Purim is a microcosm of our own lifelong quests: to walk in Yehovah’s ways despite the pressures around us, to trust that his purposes are being manifest in the events of our nation and world, and to have the courage to submit to his sovereignty and will at every turn. In short, it’s about living a life of faith.
As you read the story and the following posts, you will see yourself and your circumstances, as well as Yehovah’s sovereignty and guidance in your own life.
Have you ever been in a situation in which you wondered what Yehovah was up to? You knew you were in a specific place for a reason, but not sure what it was. Or maybe you’ve felt you were meant for something more than you’re currently doing and have asked Yehovah to open new doors. You’ve prayed and waited on the Lord for your next assignment. But once you realize what it is he’s asking of you, it seems daunting, more or different than you had in mind. You might feel overwhelmed at the prospect, maybe reluctant or anxious.
Take heart, you’re in good company. Joseph, Moses, Noah, Gideon, even Yeshua – they’ve all been where you are.
In my previous posts on this topic, I shared how Yehovah demonstrated his faithfulness to me by replacing my fear with faith and carrying my burdens, goals and plans for a year.
The next perspective he showed me, I call Ishmael and El Roi. These are two descriptions of God in the Bible. Yehovah revealed himself to me through these two names in such a way that it changed my whole perspective and empowered me to live continuously in a place of peace and righteousness.
In Part 1, we looked at the Hebrew understanding of the month of Elul, which begins 40 days before Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). From the days of the Israelites in the wilderness, this period has emerged as a Season of Repentance, specifically repentance from idolatry, and originally the idolatrous Golden Calf.
For us it may not be a statue, figurine or carved image, but idolatry can take many forms. Repentance is an ongoing process of discovery of sin in our lives and realignment with God’s ways. In my own journey I’ve found four places where idolatry can hide and have watched God realign my life as I walk through each one. We’ve discussed the first two: discontentment and following my own plans. Let’s continue with the third:
A new opportunity arose from someone in my congregation, and I was asked to participate. Wow, I’d never thought of that idea, I didn’t even know we had those resources. It was an obvious God-incidence in answer to my prayer. I was excited about the prospect and what it could lead to.
Then the obstacles began to mount against my participation — to the point of impossibility. Under my current circumstances there was no way I could participate in the project. (more…)
Esther – Queen of Persia, intercessor for the Jews before the King, and the one for whom the book of Esther is written. Understandably, as the heroine of the story, most discussions of the book are meant to inspire people to emulate her. But how many people are going to get the chance to be a queen, and in a position to intercede for their people in front of a king? Re-reading the story this year, I realized Mordecai’s role in the whole affair is probably a more realistic picture of what people in any position could aspire to. (more…)
As I stated in Part 1 of this blog series, the tabernacle is a physical representation of the spiritual process that Yehovah has created for mankind to draw near to Him and for Him to dwell with us. However, there are several things that separate mankind from a holy God. The first thing that comes between Yehovah and man is faith. Until we have faith, we cannot know Yehovah. However, what we see as a barrier, Yehovah sees as an opportunity for blessing. (more…)
On a recent vacation, I decided to try rock climbing on the simulated rock wall. I had never done it, but watched several people in front of me, some succeeding to the top and some quitting part way up. With each one I could, I asked how they did it or what stopped them from finishing, trying to learn whatever might help me make it high enough to ring the little bell at the top, announcing my success.
When it was my turn, the attendant, Alex, roped me up and gave me climbing shoes to help me hold on. I took my first few steps on the holds and knobs. “This is pretty easy,” I thought. But like anything else physical, it got harder as I went along. (more…)
Remember the story in Mark 5 of the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years? She touched Yeshua’s clothing and was not only healed, but captured the attention of Yeshua despite the throng of people crowding Him. While obviously a great account of Yeshua’s compassion and supernatural power, this story leaves me with a few questions:
- Why did the woman think if she touched Yeshua’s clothes she would be healed?
- Why did Yeshua feel the power go out from Him when she touched Him and not everyone else who was crowding around?
- And after a wonderful miracle, why was the woman fearful of Him? (more…)
Have you ever felt God asking you to do something for which you know you’re not talented or maybe not qualified? No doubt Esther felt this way when Mordecai instructed her to speak to the king about saving her kinsman. Esther’s obvious gift was in her beauty, her speaking of political matters with the king was never a thought. In fact she hadn’t even had an audience with him in a month, and then only at his request. A person could be sentenced to death for approaching the king without his summons.
In Leviticus and other sections of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), we read about the myriad of offerings and sacrifices, the ceremonial cleansings, and the stipulations for coming near to a holy God. On The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), for example, the high priest would’ve prepared for weeks ahead of time to perform the duties prescribed for the one day — with all its garments, offerings, animals, his family and other priests involved and contingency plans in case something didn’t go as planned. Then on the actual Day of Atonement, it would probably take him all day to perform the list of duties.
Granted, The Day of Atonement was the most holy day of the year, but there were six other holy days equally as rigorous in their requirements, not to mention the daily and weekly procedures of the temple and the offerings and sacrifices brought in by the people of Israel that were also required.
In Yeshua, we see the fulfillment of all of these requirements. (more…)