Feb 9, 2010

A Call to Pastors: This "Purim," Please Consider Preaching on the Modern-Day Lessons of the Book of Esther

Joel RosenbergBy Joel Rosenberg

This is not the first time in history when the Jewish people have been threatened with annihilation from Persian/Iranian leaders who hated them without cause. The Book of Esther tells the story of how two heroic believers — Mordechai and Esther — prayed and fasted and encouraged others to do the same.

In response to those faithful prayers, the Lord intervened in a dramatic and powerful way. The evil Prime Minister of Iran (Haman) was removed from power and hanged. The heart of the Supreme Leader of Iran (King Ahausuerus) was miraculously changed. The Jews did have to fight. But they were saved from destruction and scores of Iranians converted and became true followers of the God of Israel.

This year, the holiday of “Purim” commemorating these events falls on Sunday, February 28th.

If you are a pastor or Bible teacher, may I ask you to prayerfully consider preaching and teaching on the Book of Esther that Sunday? May I ask you to help followers of Jesus Christ remember how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saved the Jewish people from Iran once in history, and how He will do so again if His people will pray and fast as never before?

I am not speaking in a church that particular Sunday morning. But the next day, March 1st, God has opened a door for me to speak at the National Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville. I have entitled that address, “Israel, The Iran Threat and Lessons From The Book of Esther.”

Wouldn’t it be powerful if thousands of pastors all over North America and all over the world would call the Church to prayer and fasting for God to save both Israel and Iran (and our own countries, too)?

The situation is urgent. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning called on the U.N. Security Council immediately to impose on Iran “crippling sanctions” of the kind U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has previously suggested. His remarks come as the Iranian regime is significantly ratcheting up its threats against Israel.

“In the last two days the brutal regime in Teheran has made more outrageous statements, including the implicit call for the extermination of my country,” Netanyahu told the envoys at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“Israel expects all responsible governments, including all those represented here, to forcefully condemn these outrageous statements….

But I think what is required is a lot more than words,. Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons in brazen defiance of the international community. And the international community must decide if it is serious about neutralizing this threat to Israel, the region and the entire word. I believe that what is required right now is tough action from the international community.

This means not moderate sanctions or watered down sanctions, this means crippling sanctions, and these sanctions must be applied right now.”
Meanwhile, a new AP story suggests Iran’s capacity to build nuclear warheads is accelerating.

Excerpts from the article:
  • Iran pressed ahead Monday with plans that will increase its ability to make nuclear weapons as it formally informed the U.N. nuclear agency of its intention to enrich uranium to higher levels….
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…announced Sunday that his country would significantly enrich at least some of the country’s stockpile of uranium to 20 percent….
  • Although material for the fissile core of a nuclear warhead must be enriched to a level of 90 percent or more, just getting its stockpile to the 20 percent mark would be a major step for Iran’s nuclear program. While enriching to 20 percent would take about one year, using up to 2,000 centrifuges at Tehran’s underground Natanz facility, any next step – moving from 20 to 90 percent – would take only half a year and between 500-1,000 centrifuges.
  • Achieving the 20-percent level “would be going most of the rest of the way to weapon-grade uranium,” said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspected proliferators.
Now is the time for the Church to get on our faces and seek the Lord’s grace and mercy for Israel, Iran and the people of the epicenter.

Related Links

Nuke fears rise as Iran ramps up uranium enrichment - CNN
Inside the Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus Are Battling to Dominate the Middle East... - Joel C. Rosenberg (Book)
Does Israel Invade Iran in Bible Prophecy? - Prophecy Update (Radio)
Obama's Outreach to Iran Unprecedented, Gates Says - FOX News
Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel - Ron Rhodes (Book)