To the beloved of God who though originally designed to be in the ‘image of God’ were blighted by the sin of the first Adam. Yet His eternal purpose was and is to not only to restore us by the sacrifice of the second Adam but to transform us so that we are made of His same spiritual nature and glorified physical flesh. For we are being changed…”from one degree of glory to another” so that one day not far away…”in the twinkling of an eye …we shall be like Him and One with Him” and so be married to the Lamb.
In my last Word for Today we reflected on Reuters news that soon there would be a Vodaphone mobile network functioning on the moon allowing earthlings to see picture of lunar landscapes on their mobile phones while their feet still rested firmly on earth. We saw how in Jewish tradition both the Jewish people, their calendar and their theology was so influenced by the moon. The Talmud reflects this when it says “The Jewish people are compared to the moon, and therefore we count according to her cycle.” We saw that the heroin of Purim, Esther, which is being celebrated by our Jewish brothers and sisters right now, actually means in Aramaic…the moon, and that Esther, standing as a type of the Bride of Christ, like the moon receives her glory from her relationship to the King alone, just as the moon receives its light from the sun and the Bride of Christ receives Her glory from Christ Himself.
A return to the story of creation provided us with a further insight as we reminded ourselves that God created the world also to receive His light and become an expression of a far deeper reality…and so we pray “Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. Here we saw evidence of the two realities once again….that of the natural and mortal and corruptible and that of the spiritual and immortal and incorruptible..
The World was meant to reflect God’s glory. However, the physical world was not positioned to fully receive that light through the sin of the first Adam. The world therefore failed to develop into the material manifestation of the spiritual realm that was possible. But one day through the sacrifice of the Second Adam, Jesus, who being properly aligned, is able to bring about the Eternal purpose of God for planet earth so that eventually… ” the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea”. Hab 2:14
The Festival of Purim
With this background, we can return to Esther and the source of her name. We remember that Esther is so called on account of the moon. A closer look at the entire story of Purim shows that it expresses the very message of the union or relationship between the sun and moon, Esther and the King, and Christ our Bridegroom and His Bride.
The story of Purim unfolded through what appeared to be a very natural series of events. No sea split and no plagues fell upon the house of Achashveirosh or Haman as he is better known. Instead, through a dramatic plot replete with paranoia, politics, lust, and greed, Esther rose to power through the most unlikely circumstances and eventually and brilliantly convinced the king to reverse his decree to kill the Jewish people and bring judgement upon Haman.
Yet on a deeper level, there was nothing natural or accidental about Purim. As the Zohar, a Jewish mystical book, notes, the term ‘melech’ or king, in the Megillah is a disguised allusion to God Himself. (See Zohar III p. 109a) so that a reread of the Megillah with that insight reveals that God is behind every turn of events, and that the entire miracle which saved the Jews from annihilation was no accident or an unplanned series of events.
This underlines a truth that is rooted in the very nature of our sovereign God and His Eternal Purposes. That is …that all things in the world, even events that seem unrelated, march toward a higher goal.
We are reminded of these verses…“All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purposes” Rom 8:28 and
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.” Eph2:10
The story of Purim represents the fusion of two systems. Externally, it is a world entirely under the sun with apparently natural rules of cause and effect that plod on without direction. It is the system in which the nations live, that of history, science and secular progress. Yet behind the scenes, every aspect of Purim is, as is every step of our life in Christ, the product of God’s hidden providence, an expression of ‘hachodesh hazeh lachem’? “This month is yours,” a spiritual system of complete novelty positioned to bring us to our specific destiny which is to cause us to be conformed to His image, to become His compatible partner, Wife, Bride, who is and will remain for now ‘hidden in Christ’. Like the moon we are hidden. Our true glory is not yet seen. The Bride is visible now but not yet fully revealed.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.” I Jn 3:1 and 2
The festival of Purim about Esther is uniquely associated with the end of time as is the ‘Message of the Bride’. As the Jewish Sages say that it is the only holiday which will be celebrated forever (Midrash Rabba – Mishei 9).
Today’s world abounds with innovation and revolution, bringing political changes almost every hour. Those events of a world under the sun seem to have little connection to us. Purim and Esther and the moon, however, reveal that all of history is part of God’s plan. History past is but prophecy that has come to pass and history future is prophecy yet to be fulfilled.
Thank you Vodafone for your announcement. Our reflections on this development has given us some understanding of the significance between Providence, Purim, the sun, the moon and ourselves…His beloved precious Bride.