principles that she practiced that brought her to the place of authority and power to do this. Had she left out one principle the authority would never have been placed in her hands. Yahweh is training a bride today worthy to rule and reign throughout eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We must allow Him to mold our character as Esther allowed Him to mold hers. It started for Esther (Hadassah) with Myrrh!
Measuring spoons – the myrrh anointing….
We read in the story that the maiden that captures the king’s heart with her beauty would become queen of the most powerful kingdom on earth. So those that aspired to this lofty position took very seriously the process that lay ahead.
First, 6 months of myrrh. What is myrrh? When I think of myrrh I remember the story of the wise men – frankincense and myrrh. So we know it was presented to Messiah at his birth. The root for the word myrrh is Marah, which means “bitter”. It is a mercurial substance. It was an important ingredient in the anointing oil used in the Temple. It was used in embalming and it could take away wrinkles.
As I stated earlier, it is found in certain trees (myrtle trees) and shrubs in the Middle East. It is a gummy substance before it is made into a liquid. Inside the bark of the shrubs are ‘tear ducts’ filled with a pale yellow liquid. When the bark is torn, the liquid myrrh flows freely through the wound and hardens into a reddish-brown nugget about the size of a walnut and it is shaped like a tear. The hardened tears are harvested and ground down into a powder and later made into a liquid.
One has to ask the question – why myrrh, why bitterness for half the preparation time? For every maiden who aspired to be the new Queen, she must endure the pain of preparation to receive the crown. (Matt. 20:22, Mark 10 - Yeshua drinking the bitter cup)
It was the crown that made it worth it all. Can you imagine contending – then quitting on the home stretch without the crown??? This is where we are today – the home stretch. Don’t quit now! The crown is within sight!
Scripture lists several crowns:
The everlasting (incorruptible) crown - I Cor. 9:24-25
The crown of righteousness - 2 Tim. 4:8
The crown of life - James 1:12, Rev. 2:10
The crown of glory is called the “conqueror’s crown of glory” – I Peter 5:4. This is an interesting crown because it talks about being a shepherd and being examples and models of the kingdom)
Back to the myrrh - we see with the young maidens in training – half was bitter myrrh and half perfumes and cosmetics. Isn’t that what our lives are? What do we gain from the bitter experiences? Miriyam, the brother of Moses, Miriyam the mother of Yeshua – their names meant “bitter” – bearing the bitterness of the reality of slavery in Egypt. Yeshua’s mother, bearing the bitterness of the sins of the world to bring forth the one who would bear the bitterness once and for all and take the sin away.
The fact is, the season of fruitfulness will not come without complete immersion in the oil of myrrh.
Myrrh anointing oil – it is not composed solely of myrrh – myrrh, however, is the starting place. Ex. 30:23-25 gives explicit instructions about the other ingredients such as sweet-smelling cinnamon, sweet-smelling cane, and olive oil. It’s not just bitterness or suffering.
We’re not talking here about suffering for righteousness' sake or persecution for this reason or that – it is a time when God is cutting through the callousness of your own heart and the things that keep you from His favor. In His mercy, He reveals to you the issues in your life that need correction. It is a submission on your part to the maturation process.
Myrrh was a very expensive commodity in the ancient world. (It was believed that myrrh cured stretch marks, athlete’s foot, impaired digestion, weakened immune systems, mouth ulcers, bad breath, sore throats, and chapped and cracked skin.) Some believe it was one of the most sought-after medicines in the world. Though bitter to the taste it carried healing qualities.
We cannot skip the myrrh season – without it, there is nothing to build on. Skip the myrrh – your beauty is only skin deep.
The Lord Himself is preparing us for this glorious moment when we see Him face to face. He is anointing us with myrrh in order to remove spots and wrinkles caused by the curse of sin. He is preparing us for a glorious wedding banquet!
Hadassah’s name means “Fragrance of the myrtle tree.” That is a prophetic picture of the Brides’ role as Yahweh’s sweet-smelling fragrance to the world around us. Without myrrh, we might smell sweet for a season, but pretty soon the odor putrefies…
Myrrh was also used for embalming – it anoints our old nature for burial. Song of Soloman 5:4-5 “My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.”
Esther accepted the myrrh - step one...because of it she was able to move ahead - but not just because of her beauty…
2:9-10 the last sentence said, Esther had not revealed her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. Mordechai instructs Esther to keep her lineage a secret and she obeys. She is then moved to the best place in the house for the women. Favor and obedience are the 2 ingredients here.
After her 12 mos. of preparation, she is presented to the king - Esther 2:13
"Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace."
v:15 "Now when the turn came for Esther…she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her."
Esther submits her desires to her direct authority - Hegai, the custodian over her life. Her obedience leads to the throne!
v17 "The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti."
Esther is chosen above all others and crowned queen. Her obedience does not stop there...
v20 " Now Esther had not yet revealed her kindred and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him."
At this point she is queen - she could have done anything. But she chose to obey. She submits her life to her earthly custodians, Mordecai and Hegai. Then she gains the favor of the king because her heart is in submission to his lordship. The word Ahasuerus is not actually a personal name. It is a title like president or emperor and it means "The Venerable Father." He is a representative of God the Father. Esther submits herself in both realms so she has favor in both realms - the favor of God and the favor of man.
She is now walking in royal authority - but she is still living in a foreign land with foreign customs, laws, and gods. This is a picture of where we are today. We have spent time talking about the spirit of the Age that has entered into the church today…what is being tolerated and even ordained. We are living in a foreign land with foreign customs, laws, and gods. How will we move the kingdom forward in this environment? There will be difficult choices ahead for those that desire true kingdom living.
Let's see what happens next.
Refuse to Bow
The 3rd chapter opens with the promotion of Haman the Agagite above all the other princes in the Persian Kingdom. Then look what happens in Esther 3:2.
Read 3:2 "And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and did reverence to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him, But Mordecai did not bow down or do him reverence."
Why? Because he remembered, “You shall have no other gods before Me!” This is a moment like Daniel - what's the harm in a little bow to get along??? But he CHOSE not to defile himself...
Read on -
V3-4….That he was a Jew. That’s it! The fairy tale ends, guys. Would that we could say after the coronation that all lived happily ever after – well, that does come, but there’s some bitterness that we go through first…
Let’s see how Haman responds.
V5-6 death to the Jews.
V7 cast lots to find a lucky day for his venture. The month of Adar.
So he plots and schemes and brings a false accusation to the king concerning the Jews.
V8 – 9
Chief priests and scribes made an agreement with Judas Iscariot to sell and kill Yeshua…
Haman was saying – these people don’t belong here. They are of another kingdom from another world and under the laws of that kingdom. They will not abide by the principles of our kingdom, therefore they must be destroyed.
Haman ultimately is described as both the “adversary and enemy” of the Jews. He is a type of Satan – the adversary of our souls. He doesn’t stop at killing the Jews, he steals their possessions and brings the proceeds into the king’s coffers. Like Satan – he came to kill, steal and destroy.
Rev. 12:10 - says the adversary stands before the throne of God day and night - accusing the brethren BUT HE IS CAST DOWN.
Haman says they must be destroyed…but he doesn’t stop there - he makes it LAW.
V10 – 11 – once the letter was sealed with the signet ring it could not be reversed!
V12 – the eve of Passover
Chp. 4 Mordecai’s reaction –
Many people believe Mordecai was a magistrate and sat in the gate of the city with others that had authority. How would he react to this??? People will be watching you to see how you react…..your children will be watching – your family will be watching. Would Mordecai tolerate the worship of a false god? No. He put on sackcloth and ashes. Are we becoming so de-sensitized that we have no reaction to the things that are happening today? Selah. Remember, we have not offered a standard of right and wrong, therefore this generation doesn’t believe they need one.
One more thing – it is written, “your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies” (Gen 22:17) and “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matt.16:18). The gates will not be standing if we compromise. If we expect our children to possess the gates we must model it for them!
IF ESTHER’S PEOPLE HAD ALREADY BROKERED A DEAL TO LIVE IN PEACE AND COMPROMISE THEIR DESTINY WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT IN ESTHER GOING FORWARD WITH HER DECREE?????
If Mordecai had not stood – there would be no victory! Mordecai’s decision to live for principle in the face of death opened the door to the miracle of Purim which will be celebrated throughout all eternity.
Back to the story…Because he was in sackcloth he could not enter the gate of the palace.
When Esther hears of this she sends him garments but he refuses. So she sends Hathach to find out what was happening.
Esther 4:7-13 NKJV 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. 9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: 11 "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, [he has] but one law: put [all] to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days." 12 So they told Mordecai Esther's words. 13 And Mordecai told [them] to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.
V 14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance – deliverance and enlargement – shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house shall perish.
This is a KINGDOM book. Mordecai knows that not only is Yahweh interested in saving Esther and her household from the plot of Haman but he is interested in ENLARGING THE INFLUENCE OF HIS PEOPLE, ISRAEL – in order to fulfill the purpose of His kingdom.
Remember the kingdom of God is the rule, reign, and dominion of God in the earth – gospel means – the God of Israel is reigning on earth…if Haman’s plot was fulfilled, the seed of Abraham – the promise of the Messiah and salvation of the whole world would be finished!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us, a Son is given…the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this!” Is. 9:6-7.
It’s the purpose – not the time. V14 we have used to say you’re here for this time. But rather, you are here for this PURPOSE. Deliverance and enlargement!!! We are to enlarge the kingdom. Joseph was delivered to enlarge. David was delivered to enlarge – a bear, a lion, a giant, a warrior king, a son who betrays him; each deliverance brings greater influence and enlargement. David becomes king over all Israel and look at the influence he has.
Prophetic Word released by Samuel Ramos 2018:
This will be the year that many who have been in the furnace of affliction designed to purify and remove unrighteousness in the mind, will, and emotions and who have persevered, these will become a type of Goshen. In a time of what seems to be total chaos and lawlessness, God will reveal His end-time Josephs (Esthers) to be favored by the Pharaohs (King Ahasuerus) of the earth. When the shaking begins and the world body governmental structures begin to stall and even fail, God will begin to prosper and favor His people in ways that cannot be framed nor contained alone by finances and material things. God’s people must begin to be motivated and moved by things beyond the things of this world. Windows of opportunity will present themselves for God’s people to expand their territories in all realms and fields of industry and in doing so establish a greater degree of the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Angels of dominion and power will be released to link arms with faithful and faith-filled believers who will receive the mark of the Father’s command to be blessed, to be fruitful, and to multiply on the earth. This will be a year of great, and at times, intense dimensional battles, but the victory has already been written and declared from heaven!
Who knows if you are rising now for a season of deliverance and enlargement? We are fixing to face Haman…
If you don’t destroy your Haman’s, they will destroy you – just like Saul! But God provides the way of deliverance, if you take it.
Anti-Semitism continues in the descendants of the Amalekites all over the world today, but God’s program of deliverance and enlargement is still in effect. Each major war or skirmish that Israel has found herself in since 1948 has brought deliverance and enlargement. When Israel was established as a state it was 3000 sq. miles (after they gave 77% of the land away for the “Palestinians” – which is now called Jordan). Today after 5 wars and numerous skirmishes it has increased to 36,000 sq. miles. Deliverance and enlargement.
Beloved, whatever you are facing today – take heart – God will deliver and enlarge.
Esther, as we will see, found that her influence was enlarged. Why? Because she was willing to accept her time of deliverance and face her enemy.
Chp 4:16-17 calls for 3 days and 3 nights of fasting. 14th – 17th of Nisan – fast for atonement of transgressions. Familiar dates???? PASSOVER.
Chp. 5 v 1-2 What happens here? Esther receives favor – not favoritism from the king but a favor born in the heart of God the Father and expressed through the scepter in the outstretched arm of a pagan king. To receive this kind of favor in the days ahead you will have to have gone through and endured the same steps as Esther.
I will also point out that you need to know who you are and why you are here. You represent the Kingdom of God – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Mordecai and Esther knew who they were! They represented not only the Hebrews in Persia but the forefathers, the covenants, the Davidic line, and the coming Messianic Kingdom with all its promises. We come out of that…we’re running a marathon – they have handed the baton to us and we are running the final laps. This is one covenant, one story – the players haven’t changed. Jerusalem has taken center stage, Haman has determined to annihilate the people of God – it’s all about the Throne.
If we want favor – we must stand and then we must make an appeal. God is training us now to legislate from the Throne Room – first things first – like Nehemiah. If we want favor we must first be in the presence of God and emerge with His burden – like Nehemiah. It is only God that can show us favor and give us promotion. And the favor and promotion is for deliverance and enlargement…
Think maturity and preparation. Make an appeal to God first, get His peace and let Him guard your heart. What if Esther had gone in and demanded justice for her people?? A great injustice was about to happen and the king was ignorant of the true implications of his written judgment. Had Esther not acted in accordance with God’s way she and Mordecai would have both been hanged. Esther made a godly appeal – based on the will of the Father in heaven for deliverance and enlargement. She was in agreement with Mordecai and with all the other Jews who had fasted and prayed and sought God’s will in this.
Then, first, she dressed for the occasion. If you want to make an impression – not only is your heart pure but you look like it…you’ve got to wear the right stuff. When Pharaoh called for Joseph to come out of the prison did he run right out? No, he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to pharaoh. Dress like the king expects you to.
v. 4 She was humble – she said, “If it pleases the king” 5:4 “If I have found favor…” “I will do as the king has said.”
She knew she was a queen, but she had a right spirit. Have an attitude check.
Make sure the timing is right. Give time for the Lord to work. She doesn’t immediately unload her burden – she invites him to dinner. And she invites Haman!!!