Gail-Friends - Purim – The Holiday of Joy!
Gail-Friends - Purim – The Holiday of Joy
By Gail Golden
Publicist and Ministry Partner - Pocket Full of Change Ministries
… who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 (KJV) \
“Make lots of noise, boys!,” shouted Rabbi Jem before the Bible reading for Purim began last year, just as he will again this year. Yes, that’s right – we make lots of noise on Purim, because we are rejoicing in the protection and provision of God. Purim is a happy, joy-filled holiday and we always enjoy the noise the children make with their groggers (noise-makers).
Beginning on February 28, we will celebrate Purim in our Messianic Synagogue. Purim is also called the holiday of joy and it is traditional to dress up, and be merry while remembering how the Jews of Persia narrowly escaped annihilation thanks to the bravery of Queen Esther.
This year, my husband, Rabbi Jem, will dress up as “the oldest rabbi in Israel” complete with a long, grey beard, and read all ten chapters of the book of Esther (also called the whole Magillah). The children in our congregation also dress in costumes and will thoroughly enjoy making lots of noise while the book is read. It is traditional to "boo" when the villain’s name, Haman, is read, and to cheer loudly when the hero’s names, Esther and her uncle, Mordechai, are mentioned.
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “for such a time as this” and wondered where it came from. The saying is from the book of Esther, and is associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim. Esther 9:21 tells us this festival is to be observed yearly. Each year, we remember that God placed Hadassah (Esther) in place to save her people from destruction. She was willing to take the risk and follow what God laid on her heart to say and do. The book of Esther says she was born “for such a time as this”.
Like Esther, each year I am reminded that God wants use me, too, and that we are all born for a purpose - God’s purpose. Personally, this holiday inspires me to stand up and speak for God when He gives me the opportunity.
Last year, I had just such an opportunity within a few days after Purim, when I met a Jewish man at a local fundraiser. The young man related a story about a horrible wreck he’d recently survived. With tears in his eyes, he said in a cracking voice, “I don’t know why God saved me alive. Is it just to work day after day as a truck driver?”
God spoke very clearly to me at that moment: Gail, you are here tonight for such a time as this - to tell him that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.
Trembling, I spoke softly, “I believe God saved you alive so that you and I could have this conversation right now. He wants me to tell you that Yeshua is the Messiah.”
“I just can’t believe a holy and mighty God could come to earth in human form”, he said sincerely.
“My husband, Rabbi Jem, escaped death miraculously like you, and he asked that same question of God: why didn’t I die? That burning question led him to search for God, and it led him to accept Yeshua as the Messiah.” As I spoke those last words, we were interrupted and the conversation with him ended.
God had me there at just the right time to answer his question. I pray for him, and I believe He will one day find the wonderful peace of knowing Yeshua as his Messiah. Like Esther, I know God used me in that man’s life “for such a time as this”.
Gail Golden is a ministry partner with and the (insert role) for Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information to schedule a speaker for an event go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
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