Updated: Mar 2, 2021
"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?" ~ Proverbs 24:11-12
Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther
“For if you keep silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Yesterday we celebrated Purim with our congregation. It is a day of great celebration and joy, rejoicing in God’s justice and salvation. We hear the story of Esther—the Megillah—read out loud and we thank the LORD for His sovereignty and protection against evil.
The holiday is a time set apart to remember the deliverance of the Jewish people from the dastardly plans of the wicked Haman, who eagerly hoped to annihilate them. Named after the Hebrew word that basically means “chance”, the historical facts of the Feast of Lots reveals a narrative full of seeming coincidence, irony and plot twists.
An orphan girl becomes queen of Persia and her adoptive father rises from a commoner outside the gates of the palace to second in command to the king! The prideful and power-hungry antagonist ends up being executed on the gallows he had built for his righteous enemy. The role reversals are stunning!
In the end, we see that this Biblical appointed time is anything BUT a story of chance. Instead, we see the glory of God systematically revealed to the world through the humble obedience and solid faith of a young woman and her cousin. It is peculiar and fascinating that God is never referred to once in the whole book.
And like any good holiday, it is marked by “joy and gladness”, “feasting and celebrating”. Even the opening scene of the story alludes to what a good party includes: a feast with wine freely flowing and merry hearts. But lest we get too wrapped up in our own pleasure, we are commanded to send gifts to one another and to the poor (Esther 9:22).
During the synagogue service for Purim, many people dress up in queenly or “bad-guy” attire. Pandemic masking played well into this year’s mood, as the holiday remembers that Esther’s temporarily hidden identity lent itself to the redemption of the Jewish people.
The events recorded in the Book of Esther date to the 5th century B.C. during the reign of King Ahasuerus of Persia, but the theme and lessons are timeless. Good overcomes evil as God uses the weak to overpower the strong.
Who are the agents of evil in our day and age? Who are the weak, those targeted for death?
Certainly anti-semitism has raged over the centuries—from Pharaoh to Haman to Hitler. It continues now through spoken hate and acts of violence against Jews and Jewish communities around the world.
Video from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website
In the story of Esther, the rage-filled prince of princes, Haman, sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom. Who in our day and age, with the same genocidal rage, seeks to destroy a whole people group?
In the United States alone, the “inconvenient”, “unloved” preborn are regularly murdered, quietly behind closed doors at the rate of 3,000 per day. Who are the Hamans behind this?
Is it abortionists who profit from the medical and surgical killing of the person in the womb?
Is it the abortion industry that profits from the death of the unborn and the selling of baby parts as research specimen?
Is it the culture that considers children a burden not a blessing, pregnancy an inconvenience and adoption undesirable?
Is it the women who willingly kill their unborn, with the assistance of medicine or surgery, who would rather abort than allow another family to adopt their child?
Who are the Mordecais and Esthers of our day, those who are unwilling to bow to the idols of convenience, greed and lust? Some of these liberators took a stand from the get-go with great gusto, like Mordecai. Others of us have come into action more hesitantly, like Esther. The point is, what are you doing now? Mordecai’s ancient voice calls out to us (my paraphrase of Esther 4:14):
“Do not imagine that you in your comfortable life will escape the evil repercussions of a culture that kills their children. For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for preborn babies from another place and you and your family will suffer the consequences. YOU WERE BORN for such a time as this!”
Brothers and sisters in Messiah standing for the unborn at a local abortion clinic, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, seeking justice for those being crushed (Proverbs 31:8)
From where does help come for the unborn? From people who have supported mothers in difficult situations with spiritual, physical and emotional support. From those who work and volunteer at pregnancy care centers, to proclaim the gospel and defend the rights of the oppressed. From organizations that continually speak out for the unborn to restore protections for them and guide mothers and fathers to the joy of family through adoption and parenting.
Adoptive parents, like Mordecai, are some of the stars of this group.
PREGNANCY CARE CENTERS
Pregnancy care centers provide ultrasound, counseling, pregnancy and parenting support including discipleship and material resources, all free of cost.
The Personhood Alliance is a confederation of independent pro-life organizations who pursue personhood as the essential strategy for restoring legal protections to every human being, from biological beginning to natural death, without exception, and who endeavor to uphold the Biblical worldview in 21st-century politics and culture by honoring God’s design for life, marriage, family, sexuality, and gender.
HEALING AFTER ABORTION
"Acknowledging the trauma of abortion and embracing the process of healing doesn’t mean we have to spend our lives as wounded women. But we also don’t have to pretend the scars don’t exist. Instead, we can live in more honest awareness of our brokenness and, as we do, live more dependent on grace. The more God reveals our sinfulness, the more glorious the cross of Christ becomes. There, we’re reminded that God is a compassionate Father (Ps. 103:13), that he’s near to the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18), and that, by Christ’s wounds, we are healed (Isa. 53:5)."
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:15-18