As Purim is celebrated this week it strikes a new tone for me. The events celebrated for thousands of years are recorded in the book of Esther and can seem like an outdated story. But today, like in Esther's time, the Jewish people in Persia face extermination. Jews and Christians across the Middle East face executions and even genocide. They need a miraculous redemption. They need saving. Our body is being persecuted.
While there are many words for redemption in the Hebrew Bible, hippuch appears only in Esther. It refers to a reversal. The Jewish people had a relatively stable position in Persia and overnight faced a formal decree for their extermination. They were headed down to destruction by the evil Haman. But they encountered a reversal that made them victors to Haman’s defeat. They reversed positions.
This reversal is celebrated even today with wild parties and turning things upside down, like wearing masks or costumes as an attempt to remind us things are not always what they seem. God took something evil and turned it for good. He reversed their position.
We cry out for a Purim-like redemption today. But there may be reversals far more personal that you are praying for as well. I trust in a God who redeems, sometimes by unexpectedly turning things upside down. Let’s celebrate, not just in what God has done, but also in what He will do.
… and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor. Esther 9:22