The feast of Purim just got real! Remember the story of Esther. The Hebrews enemies get locked and loaded with a date settled upon to have hunting season on the Jews. Mordecai, the king’s doorkeeper, and a Jew, sees the genocidal and bloody day approaching. He mournfully calls upon his niece, the new queen, also a Jew, to appeal to the king for help. The chief architect of the coming apocalypse, Haman, builds some gallows intended for Mordecai and others, looking forward to that fateful day, but Esther successfully enlightens the king of the underhanded subterfuge planned for the Jews. A decree is made to allow the Jews to arm themselves and fight back, thus halting Haman’s plans and preserving Israel for another day. Haman’s gallows become his own demise as he and his sons are all hung on the same day, and by the same means they intended for a holocaust. This celebrated miracle is called Purim or lots, for the casting of lots for the fateful day, and is reenacted annually. Strangely, this story has just been played out in real time and covered by the global media before our very eyes, and on the very days recorded in Scripture.
While the real story, the behind the scenes people and circumstances, are yet to be fully known, it will come to be realized in the days ahead, just how similar the story is to the one called Purim. Europeans should be defending this Jewish feast; after all, do not they believe in Religious Liberty? Double down on protecting synagogues? No, instead the Belgian and French authorities practically mandate the Jews, tone down, turn off and put aside Purim festivals this year. Haman’s gallows are being constructed again, and the Belgians cancel Purim? What cowardice. It seems they are vilifying the victims and glorifying the perpetrators. The latest reports indicate that they had intelligence on both the bombers and the event, yet did nothing to stop this heinous crime. The day and the means and the cast of dubious characters are visible. Brussels might end up hanging on their own gallows if better care is not taken.
Jews living in Europe should make sure they are preaching “prepare!” this Purim, not just partying with masks like some Hebrew Mardi Gras celebration. Being indignant about acts of terror instead of building integrity in their worship will not have the same Esther effect they need and desire. “King” Obama is dancing the tango in Argentina, and watching baseball with Castro in Cuba. He acts oblivious, but he is not. His reticence speaks volumes. He speaks to Mordecai like he wants to help, but acts like he cast the lots for destruction himself. And where is the beautiful and humble queen, appealing for herself and her people? If the beautiful bride niece is to represent Christians, then a salvo of appeal should be directed at Obama by European saints. But alas, soccer scores and commodity prices are all that self-interested Europeans seem to be concerned about.
For sure, Israel must arm themselves and prepare for the future juggernaut of violence intended for their destruction. Diaspora Jews should consider a similar plan of action. Christians, need to be a beautiful queen, but not for ourselves. We have an obligation to discern the times, events and “lots” playing out before us. Our appeals to authority, our humble cries to God, show whose side we really are on. Let us not facilitate Haman or his gallows. Let us be Esther, helping uncle Mordecai, and at the same time saving society from genocidal plans.
“Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.” -Esther 88:11-13