There are many similarities between the first Purim story we read about in the book of Esther, and modern times. Throughout history until now, the Jewish people have faced threats of destruction from evil people and nations.
Yet there is another common element: God is still performing miracles and remaining true to his promises. And just as in ancient times many are again faced with a choice: will we be silent, or will we do everything in our power to stand against this evil? As a non-Jew, I speak to other gentile lovers of Israel around the world, to say we have a responsibility to stand against antisemitism wherever it rises up.
Tragically, in the last two thousand years, many have been complicit as horrible atrocities were committed against the Jewish people. Beginning very early in the Common Era, a culture that encouraged the spirit of Haman was cultivated in Europe, unfortunately largely inspired by the doctrines and teachings of the Church. Hamans ran rampant in medieval Europe carrying out crusades, inquisitions and expulsions. The pogroms—massacres of Jewish communities—of Eastern Europe soon followed, leading up to one of the worst atrocities in human history: the Holocaust.
But the spirit of Haman remained after WWII. As Jews who had returned to their homeland established the State of Israel, five Arab armies attacked with the intent to drive the Jews into the sea. With great determination and by the hand of God, the Jewish people prevailed, but the attacks and threats continue unceasingly to this day. Iran, once home to the evil Haman, now seeks to arm itself with weapons of mass destruction which it would undoubtedly use without hesitation against Israel.
It’s easy sometimes to look at military threats Israel faces and forget about other places where Haman is waging war. At the United Nations, Israel is routinely and unfairly singled out for condemnation. On university campuses, libels and calls for boycotts of Israel are commonplace. Social media is a festering breeding ground for hatred of Jews, primarily under the guise of anti-Zionism. The forces of darkness are doing battle for people’s hearts and minds to turn them against the Jewish nation.
In these times of decision, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the timeless words of Mordechai as he encouraged Esther to stand up on behalf of her people:
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Simply standing against evil is not enough. We must steadfastly and proactively support that which evil seeks to destroy. That is, lovers of truth and freedom must move beyond mere thoughts of sympathy, and support Israel with actions.
Buy Israeli products, support organizations involved in the restoration of Israel, and speak the truth about Israel boldly and publicly whenever the opportunity arises.
Prophecy is alive in Israel. The restoration the prophets longed to see is happening in our time. The Land has come alive as the Jewish people rebuild and restore. As the enemies of God rage, it is up to us—those who believe in God’s promises—to do everything we can to ensure this beautiful emprise of restoration endures.