Purim - A Story for Generations
Given By: "Glenn D Blank" On Saturday, February 23, 2013

 

Purim is a story for generations.

It’s a story for our young people, not only because the children get to rash their groggers when they hear the name of … Haman! (Got it?) But also because they get to cheer for your heroine Esther—when the story begins, she was probably a teenager.
And it’s also story for maturer generations, who have the noble Mordechai… the older cousin and adoptive parent of young Esther, with all the mentoring and anxious moments that come with helping a young person come of age!
Esther 2:7 tells us that after her parents died, Mordecai had become the legal guardian for Hadassah (that was Esther’s Hebrew name—just as Moshe is my Hebrew name & Shaul was the Hebrew name for Paul).

Esther 2:10 says that Esther dutifully obeyed Mordecai instructions, including keeping her Hebrew name a secret while among the Persians—that turned out to be crucial to revelation of her destiny.

Esther 2:11 says that “every day Mordecai would walk in front of the courtyard of the harem’s house in order to know how Esther was doing”—I’m sure every parent here would understand his wanting to keep a watchful eye on her adoptive daughter, especially under those circumstances! Oy!

But I hope that our youth appreciate that their parents watching over them is for their good! Oy!
 

Now to really appreciate the heritage and life lessons that Mordecai passes on to Hadassah,
we need to contrast the dim outlook of the hideous … Haman.

Consider the difference between how our heros and villain perceive the events of the story

Haman decides the fate of the Jew by rolling purim, which means lots

Casting lots tends to promote a worldview that events are a matter of chance or even inscrutable fate.

Mordecai sees events revealing the unseen hand of God at work behind the scenes,

who somehow provides “help from another place.”
HaShem our God is never actually mentioned in the book of Esther, set in the secular world of Persia.
Yet HaShem behind the scenes, HaShem is “working all things for the good.” V’eemru?

So Mordecai challenges Esther: “For you have been raised to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Indeed! Young people, listen up!

Life isn't just something that happens to you; it's what you prepare for.

When you’re young, you may think life just happens, in the moment.

But when as you gain wisdom, especially HaShem’s wisdom, you appreciate that life has purpose, and if you want to know your destiny and live it out, you can.
It’s helps if you’re ready, and if you are seeking God’s best for you, with the help of some wise counsel from those older people who are watching out for you.

 

Consider how Esther finds the love of her life, King Ahashveous.

Did she meet him on a blind date? Did she pursue him because she fell in love with him (or as young people say nowadays—in the age of Facebook—she “like likes” him?

No, the unseen hand brought her to the king’s attention, and she obeyed Mordecai’s instruction
not even to reveal her Hebrew name or background.

Nowadays, most young people hook up based on their feelings, but feelings are short-lived,
while God’s plan is for your eternal destiny. V’eemru?

That’s why I urge young people to seek God’s best for your life, based on what He says in the Bible, and also by paying attention to the wisdom of your parents and other wise elders. V’eemru?
The world pushes young people to “date”—the very word “date” implies a momentary event, seeking what feels good for an evening, rather than seeking God’s plan.

Godly wisdom urges young people to “court”—seeking God’s best, God’s plan for your life—

rather than what feels good. It works. I didn’t pursue Pamela because of feelings, but because of God.

God’s best, God’s plan for you, is not just something that happens to you; it’s what you prepare for.

V’eemru?

 

Haman sees things as just happening or the whim of cruel gods of fate.

When things turn against him, he doesn’t understand, even when he was led to the gallows.
Then his ten sons followed him to the gallows.

Yet the Bible promotes a worldview in which we can know God and His will.

 

Young people, do you know the new name of your group (formerly known as the Youth Group)?
That’s right. LaDor VaDor, which means… From Generation to Generation.
There’s wisdom and a heritage that’s been handed over to you, to pick up as your destiny. V’eemru?

 

Mordecai sees the unseen hand of God in all things, working to bring salvation to his people.

He sees that Esther has been “raised up to the kingdom for such a time as this.”

He sees her destiny; he also sees her responsibility to fulfill her destiny.

Esther chose the path of courage and faith.  And for this all Jewry celebrates her.

She is a heroine of faith, through whom the unseen hand brought relief & deliverance.

How many of want to be like Esther?

The same dynamic between our choices and Gods unseen hand, between our faith and God’s will,

is at work in all of our lives, and especially those who live by faith.

Philippians 2:12-13 says: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

You and I do not control all the circumstances of our lives.  V’eemru?

But you do control how you will respond to the circumstances.

The moment of trial comes: you can choose to feel sorry for yourself or you can take courage.

You can complain, how could this happen to me?

Or you can thank providence for the opportunity.

How you respond is your responsibility.  You get to choose. 

You can “work out your salvation,” with HaShem’s help!

For “Who knows whether you have been raised up to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

 

God has a plan for your life. 

If you put your trust in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, you will be raised up in the kingdom of God

God wants you to know and fulfill his plans for you, in His kingdom.

To do that, you must know the King of Kings! 

HaShem has appointed One to bring salvation to everyone who believes in Him—Yeshua the Messiah.

To those who are perishing in a world of chance and fate, Yeshua is hidden.

But to those who see Him, see who he really is, this is a world of destiny, calling and chosenness.

Make sense?  Do you believe that God has a plan for your life?

Then, like Esther and Mordecai, prepare yourself, pray, be ready, for such a time as this!

Have you said yes to God and his special plan for your life? 

Perhaps you have come to Beit Simcha for such a time as this? Let’s pray….

 

Now, let’s make merry! I believe we have some groggers and some Purim songs….