Today on the Jewish calendar is Purim, the 13th day of Adar. It is said, “Adar is the happiest, most joyous month of the Hebrew calendar. In fact, its motto is “When Adar comes, joy is increased.” It was during this month that the Jews were going to be annihilated but God saved them. Haman presented his plan to the king and the king said, Esther 3:11 “do with the people as you please.” 12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.” Well that just ruined Passover. So here they are again in captivity yet due to God’s grace, again they are just about to be freed just as they were freed in Egypt. Deuteronomy 16:1 [The Passover] “Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv (Nissan) he brought you out of Egypt by night. Once they found out about this edict from the king Esther 3:15 “the city of Susa was bewildered. 4:1 “When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.” Just as God saved them from Pharaoh, God would save them from Haman devious plan.
                Since God already had Esther in place for such a time as this, the Jews were saved. Esther at the risk of her life went before the king and revealed that she was a Jew and pleaded with him to save her people. Esther 7:3 “Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king. 5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?” 6 Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!” In a matter of seconds Haman went from arrogant, happy and high in spirits to terrified as his life was over. Then the plan Haman had for Mordecai was used on him and his estate was given to queen Esther. The problem now was the kings edict could not be changed. So another edict was written. Esther 8:8 “Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.” 9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king. 11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.”
                In the first month the edict came that the Jews would be annihilated. In the third month the salvation was at hand. Not only did he make a way when there wasn’t one, God also gave them power to defeat their enemies. After the new edict came out everything had changed but it was not over yet. They still needed to be faithful that God would save them. Even so the people celebrated. Esther 8:15 “When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.” God always said he would put fear into our enemies. Deuteronomy 31:7 “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” When they were about to attack Jericho Rahab said, Joshua 2:11 “When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”
                Then the 13th day of Adar, the twelfth month came and they overpowered their enemies. Esther 9:1 “On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them. 2 The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king’s administrators helped the Jews, because fear of Mordecai had seized them. 4 Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful. 5 The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them.” Esther 9:20 “Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.”
                Our enemies think they can overpower us but they can’t. When God is with us no man can stand against us. God gave David a promise and promised to keep it. This is why the remnant would survive even in captivity. God has promised us also that we would be saved. That was the plan from the beginning but since the church failed to obey and went their own way, we have been taken captive. These stories about captivity in Egypt and Babylon become very real when you realize your own captivity and how powerless we actually are. This story of Esther brings us great joy because we know that God will always keep his promise to David. Our sorrow will be turned to joy and our mourning into celebration. Yes the moon was beautiful yesterday morning except for some cloud cover. The good news is the moon was still there even with cloud cover, which was the case last night. For the Jews this day is ritual because they really don’t have the joy of the Lord since they have rejected the Messiah. Yes every year they will say this is the month of joy yet they stand condemned because they have not believed. The church today refuses to repent just like the Jews as they continue down a path of destruction. The church did not adhere to God’s word so God turned his face from shining on us and our enemies took us captive.
                But because of God’s promise to David we have great hope that our desolation and captivity is coming to an end. Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you. 9 10 those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Psalm 30:1 “I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. 4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. 11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.”
                Today be joyful. God’s plan will unfold just as He said it would. We just have to wait for His perfect timing. Do not fear; the tables will turn!