In the previous articles of this series, I wrote about events that occurred in the past and how they relate to the book of Esther. Now, I would like to discuss a topic of extreme controversy through out the world today - the war in Iraq. Here in the U.S. the population is greatly divided over the question of our troops remaining there for much longer. As this is an election year, this question has been in the forefront of politcal debate and may even influence the result of the upcoming November elections. Therefore, I feel that it is very important for the Church to consider what the Lord may think about this war and demonstrate how it ties into our topic of the Book of Esther. So, buckle your seatbelts, my friends, because this may be a rocky ride for some of you!
To begin, lets take a look at Esther 9:13 :
As previously discussed in the second article of this series, "The Book of Esther: A Nazi Connection?", according to Rabbinic scholars and Jewish commentators, through out the Book of Esther whenever King Ahasuerus is mentioned by name it is referring to him but whenever you come across just "the king" it is referring to the Lord Himself. Also, the Jewish sages have commented that "There is a tomorrow that is now, and a tomorrow which is later."1 Continuing on, lets look at what the following verses tell us:
In light of what I explained above, a fresh prophetic reading of Esther 9:13-15 reveals that on the fourteenth day of Adar in some future year, the Lord has commanded that the enemies of the Jews will again be put to death! In fact, this date is even memorialized as the Jewish holiday of Purim so that the Jews would never forget what happened on that day!3 That is the premise for this discussion - that these verses contain a hidden prophecy! I believe that I can adequately prove that these scriptures are prophetic by demonstrating when they came into fulfilment. Yes, as the title queries, there is an amazing Gulf War connection!
Did you know that the first Gulf War, which began after Saddam Hussein sent scud missiles into Israel, ended after forty days on February 28, 1991?4 This is significant because forty is the biblical number symbolizing trials and judgements!9 Could you also believe that February 28th of that year was the 14th of Adar 5751 on the Hebrew calendar which is the day that Purim is celbrated?5 Well, incredibly, it was!
The second Gulf War, the war which we are currently engaged in, began on March 18th, 2003 after President George W. Bush wrote a letter to congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq6 and Prime Minister Tony Blair received Parliamentary approval from the British government for an invasion into Iraq.7 March 18th 2003 was also the day that we began bombing Iraq.8 Incredibly, March 18, 2003 was also the 14th of Adar II 5763 - Purim!9
Fantastically, the first Gulf War ended on Purim and the Second Gulf War began on Purim mirroring the pattern for this edict as it was originally enacted, excepting the twelve years of grace that the Lord allowed for Saddam Hussein to repent! When you know that the number twelve symbolizes governmental perfection10, you can clearly see that the Lord temporarily suspended the complete fulfillment of this prophecy as an act of grace. But when Saddam Hussein refused to co-operate, the Lord restarted His prophetic clock in an effort to bring the government of Iraq/Babylon into His perfect plan! Please remember that the Lord lives outside of time... He can stop and restart His prophetic clock whenever He wishes to achieve His goals just as He has done with Daniel's prophetic 70 weeks.
Incidentally, for those of you who may wonder why there is a "II" after the month of Adar on the second date, it designates that this is the "real" month of Adar when Purim is celebrated in a Jewish leap year.11 I must admit that I just love how the "II" looks after this date as it goes along beautifully with this prophetic vision! For this day began a continuation of what was temporarily suspended on the first 14 Adar in the year 1991! Not coincidentally, I feel that it is also significant that President George W. Bush, President Bush "II", was the one to continue this effort which his father had started!
Now, I know some of you will be thinking that the United States fighting a war in Iraq doesn't have anything to do with this prophecy as the text states, "let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today's decree ..." But, I believe that I can show from a biblical stand point that the "Jews who are in Shushan" does, in fact, refer to the US!
Therefore, to begin, let us look at what Romans 11:17 has to say about the Christian church:
This scripture tells us that the church has "been grafted in" and is a part of the Jewish tree!
Jesus, Himself, also explained that He would have one church made up of Jews and Gentiles. Please read the following:
In this passage, Jesus was speaking to Jews and He told them that He had other "sheep" that weren't a part of their "fold". He was, of course, referring to the Gentiles who would accept Him as their Saviour! Then He goes on to tell us that there will only be one flock and flock shepard - one church comprised of Jews and Gentiles - under Him. The Church will be a part of the chosen people, the Jews!
Also, according to Strong's Concordance, the word "Shushan" is the same word as "shuwshan" meaning "lily" and is derived from the primitive root "suws" which means "a lily (from its whiteness)".12 Using this interpretation, "The Jews who are in Shushan" could also be said to be "The Jews who are in Lily Whiteness" which is an excellant way to refer to the church which has been washed white through Jesus' blood shed for us on Calvary!
Now, let me ask you two questions... Which country in the world has the largest and most diverse Christian population? Answer: The United States of America.13 What is the only country in the entire world which has the Bible as the basis for its laws and was founded by Christians? Answer: The United States of America. In light of these facts, I feel that I can safely say that the United States is a Christian nation and is the only nation on Earth which can adequately represent the church. From that viewpoint, and knowing that the church has been grafted into the Jewish tree, I feel it is fair to say that the US can indeed qualify as "the Jews who are in Shushan".
Even if you are skeptical of my explanations, please do not lose sight of the standing facts... Namely that the first Gulf War ended on February 28, 1991 which was Purim and that the second Gulf War began on March 18th, 2003 which was also Purim! Those two facts alone are incredible in light of the prophetic quality of Esther 9:13-15!
So, what does all of this mean? Truly, I don't know as I only "see through a glass, darkly"14. But, I do know this... "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter"!15 On that note, let us think very carefully and search out what the Lord may be trying to teach us. To read my thoughts about this, please read the next article in this series, The Book of Esther: Agagites and Modern Day Amalekites?