PURIM & PASSOVER
Adapted from the work of David Parsons, ICEJ VP & Senior Spokesman
The Jewish holidays of Purim and Passover are both stories of God’s amazing deliverance for the people of Israel, yet in totally different ways.
Passover is a seminal event in Jewish history, when the Lord God freed the children of Israel from bondage with a mighty, outstretched hand. He sent devastating plagues on Egypt and then parted the Red Sea in open displays of His awesome power. The Israelites were on their way towards the Promised Land.
But in the Purim story, the means of deliverance was very different. Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is never mentioned. Here, He was a hidden deliverer who quietly used humble, faithful servants to rescue His people from certain death.
The lesson is that whether “by many or by few”, the Lord will always deliver His people from peril (1 Samuel 14:6). At Purim, God used the winner of a beauty contest to rescue the Jewish people from a genocidal plot. Esther may have been lovely and delicate, but she also was strong in faith – and that was what saved the day.
We also learn something about the power of prayer and fasting. While not mentioned, God was there watching in the background and answered when they earnestly sought Him.
Finally, the Jewish people were saved because they were permitted to defend themselves from Haman’s hordes. Ironically, the people of Israel today must still struggle for the right to defend themselves from evil enemies in our day.