Holidays are found throughout scripture. Jesus died on the Jewish holiday of Passover and He rose from the dead on the Feast of First-fruits. The Holy Spirit came on the Jewish holiday of Pentecost. As we look at the rest of Esther 9-10, we are going to learn about the Jewish holiday Purim.
In the second half of Esther 9, we read about the celebration after the Jews gained relief from their enemies. Can you imagine the sorrow, fear, dread, and despair when they heard the edict to kill all the Jews? Imagine the joy and jubilation when the edict was reversed and they were saved! It was like Christmas! They were giving each other gifts! They were celebrating and thanking God. And, these days were to be “remembered and celebrated by every generation, family, province, and city, so that these days of Purim will not lose their significance in Jewish life and their memory will not fade…” (v. 28).
Holidays are good and significant. They help us remember what God has done and help us leave a legacy for the next generation. We should celebrate them. Ignoring holidays as a church takes away our national context. Instead, on holidays, we can take the opportunity to pray and thank God for our freedoms, pray for our country, repent of our sins, cry out for a spiritual awakening in the nation and pray for revival in the church. So often, we argue among ourselves over how to celebrate holidays, but we forget who the real enemy is. The 4th of July is this week and we should celebrate! Paul was not ashamed of his nationality. He said in Romans 11:1, “For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Our freedoms were purchased with the blood of patriots. We should give honor where honor is due. Our allegiance to Old Glory is significant, however we must always remember it is secondary to our allegiance to the King of Glory. We do not want anything, including patriotism, to be a stumbling block to the gospel. We should celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, holidays, etc., to share what the Lord has done and to impact the next generation.
In Esther 10:1, a tax was imposed. There are 15 verses in our passage on celebrating a holiday and only one on taxes, so I will be brief on this point. Jesus and Paul both encouraged people to pay their taxes. Taxes are how government and society function. Thank God for roads, schools, teachers, law enforcement, and firefighters! Thank God for tax money and defense spending that make both our national and local economies strong. Take legal tax breaks, but after that, whatever you owe you should gladly pay. Paying taxes is the duty of a citizen, and Christians are called to be good citizens.
Esther was Queen and Mordecai “was second only to King Ahasuerus” (10:3). We need to teach our children they can pursue any career they want to pursue. You are mistaken if you think you have to be a preacher or a missionary to be used of God. Most don’t need to go to seminary to be used of God. Go to business school, vocational school, and do what God has gifted you to do. Liberty does not have four locations. We have over 10,000 locations! LibertyLive.Church is wherever you are! Every member is a missionary and minister. God uses ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things!
The story of Esther is our family history. The salvation of the Jews is our salvation. God used Esther and Mordecai to save the Jewish people from death and destruction. If there were no Jewish people, there would have been no Jesus. If no Jesus, no salvation. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is the one who saves us from eternal death and destruction. Earthly Kings and Kingdoms will all pass away, but He is eternal. Our hope is not in political leaders, government leaders, or any nation. Our hope is in Jesus!