Posts Tagged Purim

Purim – A Time to Defeat the Haman/Amalekite Spirit

24 March 2016
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daniels statue

 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”  Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner;  and he said, “The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”  Ex 17:14-16

The altar called “the Lord is my Banner (or victory)” shows that it takes complete dependence on the Lord to defeat this enemy.  The altar is the place of worship and sacrifice.  As we worship at the Lord’s altar and declare “He is our victory,” He defeats His enemies!

Joshua

God made this promise to Joshua who faithfully completed his assignment to lead the young generation into the Promised Land.   God’s promise to Joshua, and all succeeding generations, was that if we would do our part, God would be with us and do His part to defeat the Amalekite spirit.   God was already planning to send Jesus (a transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua) as the ultimate Deliverer.

Today we are a Joshua generation, a people rising up to believe God for His promises to manifest.  As Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms, so we are to stand together fighting under the Lord’s banner.  Moses, Aaron and Hur were worshipping and praying while others were fighting.  This is worship warfare – everyone doing their part.

This war will go on in every generation until the Amalekite spirit is utterly defeated.  Be encouraged as you see the people of God awakening and rising up as one to pray and seek the strategies of heaven.  God is faithful and He has already sent His Deliverer.  Victory is assured!

Saul

Six hundred years later, King Saul was instructed by Samuel:

Then Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.  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 Sam 15:1-3

Saul did not have a great track record for obeying God, but God gave him another chance.  He gave Israel the offensive position this time and Saul had the opportunity to redeem himself.   Sadly, he was more concerned with his own agenda.  He pursued all the Amalekites and killed them but decided to spare King Agag and the best of the livestock.  Saul was still set on pleasing people more than pleasing God.   When Samuel questioned him, Saul tried to convince him that he had obeyed.

Those who do not FEAR the Lord end up being rejected by Him, just as Saul was removed from his kingship and the Israelites were not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Disobedience empowers the Amalekite spirit.  When we disobey God, we are not worshipping at God’s altar, but at the altar of a foreign god, where satan and his demons reign.  This gives the enemy power to affect our lives.  On the contrary, when we obey God, it brings blessings to our lives.

David

When David became King, he had the same charge – to wipe out the Amalekites.  He obeyed and the Lord gave Him rest from all his enemies.  That brought blessing to the whole nation.  David destroyed them in the natural, but the spirit of the Amalekites is still at work through those that are willing to worship at that altar.   We, however, have been given the Spirit of the Living God to overthrow every enemy that stands against the purpose of God.  Like David, we can defeat the Amalekite/Haman spirit in our cities and nations.

Other Examples

Between 605 and 539 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar partnered with the Amalekite spirit by attacking Jerusalem, destroying the city, killing many Jews and leading the rest into exile in Babylon.  Here they were held in captivity for 70 years, but God delivered them as He had prophesied by raising up Nehemiah and Ezra to lead the people back and rebuild God’s house.  He used the leaders of the newly formed Medo-Persian Empire to fund this restoration.  Daniel was part of this process.

Haman rose out of the Medo-Persian Empire between 539 and 331 B.C.  seeking to destroy the Jews. Mordecai and Esther were positioned for such a time as this to speak on behalf of the Jews and avert their destruction.  The memorial commemorating this victory is Purim.

When Greece became the next world empire from 331 through 168 B.C., Antiochus Ephiphanes determined to wipe out the Jews.  Judas Maccabees led the revolt and defeated the Amalekite spirit.  The memorial commemorating this victory is Hanukkah.

As Rome established itself as the next world empire in 168 B.C., there were multiple leaders that attacked the Jews.  Nero was the fierce violence behind the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. and persecution of both Jews and Christians.  By this time, the Messiah had already come, fulfilling the prophetic picture of Passover.  Unfortunately,  the Jews rejected Him as their Deliverer.  They are still bearing the curse of their disobedience.  No more appointed times (Biblical Holidays) were  established after Jesus’ victory on the Cross.  We need only remember the ones God has given and embrace the Messiah, He is the One that is highlighted in every feast.

Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there has been much chaos in the nations of the world.    Hitler arose in the West, Islamic territories arose in the East, and now the world is full of this Amalekite spirit that still seeks to destroy the people of God, both Jews and Christians.  God made a way for the State of Israel to exist, to re-establish the Promised Land.  He has been perserving the Jews from their enemies in this battle for land since 1948, but they are under constant threat from their enemies.  God has kept them from extinction, but they suffer greatly because, as a nation, they still have not received their Messiah.  America is facing the same test.  We were a blessed nation because we belonged to Jesus, but if we will not return to the Lord, we will face the same kind of hardship Israel has faced.

This is the picture painted by Daniel’s statue with the head of gold, the chest of silver, the loins of brass, and the legs of iron.  As the return of Jesus draws near, we are beginning to see more clearly who makes up the ten toes of this statue and the revealing of  the anti-christ.  The fiercest battle is still ahead.  The Deliverer of the Jews continues to wait for His people to turn to Him.  In the meantime, these appointed times recorded in God’s Word are here to cause us to remember, rejoice and return to the only One that can truly deliver.  His promise stands firm forever.  He will deliver His people and we shall spend eternity with Him, rejoicing!

Happy Purim!

 

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The Risk of Faith

20 March 2011
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Today is a day of celebration when we, along with the Jews, celebrate deliverance from our enemies.  It is the Feast of Purim, a time in which our sorrow is turned to gladness and our mourning into a holiday.  Let’s take a deeper look at how God is speaking to us today through this appointed time to celebrate.

Esther was an orphan raised by her Uncle Mordecai.  As a Jewish girl, she was given  the name Hadassah.  She probably never considered during those dark days of losing her father and mother that she would become Queen of Persia, a foreign, gentile land.  Through her trials, however, the Lord God was shaping and molding her for what she was to become.  When Hadassah was called, along with all the virgins in the land, to go to the palace and prepare to become a queen, she did not resist.  Rather, she submitted herself to this calling and trusted the Lord to lead her.  She honored the instruction of her Uncle Mordecai to keep her Jewish identity hidden and even to take a Persian name, Esther.    It is amazing to think that the assignment the Lord had been preparing her for was to become Queen of gentile nation and wife of a gentile King.  Yet God would use this situation to also make Esther a deliverer of the Jewish nation.

This might upset some of our religious ideas of how God is preparing to use us.  But if you are willing to submit to God, you will find that His favor will propel you beyond your wildest expectations.  Not only did Esther rise to a position of great material blessings, but she was given authority in the land.  The King gave her the authority to write a decree determining the fate of her people!  Mordecai also got a huge promotion.  He went from being a relatively unnoticed scribe to second-in-command in all of Persia.  These two faithful servants of God had to overcome their fear in order to rise to these positions.  Esther and Mordecai first had to be willing to lay down their lives.  Mordecai realized that by refusing to bow to Haman, he could be put to death.  Esther knew that to go before the King unsummoned could result in death.  They were people of conviction that lived out their faith in God and did the “hard” thing in the face of death.  God was with them all the way, but they had to take the risk.

So it was with all the Jews on that day.  God did not take away the decree that the Jews be attacked, for the Word says the decree of the King could not be revoked.  Instead, the King gave Esther the opportunity to supersede the decree with a greater decree.  This greater decree gave the Jews the right “to assemble, to defend their lives, to kill or annihilate their enemy or anyone that might attack them.”   Clearly, they had to fight for their lives.  They could not sit back and have the situation take care of itself.  They had to prepare their strategy and determine how they would fight, with whom they would fight and how they would save their communities.  Were they afraid?  Probably.  But again, they had to move beyond their fear and with great courage, take up their weapons and fight.  God was with them in the battle.  He gives supernatural grace in these hard situations, but we will never realize it unless we are willing to risk it all.

As we look at our own lives and the circumstances surrounding us in this hour of history, we must strengthen our understanding of God’s grace and our resolve to live by faith.  Just as God told Joshua, so He says to us, “Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  Then we, too, will be delivered from our enemies.

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When the Decree is Sent Against You – CELEBRATE!

16 March 2011
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Are you facing a life-threatening situation?  Is the world crumbling around you?  Are you feeling utterly defeated?  Well, then it’s time to celebrate!

This is exactly what God prescribes as a cure for our plight.  The book of Esther reveals this secret plan of God.  The wicked scheme of Haman was about to be carried out against the Jews.  For centuries, the Amalekites, the family line of Haman, hated the Jews and sought to annihilate them.  Finally, Haman saw an opportunity to carry out this plan and the King approved it.  When Esther and her uncle Mordecai found out about the plan, they sought the Lord with fasting, weeping, and repentance.  Esther had only one hope, she had great favor with the King.  So instead of running to him with tears and pleading for his help, she invited him to a feast, a celebration.  The King took great pleasure in this opportunity to celebrate with his beloved Esther and so asked her, “What is your request?”  With great wisdom, Esther invited him to a second celebration.

During this second time of feasting, Esther exposed Haman’s plot to kill her people.  The King, outraged by this discovery, and used the very tool, the gallows built by Haman to hang Mordecai, to hang Haman.  With Haman removed, Esther now pleaded for the evil decree set against her people to be revoked.  The King gave Esther and Mordecai his authority to overthrow the evil decree.  Word was sent to all the Jews throughout the land giving them the right “to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate their enemy.(Esther 8:11)”  So it was on the thirteenth day of Adar (March 20 this year) that the Jews destroyed their enemies.

The principle is this:  In order to overthrow your enemy and the life-threatening situation you face, first, seek God in fasting, prayer and repentance.  Make sure your heart is pure before Him.  Know that you have great favor with Him.  Second, celebrate Him in praise and worship, declare His majesty and unparalleled power.  Speak His Word, which is your weapon.  His Word, spoken by you and with His authority, overthrows the evil decree set against you.  Celebrating allows you to overcome fear, you gain boldness in His Presence.  The enemy trembles when you begin to celebrate and declare the greatness of your God.  He knows what is to come when God is roused.

The Bible tells that the month of Adar is a month which turns sorrow to joy and mourning to a holiday, that we are to make these days of feasting and joy and send presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.   The Jews call this The Feast of Purim, an appointed time!  (Esther 9:22, 31)

God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  As He told the Jews to celebrate to overthrow their enemy, so He tells us.  Come into His Presence with joy and thanksgiving, listen to hear the strategy He will release, speak it out, then celebrate some more and watch your enemies fall.  Declare “My fear shall laugh!”

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