I read this on Jewish Jewels Facebook page today, and wanted to pass it on to you, dear Gail-Friends.
"Esther was an undercover agent. Esther wasn’t even her real name. She was really called Hadassah (the Hebrew name for the
IN THE SHADOWS...
A well-known fact about the book of Esther is that not only do we have
an undercover agent in the hidden Hadassah, but also God himself does
not make his presence obvious. He hides between the lines of the story,
and his name is not even mentioned once. However, there are countless
clues to indicate his activity behind the scenes.
10:11 explains that the stories of the first Testament were written down
as examples or “types” for us to learn from. And there is much we can
learn from this story in every way.
Think about the very set up
of the story - an ornate palace with woven hangings, silver and golden
vessels, furniture, poles and clasps, in “inner room” into which one
must not go - or face death - unless they have met certain strict
requirements… An all-powerful king enthroned inside who can grant
requests, and royal robes are essential dress code to approach the king
in his chamber… all these things are like shadows, types, of the
tabernacle, the temple, and of the protocol of our meeting God himself
in his throne room.
Esther speaks up on behalf
of her people, and the myrtle in Scripture is a picture of
intercession. In the story, she asks the Jewish people to back her up
with three days of prayer and fasting (three days and three nights - how
about that) and then dares to go boldly into the throne room, hoping
she will find grace. And the kind king does indeed hold out his sceptre
to her, inviting her to approach with confidence. In that meeting, she
finds favour in his eyes, and he encourages her to ask for whatever she
likes, even up to half the kingdom. Which, if you have forgotten,
included 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia.
itself is very significant, and this symbol is mentioned in a few key
places in Scripture. As usual, the very first mention holds the key to
its meaning: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's
staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him shall be the
obedience of the peoples”. (Gen 49:10)
This prophecy that Jacob
gives to his fourth son, Judah, is a messianic prophecy. The Messiah, as
king, would come from the tribe Judah and rightfully hold the sceptre.
In Psalm 60:7 and 108:8, God calls Judah his sceptre, and another key
prophetic passage is in Numbers 24:17:
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel…”
This prophecy was spoken by Balaam, unaware of the powerful truth of
his words. Yeshua the Messiah did indeed arise out of Israel, out of
Jacob, and only through Yeshua is it possible for us to approach the
throne of God.
THE FATE OF ISRAEL'S ENEMIES
prophesied the destruction of the Amalekites, Israel’s enemy who
attacked them mercilessly as they straggled out of Egypt. Years after
that, God commanded King Saul to finish them off, but Saul flunked. But
then, oddly enough, some descendants of Saul (Mordecai and Esther) were
given another chance to carry out God’s instruction, since the evil
Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites, still bent on wiping out the
people of Israel. It is almost as if the whole scenario had been planned
and orchestrated from long ago.
There have been many attempts to
destroy the people of Israel as the enemy of our souls plots to
eradicate the apple of God’s eye from the earth. Pharaoh tried, the
Amalekites tried, and Hitler was filled with the murderous spirit of
Amalek, after the same old goal. The people of Israel have always been
surrounded by enemies, hostility and death threats, and even today there
are political leaders who speak openly of “wiping Israel off the map”.
But just as God was covertly pulling the strings to create a
supernaturally orchestrated series of events to save Israel in exile
back in Esther’s day, so he will keep them today. The Protector of
Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
God’s activity in the book of
Esther may be only hinted at - a curious nocturnal desire to read the
record books, a “chance” midnight meeting in the palace courtyard... but
we also read that prayers were sent up from the Jewish people, which
implies God was the recipient of those prayers. There is even awareness
of God among Haman’s camp - his wife warned him that fighting against
Israel is a pointless endeavour: “If Mordecai, before whom you have
begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but
will surely fall before him.” (Esther 6:13). They understood that the
Jewish people had an unassailable supernatural force on their side. As
God promises in Zechariah 12, those who come against the Jewish people
will only harm themselves in the end.
THE KING INVITES US TO COME...
God called Esther to stand up and intercede for the Jewish people, and
thanks to her courage and wisdom, the people of Israel were saved. The
line of Judah continued, and the Messiah arrived in Israel safe and well
in the passage of time. As Mordecai warned Esther, if she did not take
that stand, then God would surely just find another way to save his
people that did not involve her. But what an invitation! What an
incredible privilege Esther was given! And a similar invitation is
before us today.
Jesus tells us that it is the Father’s good
pleasure to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). Thanks to our Messiah, the
sceptre of God, we have the right and invitation to come boldly before
the throne of God and ask whatever we wish.
Would you like to
join in the legacy of Esther, and intercede for Israel before the King?
Rabbis here in Israel are calling for a three day fast starting
tomorrow, to petition God regarding the wave of terror we’ve been
experiencing in Israel lately, and to ask for spiritual awakening. I
think that's a prayer we can all join in with!"
(From oneforisrael.org March 20, 2016)
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