“And Mordecai…. sent letters to all the Jews….obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday….therefore they called these days Purim, after the term Pur.”
Esther 9:21-22, 26
Haman’s evil plot was to murder all the Jews on a date that he had selected at random by casting a lot, not realizing that the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Pr.16:33). However, through Queen Esther’s intervention, at the behest of Mordecai, Haman himself was put to death, and the Jews were saved. At Mordecai’s direction, the Jews were obliged to feast and celebrate the anniversary of this salvation every year. Named after the plural of the Persian word for “lot”, the feast became known as Purim. It is still commemorated today!
There are many milestones in a person’s life that are worthy of celebration. First birthday, first steps, first words are generally all recorded in the baby’s keepsake record. Elementary School Graduation, the obtaining of a Driver’s License, College Graduation and First Jobs could all be considered highlights of a person’s life. Other momentous events may be more serious, but just as important: a dear brother relayed to me that he has “rung the bell” three times in the hospital signalling the end of radiation cancer treatments.
And, for the believer, what do all of these events have in common? They are reminders of the faithfulness, the trustworthiness of our God! It is fitting and proper that the child of God should celebrate each of these milestones and declare, “What a faithful God have I! Faithful in every way!” Even difficult days, such as the anniversary of the death of a loved one, can be a reminder to us of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit who never leaves us nor forsakes us, even through the darkest valleys!
The Jews in Mordecai’s day had great reason to celebrate their deliverance, but we have far, far greater reason to celebrate the deliverance that we have been granted through our blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ! May God enable us to trust Him through all that life brings us, and to rejoice in His absolute faithfulness, in each, and between every milestone that He grants us!