Today we are remembering. Remembering an event that must never be forgotten. Today is important because it remembers the past to secure the future. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.
In a Providential way, this Sunday, we will be looking at the last 3 chapters of Esther and seeing how God rescued his people from a Holocaust and then a memorial day (Purim) was established:
21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
Esther and the Holocaust are linked. Indeed, during the Holocaust, if a Nazi spotted a Jew with a copy of Esther in the prison camp, they would be shot on the spot (Jobes, 1999, p220). Why? Because the message of the book of Esther is that God will never leave His people and thus they will always triumph.
Another part of the message of Esther is that of standing up and remembering. Esther had to stand up and be counted (Chapter 4), and once the victory was secure, they had to remember (Chapter 9). Indeed, it is interesting to note the dates of the rescue and the celebration of Passover – the big Old Testament demonstration and pattern of redemtion.
Today we must do all these three things:
1. Trust in God, even when He is unseen
That is the BIG message of Esther. Even though His name is not mentioned, His fingerprints are everywhere. This is a place where God does not work in Miracles, but Providence.
2. Take your stand, even if its dangerous
Esther stood and said ‘If I perish, I perish’. We need to have that same mind set. Even though God is sovereign and can do all things, He chooses to use us. Thus we must stand. In general against such atrocities, the church should be at the forefront of human rights. In specific, we must stand for the church, the Bride of Christ. We must seek her purity and expansion. Even is it is dangerous.
3. Take time to remember, even if you think it’ll never happen
I had the privilege of going on the March of the Living to Auschwitz just over 10 years ago. You can see some memories below:
We must always remember.