The Fact of Celebration

The Fact of Celebration based on Esther 8 – 10    
 
Life Impact: Identify ways God has protected and provided for us and celebrate the victories God provides for us.
 
Today we are going to look at ways that God provided protection and victories in the book of Esther.
 
Esther 8:1-6
Even after Esther exposed Haman’s plan to annihilate the Jews, they were still in danger. The decree Haman wrote was sealed by the King and could not be revoked.
 
The Jews were in what seemed to be an impossible situation.
 
Have you ever been in what seemed to be an impossible situation?
Are you in this type of situation now? What do you think God wants you to do?
 
Esther’s first problem was solved when she exposed Haman’s plan, but the problem of his murderous decree still remained.
 
Esther would see God work in the midst of this impossible situation.
 
Esther 8:7-8 
God worked through Xerxes, Mordecai, and Esther to provide protection for the Jews. King Xerxes allowed Mordecai and Esther to write a second decree giving the Jews the right to gather and defend themselves against their attackers.
 
Esther 9:1-5
God turned an impossible situation into a great victory. This victory would be a cause for celebration.
 
Esther 9:18-32 – Purim Celebration
Purim means “lots” and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the destruction of the Jews. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, which is usually in March.
 
There are four requirements of the Purim celebration:
  1. Read the book of Esther
    1. The people gather in the synagogue to listen to the reading of Esther’s story. Whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, the crowd makes as much noise as possible to blot out his name. They even use noisemakers to help drown out his name. When the name Mordecai is mentioned, the people cheer.
  2. Participate in a festival meal
    1. Food such as “Hamantashen” (Haman’s Hat) is served. Other foods included seeds, beans, legumes, and turkey.
  3. Deliver food to friends and neighbors
    1. Purim is a time of love and friendship among the Jewish people. The food that is delivered should be ready-to-eat. Baked goods are a popular choice. Two types of food are generally delivered to one person.
  4. Give gifts to the poor
    1. Purim is a time for sharing and helping. A monetary gift is usually given to two poor Jewish people.
 
Purim participants may also wear costumes. The costumes represent how nothing was as it seemed to be on that first Purim.
 
 
Throughout the story of Esther, there were several victories God gave Esther and the Jewish people. You might say that these small victories were jus events within the life of Esther. But, any of these events had not taken place; the whole story could have ended differently. Each event was a victory and played a positive role in God’s plan.
 
Esther, an orphan, was raised by a godly cousin, Mordecai.
Esher was selected from numerous young women throughout the kingdom to be included in the royal harem.
Esther won favor with Hegai
Esther greatly impressed the king and was chosen to become the new queen.
Esther, through Mordecai, was instrumental in exposing the plot to assassinate the king.
Esther continued to be advised by Mordecai even though she was queen.
Esther received the message from Mordecai concerning Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jews.
Esther gathered the courage to approach the king though uninvited.
Esther carefully devised a plan to expose Haman’s plot.
 Esther exposed Haman’s plot in the presence of the king, while maintaining respect and honor for the king and his authority.
 Esther appealed to the king on behalf of the Jews.
 Esther and Mordecai wrote the decree allowing Jews to defend themselves
 Esther gave her royal approval to Mordecai’s letter concerning Purim.
 
How can you learn to be more aware of God’s work in your life as He provides protection and victories?
 
We need to recognize and celebrate the day-to-day victories as God works in and through us. One way to experience those victories is to listen to what God is saying to us. Have the courage to be at the right place at the right time for God’s purposes. Remember Esther prepared herself with prayer and fasting before stepping out. Seek God first and then celebrate the victory. Remember to give God the credit and the glory.