Purim: A Time To Fast and Pray For The United States
The Jewish feast of Purim will be celebrated this year on Wednesday, March 20- Thursday March 21. I felt like this would be an appropriate time to ponde and glean some practical aspects. I feel especially compelled for as many as can and will, if led by God to do some fasting for The United States as Esther did for her people. The story of Purim and Esther or Hadassah as was her Hebraic name can be found in the Old Testament Book by the same name.
The story goes as Esther becomes Queen of Persia, her Uncle Mordecai, who raised her and was like her father would not bow to one of the leading princes in the Persian kingdom. His name was Haman, the Agagite. He was an enemy of the Jews, and because of Mordecai, he, along with others, compelled the king to issue an edict that on a certain day all Jews would be wiped out. This was not the first and certainly not the last attempt to annihilate all Jews. The story takes an unexpected twist when Mordecai learns of the fate of his people and later Esther forces Mordecai to tell her. Esther, on pangs of death goes before the king to entreat on behalf of her people.
Esther calls for a banquet for her, the king, and Haman only. In the meantime she has asked for as many of her people as can to fast for 3 days and nights, not drinking or eating. This was a fast for her favor so that when she went before the king she would not lose her life but rather have the scepter extended to her, so that she can explain to him the plot to wipe out her people. The king had issued the edict but was unaware that his own queen was Jewish and that the plot was just that, a plot to bring genocide on a whole race just because one of its members would not bow to another man of higher rank.
The story concludes with Esther getting her banquet with the king and Haman and eventually revealing Haman’s plot. The king is infuriated and orders Haman to be hung on the same gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai the Jew. What an irony. There is so much packed in this short book of just 10 chapters. The name of God is never mentioned. However it speaks volumes and has so many parallels to Jesus as the king and approaching Him. How God loves His people and wants to do good, and much more.
I would like to call attention to the fast that Esther calls for. Haman is often attributed as Satan or our enemies, or even that which which opposes God and the Kingdom of God. Esther represents all who are desperate and need to come before the throne of God in desperation, risking everything for a miracle or a breakthrough. Esther intercedes for her people as no one else could. She was in the highest position, yet to approach the king uninvited, even in her high station, meant certain death, unless the scepter was extended, meaning it was ok to approach.
The United States is in a crisis of all sorts. Never in my life has evil ran so rampant. When Congress can’t repriman one of its own for Anti-Semitic remarks, and has to try to include every possible minority group for fear of offending someone, it has gone too far. Anti-semitism does not include Asians, Hispanics or the LGBTQ community. With abortion moving to infanticide being acceptable, and recreational pot smoking legal in more and more states, and now its hard to know who is male or female without offending someone we are in dire straits.
Evil has now become the new good in the United States. Never has a president received so much opposition even from the very ones he has helped. Christians are still afforded many freedoms and worship of God has been allowed back in the White House. Yet, many stil condemn the man that is helping our nation be greater than it was. I don’t always agree with everything our president says and does, but I still support him. Nevertheless, whether you like him or not we are commanded in the Bible to pray for all of our leaders. The nation is divided on so many fronts and worse the church is even further divided.
Satan has seemingly piecemealed all aspects of society and the church. Regardless of party affiliation, religion or other creed or belief we need to find common ground. The United States is faced with a generation that is more digitally connected than any before it, yet at the same time is moving further away from basica moral and ethical standards long held by most Western and eastern cultures. It is as if ‘anything goes’.
We need to see radical change and a radical turnaround.
It’s time to come before the King of Kings and make our petitions known for The US to turn from evil and turn back to the standards set forth in the Word of God. It is time to pray and fast for a nation that once was known for being ‘godly’. Things have never been this bad. We know that there is a great divide in all of the world between evil and good. The gray areas of what is good or right and what is not are now becoming more black and white. The lines are drawn. What will prevail?
It’s up to us the church to fast and pray and that others will join in. We want another Great Awakening but it will not happen unless we let go of somethings, like food, or television or facebook, etc. for s period of time and seek heaven and cry out for the US. Pray for hearts and minds to be convicted and to turn from evil and towards the one true God. Pray for racial reconciliation on all levels. Pray for the truth and righteousness and justice from the throne of god to prevail.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews (US emphasis mine) from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have obtained royalty for such a time as this?’’ Nasb
We were born in this time and in this place. God has brought us to this time and this point in time to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. Purim is derived from the word ‘Pur’ which means to cast lots. It seems the enemy has cast lots on The US and has sought its destruction. Will you not take time and seek heaven on behalf of The US?