20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.
Observation – What does it say?
God had delivered his people from their enemies. Mordecai, now prominent in the palace and powerful (verse 4), establishes Purim, an annual celebration in memory of what God had done for them.
Understanding – What does it mean?
Test was turned into testimony. What initially appeared as a coming destruction by their enemies, turned out to be the destruction of their enemies.
All throughout this book, the theme that continues to emerge is God’s providence, his protective care, for his people. Regardless of what threatened them, God was always at work in the details, not only to deliver them but to exalt them.
What becomes obvious when you consider all these events together is that all these actions of God aren’t isolated events but are reveal something similar about who God is. The important thing to recognize is that God caring for his people isn’t just something he does, but rather who he is. When we are in distress and cry out to God for help, we aren’t looking to God’s past actions hoping he decides to perform a similar act in our difficult situation today. Rather, we cry out to God for help believing every past action of God was a revelation of his nature. Our hope is in a God whose nature is to care for his people and whose nature doesn’t change. This means that God acting on behalf of his people in the past is evidence that he is acting on behalf of his people today, and he will be tomorrow too. God turned a test into a testimony in Esther’s day, and that’s evidence that he will turn tests into testimonies today too.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
In America today, there are certain things we never want to forget. We establish holidays or, like the 11th of this month, a special day of remembrance. And, what could be more important than remembering what God has done for us? This was the very reason Mordecai implemented Purim. There is tremendous value in taking time to meditate on what God has done.
Take time today to meditate on what God has done and what those actions reveal about his nature.
God, thank you for who you are! You don’t just heal but you are Healer. You don’t just provide but you are Provider. You don’t just save but you are Savior! You don’t just love but the essence of who you are is love. Open our eyes to see you for who you are, and may it fill us with hope when it comes to the challenging situations we face. Amen.