Purim is a lot of fun. From costume parties to hamantashen, Purim celebrations are joyous events.
And who could leave out the raucous amusement of stomping, booing and cheering we enjoy during reenactments of the book of Esther? There’s no doubt, Purim is a happy holiday.
But why do we rejoice? The Purim story is about how God can and does intervene to protect His people. Many of the Jewish holidays are centered on God’s provision and deliverance, commemorating how He stepped in to make a way where there was none. Purim celebrates this aspect of God’s care for Israel and the Jewish people. It also provides an excellent opportunity to rejoice over how He does the same in our individual lives.
Though the book of Esther does not mention God, His hand is evident throughout the events. Consider the following:
· God orchestrated Esther’s rise to the position of queen not long before Haman hatched his plot to exterminate the Jewish people
· It was Mordecai, not another, who overheard the assassination plot against the king, and not until after Esther was stationed in the royal house
· Mordecai’s reward for saving the king’s life was overlooked until just the right time when it would fit best into God’s plan of deliverance
· Esther received the king’s favor when she dared to visit him unbidden, an act punishable by death otherwise
· The irrevocable decree for the Jewish people’s destruction was overpowered by a second decree permitting the Jews to defend and fight for their lives. Their deliverance was overwhelming
God is faithful to His covenant promises to Israel. He has preserved the Jewish people time and again against wicked plans to annihilate them. In the Purim story, we see that He intervenes even in advance, placing people in the right places at the right times to serve as key players in His plans to provide for His people. Likewise, He is active in our lives today.
Remembering God’s goodness and provision inspires thankfulness, which, in turn, ignites joy. And Purim is about joy!