Everyone knows that neither the word “God” nor His name YHVH appears in the scroll of Esther, which is read in the synagogues every Purim. The story of God’s faithfulness and deliverance for His people, even when they (we) do not remember Him gives all of us hope. It also reminds us that God is acting “behind the scenes”, not visibly. Tomorrow is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by most of the Christian believers in the world, and most of Israel ignores that truth, and is busy celebrating Purim as if they still do not believe He is active in our affairs.
How many times do we ask or cry out, Where was/is God?! During and since the Holocaust many Jews and Christians have asked and wondered, Where was God? This, of course, brings reproach to Him in the eyes of the unbelievers when His own people do not believe that He is around and is very much aware of what is happening. When we speak or agree with that, it is further evidence that we do not know Him or His Word as He would want us to.
Because God is not seen, the enemies of His people – the Amalekites, the Hamans of history — do not believe He even exists. The Lord our God is looking for those who believe in Him without seeing, and who fear Him and do righteousness in the expectation of God’s judgment after our death.
Don’t you long to see God!? The Apostle Peter says that even though we don’t see Him, yet we love the Lord (1Pt 1:6-9,13-16). How often do we cry out to God not to hide His face from us? We want, we need to know He is with us and for us and mindful of us. He has put it into the spirit of man – especially of us who have received God’s own Spirit – to want to be with Him. God wants to be with us! He walked in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were there. Jesus is coming again to be with His people and the world He has made.
But in the meantime, He is hiding His face; He is keeping a low profile. Let’s look together at some verses from both the O.T. and the N.T.:
Dt 31:16-18 God hides His face because of our evil deeds and idolatry against His covenant.
Is 53:3 It is Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus who hides His face from men, because people generally despise Him and hold Him in low esteem.
Ezek 39:21-29 God has hidden His face because of sin, but He will again shine His face upon Israel when He gives her His Spirit.
Ps 13 The believers can also experience feeling that God has left him, but yet He trusts in His lovingkindness and offers a sacrifice of praise to Him who has been so good to him.
Jn 7:2-5 the brothers of Jesus admitted that His works were not being done openly
Rev 6:12-17 In God’s day of vengeance and wrath, men will want God to hide His face from them. God is Light, and the the darkness can not be in His Presence.
How many times did Jesus say to His disciples, or to those He healed or delivered, not to tell people who He was or what He did? When Jesus was here, He said He came to do and say just as He saw His Father – God – do. Jesus came as a bondservant, not as the Lord of Glory. He hid Himself from a people whose hearts He knew did not want Him – the Holy One of Israel – because of their unbelief. Even when Judas betrayed Him and came out with those to arrest Him, he had to identify Him with a kiss: they did not know who Jesus was despite all His ministry and antagonism to Him! Jesus says that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of righteousness in that He ascended back to the Father and the world does not see Him because of the sin of not believing in Him as the Son of God (Jn 16:5-11). He further says to Israel that they will not see Him again until they say, Blessed is He who comes in the name YHVH (cp Hos 5:15).
There is hope in the grace and truth of God which Jesus brought with Him. There is the “until”; there is the time of repentance and restitution of all things by the grace of God ruling through His righteousness. He is hidden, but we see His Hand throughout history and our own lives. Each passing year reminds us that God is protecting and preserving us, even when we are not noticing and making His Name known. God is waiting for His own people – Israel and the Church – to repent of our sins and self-righteousness so that Jesus can return in great power and glory. The Holy Spirit is working to bring this about.
Meanwhile, the world is to see God in us, the Body of Messiah. We are His face to the world today. Who do they see? What do they see? What someone thinks of us will affect how and what they think about our God and our Lord. There came a time when Queen Esther had to rise up and identify herself as one of God’s people – as a Jew – so that the God of Israel could act through her testimony and warning to bring deliverance to His people and to put the fear of God in others when He defeated those who opposed Him in His people. We, too, as Messianic believers today may be called upon to rise up and speak up on behalf of our people, risking our own lives and position to do so for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We see Jesus by faith; we have received a measure of His Spirit. We want to see His Face and touch Him. He is coming again, never to leave again those who love Him and hope in Him. Amalek will be forgotten; Haman will be forgotten. But God our Father and the Lord Jesus will never again be forgotten by those whom He has created or by those whom He has chosen for Himself.
Jesus is risen and is Lord of all!
The Spirit and the Bride say, Come!