Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Watchmen Wednesday: The Fast of Esther

As I said in Friday's post, the Fast of Esther is observed tomorrow, March 20th, this year. This lines up perfectly with Watchmen on the Walls Wednesday, as Hadassah (Esther's Hebrew name) was the epitome of a Biblical watchman (or woman!). The above picture is from the movie One Night with the King, particularly the part where Hadassah is having her second dinner with King Ahashuerus and Haman, pleading with the king to spare her and her people's lives.

This is exactly what we are called to do, plead with our King on behalf of our people. As I prayed this morning, I prayed that God would give me such dedication, such fervent commitment to the people of Israel that I, as Hadassah did, would be able to say concerning the people of God, "...and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:16)

If you decide to fast along with many of the world's Jewish people, here are some suggestions:

1. Read the book of Esther sometime during the day.

This is kind of obvious, but really important. It will remind us not only of the past, but the importance of being a woman of faith in turbulent times such the ones in which we live. As I refreshed myself on this book last night, I saw that Hadassah actually had all of the Jewish people fast along with her for three days before she went before the king.

2. Take extra time to pray on behalf of God's people in every part of the world, and especially Israel.

As I stated in earlier posts, we know that "praying for the peace of Jerusalem" is not a special calling, but something that God desires of all of His people. If you work outside the home, maybe you could take your lunch time as a time to pray. Traditionally this fast is from sunrise to sunset and includes no eating or drinking, but if you want to fast a certain thing that's fine too. The idea is to get into the spirit of the day; it is a somber day of remembering the past Hamans of history (those that seek to destroy Israel) and pleading with God for the future.

3. Take some time to read the current events in Israel.

I try to do this at least once a day, but many times I get so wrapped up in my own life and forget to check the news. There are links on my sidebar for some Israeli news sources. Be wary of some of our American ones, as unfortunately there is a lot of anti-Israel reporting in our media. The reason for this suggestion is simple; yet again do we live in a time of increased hatred for Israel, and there are many who call for the Jews to be "pushed into the sea." It's time for believers to stand up and do what we are called to in this hour. For who knows...we may have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

I received this picture in my e-mail yesterday, and thought it was very appropriate for today's post.

1 comment:

Jan/ said...

The book of Esther has been my favorite, along with the story of Ruth, since I was a little girl.