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Purim- A season of Danger, Intercession and Deliverance
24.03.2016, Reuven and Mary Lou Doron
Purim--the Glorious Church in Intercession
The Church and Israel have entered the final month of the Biblical year, the month of Adar. Soon we will celebrate the Passover in April, commemorating our great exodus from slavery, but not before we pass through the lessons of grave peril, bold intercession, unwavering faith, and great deliverance as they are told in the Book of Esther. Before Passover's new beginning comes the great test of Purim.
The Feast of Purim is celebrated this year on the 24th-25th of March within the Hebrew month of Adar, the twelfth month of the Biblical year. It is a celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from sure annihilation during the reign of the Persian King Xerxes I, commemorating a season of danger, fasting, confrontation, deliverance and eventual victory.
This year, Purim begins at sundown on March 23.
Prophetic Shadows of Heavenly Realities
The story of Esther is a prophetic picture in types and shadows of the intercession of the Bride of Messiah on behalf of the people of Israel. God's providence shines through this dramatic account, empowering the reader with faith and courage to stand up and to believe even when all hope is gone. If your life and circumstances bear the yoke of hopelessness and impending calamity, then Purim's message is for you too.
This story is rich with powerful prophetic types: AHASUERUS is the sovereign king reigning over a vast kingdom of many peoples, among them a remnant of the people of Israel. VASHTI, his queen, represents the "ransom principle," having lost her royal position (and probably her head) to make a way for ESTHER who will risk her life to save God's people. Both queens had beauty and courage, and both defied the king's decree. Vashti, by not appearing when summoned, (Esther 1:12), and Esther, by appearing without being summoned (Esther 4:16) before the same violent and volatile king.
ESTHER, the beautiful and humble maiden of Hebrew origin, is a type of the Bride of Messiah, the glorious Church in intercession. MORDECAI is seen in the role of the godly, older, Jewish presence that does not bow down to any god but God, and can still mentor, train and exhort the intercessors. His character reminds us that "...all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12), and that there is a price to pay for serving God in this age.
HAMAN, with his brutal plan to annihilate the Jewish people (and by that to destroy the Messianic lineage of the promised Savior of the world), demonstrates the ever-present anti-Christ and anti-Jewish diabolic drive that is the ruling dark principality of this age. This same spirit is active again today in the same land of Persia, modern day Iran.
The Setting of the Stage
Ahasuerus the Persian King had been defeated badly by the Greeks at Salamis at 479 BC. Known for his emotional extremes, the king sought solace in his harem and threw a grand royal party in his palace of Susa. Queen Vashti, whose renowned beauty was part of the program, defied her husband's summons to show herself in public (some commentaries say in the nude) and was consequently deposed and probably executed.
Esther, raised from obscurity like a Biblical "Cinderella," won the royal "beauty pageant" and, under Mordecai's wise counsel, negotiated the treacherous and dangerous politics of this wicked pagan court. Facing impending genocide by Haman's vindictive scheme, and empowered by an extensive prayer and fasting campaign, Esther gained the king's favor and made powerful intercession on behalf of her people Israel.
What's In It For You?
Purim is a tale of danger, treachery, humility, courage, faith and great victory. Like other godly women, Esther affected great influence by her beauty of character, her faith and her humble spirit.
Many women today can drink deeply from her character as it is described in I Peter 3:1-4, saying, "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
Esther was a woman of valor and action who didn't shrink back from standing against evil and for the truth, yet she did so in the right spirit and was empowered by fasting and prayer.
Purim is a tale of integrity and faithfulness as Mordecai took his quiet position protecting the king from an assassination plot without taking any recognition for himself. The unchanging principle of sowing and reaping is proven in his life as his righteous acts and godly choices produced in time the fruit of honor, favor, and high position in the royal court. For some of you who serve unnoticed and unrecognized in obscure places and difficult circumstance, remember the apostolic encouragement, saying, "...let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." (Galatians 6:9)
Purim is a tale of divine providence, justice and vindication. Through fasting and bold intercession, Haman, the archenemy of God's people, was exposed and defeated. Not only have the gallows he prepared for Mordecai become the instrument of his own execution, but the entire spiritual atmosphere in the kingdom changed and the fear of God was restored because of Haman's demise and the Jewish people's victory.
According to the king's second (corrective) decree "...the Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying; and they did what they pleased to those who hated them." (Esther 9:5)
In addition, "...in each and every province, and in each and every city, wherever the king's commandment and his decree arrived...many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for the dread of the Jews had fallen on them." (Esther 8:17)
The War is Generational
According to Scripture, Haman was of the bloodline of the Agagite (Esther 3:1), whose ancestor was none other than Agag, king of Amalek, Israel's ancient and ruthless foe. Mordecai, on the other hand, was a descendant of Kish (Esther 2:5), a Benjamite, out of whose loins was born King Saul.
Concerning the Amalekites who had been hostile to Israel ever since the Exodus from Egypt, God commanded Saul, saying, "I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel...Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Samuel 15:2-3)
In other words, Amalek's depravity and corruption were so severe that even our merciful Father commanded their utter annihilation lest they contaminate the region.
Saul, however, compromised and did not destroy his enemy. In disobedience to God's word, he spared the spoils of war and the life of King Agag in a bout of unsanctified mercy and greed. As a result, not only did Saul lose the throne (I Samuel 15:22-23), but Amalek was allowed posterity (though Agag himself was soon slain by Samuel). All too often such politically correct, humanistic and apathetic attitudes toward God's commands render His people incapable of fulfilling His purposes, forcing the hand of the prophetic to do the king's job.
Though King Agag was slain, surviving future Agagite generations continued to be fueled by the same diabolic hatred, and the campaign against the people of God continued on and on. Nearly five hundred years later, we find Mordecai and Haman, both of the bloodlines of Saul and Agag, again locked in this mortal battle of the ages. In other words, the war will go on and on, from generation to generation, until the enemy is finally destroyed.
Our failure to execute God's judgment over sin and evil, especially in our own lives, will only perpetuate its destructive impact and invite graver visitations upon our descendants. Unchecked and unrepentant, sin only escalates and increases over time, and the prophetic admonition is alarming saying, "They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind." (Hosea 8:7)If we don't repent of our sins, our children and our children's children will bear the brunt of the ongoing warfare as did Mordecai.
The Intercession of the Bride
It was the 13th day of the month of Adar which Haman had selected for the annihilation of the Jewish population of the Persian Empire. Authorizing his request, the king issued a royal decree sealing the fate of his Jewish subjects. Queen Esther, however, who was already providentially positioned in the palace, interceded before the king and saved her people. Her weapons were humility, beauty, fasting, faith and great courage (Esther 4:14-17).
Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah, meaning a Myrtle tree--a low tree (humility) with shining green leaves adorned with snow white flowers (purity) and bordered with purple (royalty), emitting an exquisite perfume. Yet her Jewish identity was kept hidden. She is pointing prophetically to the true Church who also is of Hebraic roots though called to a heavenly position. Regardless of her royal office, Esther would not have escaped the fate of her Jewish brethren should Haman's plot have succeeded, just as today the true Church is intimately linked to the people of Israel, their fate and their destiny.
Other than the intercessory ministry of the Lord Jesus Himself, we cannot find in the Word of God a more dramatic, dangerous, or powerful intercession than that of Esther. Among the great intercessors of the Bible, none other portrays so clearly and vividly the position and ministry of the Bride of Messiah toward God on behalf of His people Israel.
The Right to Suffer and to Fight
Responding to the beauty, courage and passionate appeal of his bride, and seeing the treacherous nature of Haman, the king issued a second royal decree overriding the first one which sanctioned the annihilation of the Jewish people. This second decree now authorized and deputized these very victims to rise up, assemble together, pursue and destroy their enemies. In it "...the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them...and to plunder their spoil." (Esther 8:11)
In fact, the king's first decree, though seemingly fatal, served to expose and flush out the enemies of God's people so that they might be destroyed at the second decree. The end of the story is in the hand of the Lord, and those of you who have suffered under the enemy's oppression will also be given authority to pursue and conquer your foes as you do it God's way.
As the Word exhorts us, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober (spirit), be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in (your) faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen (and) establish you." (I Peter 5:6-10)
Your Vindication is in Him
Prophetically, the month of Adar is a season of great danger, fierce battle and eventual victory; a season of fasting, fighting and rejoicing. Those who call upon the name of the Lord today and are led by the wise counsel of His Spirit are in a position to enter into bold intercession before the King of kings. The enemy has pronounced murderous plots against Israel as well as against many of you. But God, who is sovereign over all, has promised to pass judgment in favor of the saints.
So great was the victory and deliverance of God's people that "...Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus...obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day... because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday..." (Esther 9:20-22)
The original Purim drama came to a happy end with a great victory and deliverance as the "formula" of humility + integrity + fasting + intercession was proven undefeatable. The sovereign king granted the bride's powerful intercession; the enemy's plans were turned upon himself; and all things worked together for good for those who loved God and remained true to His purposes. And yet, this great intercession still stands to be fulfilled one last time at the end of this age.
The Final Battle
A Bride of Hebraic roots, most excellent of maidens, prepared and perfected for royalty, will yet enter the presence of the King of kings and make powerful intercession on behalf of His people Israel. The fate of the people will once again rest in the hands of the Bride. Are you willing to join with those who pray and plead with God during the coming prophetic Feast of Purim? Haman's spirit is alive and active today, and Israel is still on the devil's cross-hairs. Will you be that Bride?
We are grateful and honored to be a part of Heaven's army of intercessors spread all over the world. In the Spirit we are one, and through that same Spirit and by God's grace we shall accomplish this crucial intercession.
Reuven and Mary Lou Doron