The Jewish holiday of Purim takes place this weekend. The holiday is a miraculous story of survival in the face of super-size, demonic anti-Semitism. The book of Esther never once mentions God’s Name, yet His unseen hand is visible in every moment of this drama:
“The story is about the Jewish people in Persia during the reign of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.). The ultra-short version of the story is as follows: An evil man named Haman hates the Jews, and manipulates the king into making a ruling that in effect will lead to the execution of the Jews in his kingdom. The Jewish queen, Esther, uncovers the plot and helps to save the Jews.” (from Walking With Jesus Through The Jewish Calendar, published by the Caspari Center).
Upon learning of Haman’s plot, Esther’s uncle Mordecai challenges the young Esther with what has to be one of the epic questions of the ages:
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13-14
One beautiful teenage Jewish princess exposed the plot and changed the course of her people’s history. 2500 years later, in spite of wave after wave of persecution meant to to finish what Haman had tried to start (including Hitler’s anhiliation of 6 million during WWII), there are now about 13-14 million Jews in the world.