READING THROUGH THE BIBLE: 2008 - 2009
The Book of Esther (Part 1)
Esther has 10 chapters.
If you read 3 chapters a day
you will finish the book in 4 days
The book of Esther is profound. If there were one book of the Bible to be chosen that depicts the sovereignty of God over Israel perpetually and His promise to them as a people, I would choose the book of Esther.
The Jews in the Persia-Media Empire under king Ahaseurus were there as a result of the Babylonian Captivity. (See Ezra and Nehemiah). After the conquest of king Nebuchadnezzar, the captives were set free. They were free to return to Israel but did not. Today we understand this as Aliyah meaning to "Go Up" or return to Israel.
An excellent book on modern day prophetic warnings concerning the Jews, the nations and Aliyah was written by Tom Hess: Let My People Go.
I recieved a special 7th edition of this book in the mail in March 2004 as a gift. There was no note or explanation, just the book in a white wrapper from the publisher. It was sent between Purim and Passover in remembrance of Esther's fast to save her people in accordance as the book states with Joel 2:17, which says, "Spare thy people O Lord." Their prayer for this edition in particular
"We pray this 7th edition will help spark and kindle a flame that will grow and encourage a massive Aliyah movement (immigration to Israel) from the U.S.A. to Israel. The book includes 700 verses from the Tanach on Aliyah, and especially a growing desire among the Jewish people to seek, know, praise and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in their homeland Israel."
But these words from the introduction have stayed with me --
"We welcome you home through the gates of Israel and Jersusalem to the covenantal promised land of Abraham. With the help of the God of Israel, you are more than able to possess the Land of Israel to prepare the way for the glory of the Lord to be revealed (Isaiah 40:3-5).
I recommend it highly. More today than ever before.
WHY THE INTRODUCTION?
The book of Esther as I read it again became so very timely in what it reveals and should not be overlooked in it's significance for us today. I planned to just post the commentary but this morning the Lord woke me early to read it again and when I was finished this is what resulted. Additionally, the Jewish New Year just began and the Days of Awe.
Rosh Hashanah (Means head or beginning of the year)
Jewish Year 5770: sunset September 18, 2009 - nightfall September 20, 2009
NOW LET'S BEGIN THE COMMENTARY:
Because they refused to leave the Gentile kingdom of Persia-Media and return to their homeland and Jerusalem, God whose promise also includes the troubles that ensue for Jews and the nations in foreign lands, is not even mentioned in Esther which by the way is her Gentile name. Her Hebrew name is Hadassah. This is important for understanding how much the Jews had blended in with the Gentile nations around them.
But we know He is behind the scenes watching over the Jews and orchestrating the events that transpire there. God is ever merciful and as He has promised in Isaiah and hundreds of other places in the Word--
Isaiah 49:25-26 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. 26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
No matter where the Jews are in the world, past, present or future, God's promise and mercy covers them as with a blanket. But the troubles also follow them and there is no better place for the Jews than in their own land. The hatred the world has for the Jews is without cause. It comes from the spirit of the one who hates God the Father. It is satanic. It originated in the Garden of Eden and has been progressing ever since.
Remember, they hated Jesus Christ our Messiah without cause and the god of this world hates Christians without cause. (See Gospel of John chapter 15)
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Christians are not called to live by the Torah, the Old Testament for Jesus our Messiah has fulfilled the Torah, but we are called to take instruction from it. As they oppressed and presecuted the Jews, the same spirit, the god of this world has created the same hatred for believers in Christ whether Jew or Gentile. September is the month beginning the Jewish New Year. Always significant.
Part Two beginning with Esther, chapter one, will be posted Tuesday morning...