Memorial Day is Monday, 30 May 2022.
God has given us many memorials. This week we will look at five of them.
The Lord’s Supper, the Rainbow, the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast of Purim.
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event. The most common type of memorial is the gravestone or the memorial plaque. Also common are war memorials commemorating those who have died in wars.
5. The feast of Purim
The fifth memorial can be found in Esther 9:28.
“And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.” (Esther 9:28)
In the book of Esther you may remember that Mordecai refused to bow to Haman, who was the king’s favorite. As a result, Haman made plans to massacre the Jews on a fixed date. Mordecai went to Esther and persuaded her to intercede with the king. Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet. At the banquet Esther reveals Haman’s plans to massacre the Jews, and Haman is hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Since the edict for the massacre cannot be revoked, the king sends a edict allowing the Jews to defend themselves. The Jews take advantage of this to kill their enemies. The deliverance is commemorated at the feast of Purim.
The special feast continues to be celebrated by Jews to this day to celebrate their deliverance from Haman’s destruction through Queen Esther’s actions. So it is a self-proclaimed memorial to the Jews to this very day. During the Purim, the Esther scroll is read aloud in the synagogues.
Other festivals were ordained by Divine authority this one was initiated by Mordecai and Esther. Yet its commemoration was undoubtedly sanctioned by God whose merciful interposition it records.
So, what we can learn from this is not so much the memorial that the Jews proclaimed, but rather the fact that God is a protector and deliverer of those who look to him and trust in him. It is a memorial to illustrate the Graciousness of God.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001 firstname.lastname@example.org