Purim: Retribution For The House of Saul
The Jewish celebration of Purim is recounted in the book of Esther, and tells how an orphaned Jewish girl living in exile with her people rose to be the most powerful women in the Persian kingdom. It also tells Hadasa as was her Jewish name, was able to save her people from total extinction. I summarized these events in my previous blog. Purim is the plural of “Pur” meaning lot in the sense that something has been crushed or destroyed. It was begun by Mordecai to commemorate the defeat of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jewish people. It began on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month.
You may be asking what any of this has to do with The House of Saul, and better yet just what is the House of Saul. The House of Saul is simply the ruling or royal house and line began by Israel’s first king, Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, Saul was killed in battle as well as his son Jonathan, resulting in a 7 year civil war between Israel and Judah, with David assuming the throne as the anointed king by Samuel the prophet. Unfortunately for David only the tribe of Judah followed him, the remaining 11 following Ishbosheth, son of Saul. David ruled Judah from Hebron for seven years.
The civil war between the House of Saul and House of David can be found in II Samuel chapters two thru four. If you recall, David was anointed king by Samuel but Saul remained king until his death. That brings up to speed regarding the House of Saul. Thus, there were only two actual rulers from the House of Saul. But, all of that is simply mentioned to remind us that David was the king anointed by God, as God had chosen him. Saul and his family was rejected by God for disobedience.
I Samuel 15: 26 “ But Samuel said to Saul, ‘ I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” verse 28 “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.”
Verse 29, “And the Glory Of Israel will not change His mind; For He is not a man that He should change His mind.” (NASB)
Thus, Samuel sought and found David and anointed him king, but it would be quite some time before he became king and then even longer before he ruled all of Israel. But, what happened that caused God to tear the kingdom of Israel from Saul? Why not just remove him as ruler and let the line continue through one of his sons? God had already chosen another as Saul was the people’s choice. He was from the tribe of Benjamin, not Judah.
We find the answer to this in I Samuel 15 verses 1-9. Samuel gave Saul strict orders to ‘listen to the words of the Lord,’! The Lord said he would ‘punish Amalek for what they did to Israel when they came out of Israel. Saul was charged with wiping the Amalekites out. He was to destroy all, including the oxen and sheep. So Saul’s orders were to not leave anyone or anything alive. However, he ‘captured’ Agag, king of the Amalekites, alive, and kept the best of the sheep. In essence by keeping the king alive and the ‘best’ of the sheep he disobeyed the Lord. Partial obedience is still disobedience.
Saul was rebuked by Samuel and thus by his disobedience he forfeited the kingdom. Samuel killed king Agag, yet somehow he had descendants to survive until the time of Queen Esther and the Persians. The Book of Esther chapter 3 verse 1 tells us that Haman wa sthe son of Hammedatha the Agagite, Sources confirm that Haman was an Amalekite, and descendant of king Agag. Perhaps there were some Amalekites away that day, we don’t know. What we do know is that Haman was an Amalekite, who were fierce enemies of Israel. We also know that Moredai, and thus Esther, since they were cousins, were of the tribe of Benjamin and descendants of Kish. Saul is not mentioned in Esther 2:5 it says, Shimei, son of Kish. Again sources confirm Mordecai was of the house of Saul.
Perhaps the text doesn’t mention Saul, since he was not thought of in good light after his disobedience and corresponding fall. Nevertheless, they were Benjaminites of the royal family of Saul, Is this a mere coincidence? I doubt it, further even though God tore the kingdom fromm Saul’s family, He still is a gracious God full of mercy and compassion. We see that here as he places the most unlikely person in the only place to save her people from their most famous enemy. It seems that even though Saul acted wickedly and prove unworthy to shepherd God’s people, God used descendants of his family to save all of Israel, in exile and in their land.
The fact that God would go to these lengths to set the right person in for the right time just to point out and see the demise of the most notorious enemies of all of the Jews up until that time proves His compassion, love, and goodness over His people. God rejoice over His people. He is for them. Even when we fail, and He must discipline us He is waiting as a good good Father for us to be restored. That is the message of the cross. Still, so many can’t get past the angry, mad God syndrome. He is angry at our sin, and hates it when we are disobedient, and yield to our flesh or the ways of the enemy. When we return He is overjoyed and delighted to see us restored. God was delighted to see children of Saul’s family over 400 years later have the opportunity to bring justice and defeat the evil plans to destroy the Jews.
As we move closer and closer to the return of Jesus remember that God is rejoicing over us and delights in us, and we are part of the plan to defeat all of His enemies. We are here to advance a kingdom greater than Saul’s or even David’s or any that has ever or will exist. Nothing can stand against the kingdom of darkness.
Esther 4:14 “ who knows whether you have obtained royalty (or come into the kingdom for such a time as this.” NASB
We are in the kingdom of God for such a time as to see all of The ‘Haman’s’ of this world’s plans come to nought. !!!!!