Purim & Parsha Ki-Tisa (Shemoth/Exodus 30:11 - 34:35)
This week, we celebrate Purim, the celebration of YAH’s deliverance in the book of Esther.
The book of Esther is known for a unique feature: It never once mentions the Name of YAHUAH.
For some, this may cause some concern, as it did us. But then we learned of a key connection to Torah that explains much.
There is one prominent story in Torah that also doesn’t mention the Name of YAHUAH. Do you know which one?
It’s the story of Yoseph! Yoseph’s life takes up more space in Bereshith than any one of the Patriarchs - Abraham, Yitshaq, or Ya’aqob. Yet, in all those chapters, the Name of YAHUAH is barely used at all.
Elohim is used many times, but the Set-Apart Name of YAHUAH [יהוה] is only used in two short passages of one single chapter:
Bereshith/Genesis 39:3-5 - "And his master saw that יהוה was with him and that יהוה made all he did to prosper in his hand. (4 ) So Yosĕph found favour in his eyes, and served him, and he appointed him over his house, and gave into his hand all that he had. (5) And it came to be, from the time that he appointed him over his house and all that he had, that יהוה blessed the Mitsrite’s house for Yosĕph’s sake. And the blessing of יהוה was on all that he had in the house and in the field."
Bereshith/Genesis 39:21-23 - "But יהוה was with Yosĕph and extended kindness to him, and He gave him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. (22) And the prison warden gave into the hand of Yosĕph all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there was his doing. (23) The prison warden did not look into any point that was under Yosĕph’s hand, because יהוה was with him. And whatever he did, יהוה made it prosper."
For the next ten chapters, including Yoseph’s rise to power, the Name of YAHUAH is not mentioned at all. His Name appears only one more time in Bereshith when Ya’aqob blesses his sons in 49:18 and says:
"I have waited for your deliverance, O יהוה!"
There are more similarities between the stories of Esther and Yoseph:
Both Esther and Yoseph were “unlikely” candidates who went through a series of “unlikely” events that led to a position of high power.
Both were second in command in a foreign land. Yoseph was second to Pharaoh in Egypt, and as Queen, Esther was second to the king of Persia.
Both were unrecognizable as Yahudim. Yoseph's brothers didn't recognize him, and neither the king nor anyone else in his court knew Esther was a Yahudite.
Both saved the people of Elohim from complete annihilation. Yoseph saved them from famine, and Esther saved them from the sword of Haman’s plot.
Is it a coincidence that the story of Esther and Yoseph share these similarities?
Nope. Nothing in Tanakh - or the world for that matter - is a coincidence, and that’s exactly the point of these two stories.
The fact that YAHUAH’s Name is not mentioned (or scarcely mentioned) teaches us that many times YAHUAH works “behind the scenes.” He governs the world in such a way that His Hand is not openly visible. Events “just happen” to line up and bring about a particular outcome.
YAHUAH often works in this manner for a result that would’ve never been guessed from the start, and for a purpose that is only revealed at the critical moment of need.
YAHUAH works in a “hidden” manner to put His ‘saviors’ in place for the appointed time of salvation for His people.
This is why we celebrate Purim. This is the season in which YAHUAH raises up a means of salvation for His people.
It is no coincidence that this is the message He has been impressing upon us most recently. He has given us more understanding of our role in the world.
YAHUAH has called us to save His people.
In Parsha Ki Tisa, this week’s Torah readings, Yisrael sinned with the golden calf. YAHUAH was going to strike them down immediately, sparing only Moshe, but Moshe pleaded with Elohim not to destroy them.
YAHUAH relented and did not destroy. He made a new Covenant with them, this time adding His Covenant of Compassion, and He forgave their sin:
And יהוה passed before him and proclaimed, "יהוה , יהוה,
an Ěl compassionate and showing favour,
patient, and great in kindness and truth,
watching over kindness for thousands,
forgiving crookedness and transgression and sin,
but by no means leaving unpunished,
visiting the crookedness of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Today, many of YAHUAH’s people are lost in idolatry - the many false religions of the world, including Christianity. This began with the same sin seen in Shemoth 32 - worshipping a golden calf.
After Shlomoh's (Solomon's) reign, the nation of Yisrael split, and the ten tribes of the north separated under the reign of Yarobam (Jeroboam). Yarobam feared the people would return to the House of David, so he built two golden calves and set them up for the people to worship (Mel. alef/1 Kings 12).
Years later, after the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, these ten tribes were lost among the nations. The descendants of these tribes have lost their heritage as Yahudim and are scattered among the nations of the world - still worshipping idols. Because they have not repented, judgment is upon their lives.
But the Covenant of Compassion is still in effect, and now, at this season, YAHUAH is spiritually raising us up to a position of power. He is giving us the authority to save His people from destruction.
Many lost ones are guilty of idolatry, but we pray that YAHUAH will relent and not destroy completely; that He will extend His Covenant of Compassion to His people, forgive their sins, and bring them back in repentance.
Our work is to intercede and pray, as Moshe did, and to lead His people back to YAHUAH in repentance, to bring them back from idolatry of the golden calf to worshipping YAHUAH alone.
That is our goal here at Family of Messiah - to save as many lives as possible, and we firmly believe that YAHUAH will soon reveal His Hand and His purpose for this assembly in a much more visible way.
Can such a small, unknown group of set-apart ones really save a nation?
Well, that’s just how YAHUAH works:
He works ‘behind the scenes’ - outside the eyes of the populace - to raise up His “unlikely ones” to a position of power to save His people from destruction.
So may it be, speedily and soon.