As of late, a spotlight has been placed on the Book of Esther and the Jewish celebration of Purim. Even the secular media has drawn parallels between the Biblical account of Queen Esther, commemorated during this time of year, and last week's bold actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Queen Esther broke protocol to appeal to the king in a courageous attempt to save her people from a threat of annihilation.
Likewise, Prime Minister Netanyahu—without President Obama's involvement—made an appeal to the U.S. Congress to intervene against the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel and the world. In Esther's day, the deliverance of the Jewish people initiated the holiday known as Purim. While last week's political events may have prompted me to write this article, the Feast of Purim has had my attention for the past few months.
In December of each year, I take time to study the Word and seek the Lord for prophetic revelation concerning the New Year. As I pressed into God concerning 2015, He highlighted some word definitions from within the book of Esther that are key to understanding and partnering with what God desires to do in this season.
According to the book of Esther, the Jewish people's existence was threatened when Haman, one of King Ahasuerus' trusted officials manipulated the king into issuing a decree for the annihilation of the Jews. Upon learning of Haman's decree, Esther, a Jewish woman chosen by King Ahasuerus to be his queen, exposed Haman's plan and appealed to the king for the salvation of her people. The king miraculously granted Esther's request and Haman was executed instead. The day after the decree of Haman was reversed, the feast of Purim began.
Time To Reverse And Overthrow
In Strong's Concordance, the Hebrew definition for the word numbered 2015 (haphak) is "to overturn, overthrow, turnaround, transform, be reversed." The following verses from Esther 9demonstrate the power of this concept.
"...when the king's command and edict were about to be executed, on the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them." (verse 1)
"Because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing..." (verse 22)
"But when it came to the king's attention, he commanded by letter that his wicked scheme, which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows." (verse 25)
The Message translation of Esther 9:25 uses a powerful illustration to convey the significance of what transpired: "But when Queen Esther intervened with the king, he gave written orders that the evil scheme that Haman had worked out should boomerang back on his own head."
I believe God is doing again this year what He did in Esther's day. God is moving us into a time of divine reversals! This is the year of the great turnaround, when God intervenes powerfully on behalf of His people and the enemy is overthrown as his plans boomerang back on his own head!
Of course, the Hebrew word for 2015 is not only found in the book of Esther, but throughout the Scriptures. Deuteronomy 23:5 uses the word when the curse Balaam released over the Jewish people was turned by God into a blessing because He loved them. Jeremiah 31:13 and Isaiah 61 use the word in reference to turning mourning into joy.
I believe this divine turnaround is true not only for families and individuals, but for entire regions and nations of the earth, as well. Wars will give place to harvest and areas of unrest will give way to righteousness—even in the darkest regions. There will be awakening and revivals in places where they have never existed. We must recognize, however, that the Lord is inviting us to partner with Him in releasing these supernatural boomerangs into the earth.
Time to Agree and Decree
When King Ahasuerus extended his scepter over Esther, and life and favor were released, the king invited Esther to write her own decree. The decree was to be written in the king's name and sealed with the king's seal, so that it could never be reversed. Likewise, the Lord has extended His scepter of grace and favor over us. He is inviting us to exercise His authority to make reversal decrees concerning the very things the enemy has decreed over our lives in past seasons.
Be it sickness, poverty, divorce, depression, rebellion, or any other form of oppression, these truths from Scripture convey the power of our words:
"You will also decree a thing and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways." (Job 22:28)
"Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." (Jeremiah 1:9-10)
As stated in one of my previous writings, the Lord is calling us to shift from merely petitioning the Father, to also making decrees (official orders, edicts or decisions), declarations (announcements or formal statements) and proclamations (the process of binding and loosing) as we are prophetically inspired by Holy Spirit to do so. The power of God's decreed Word is extraordinary! It releases His creativity, His salvation, and yes, His judgments! He rules through His Words, and so must we.
Time To Feast and Rest
The number 15 is also associated with remembrance, celebration and rest after victory or harvest in the Scriptures. Throughout Scripture, we read accounts of the Jewish people instituting feast days—in response to and in commemoration of the Lord's providence—on the 15th day of the month. (Exodus 12-13, Leviticus 23, Esther 9).
The Feast of Tabernacles (15th of Tishri) was celebrated in remembrance of how God faithfully brought the Israelites through wilderness out of Egypt, and into the Promised Land. The Feast of Unleavened Bread (15th of Nisan) took place after Passover. It commemorated how the Lord preserved the lives of all those who put the blood of a sacrificial lamb on the doorpost of their house. The Feast of Purim (14th of Adar and Shushan Purim 15th of Adar) memorializes the day on which God gave the Israelites rest from their enemies, who wanted to destroy them. The stories behind these feasts paint a prophetic picture of what God desires to do among us in the year 2015.
As the Lord causes the strategies of the enemy to be overthrown, He will also bring us into a season of victory, celebration and rest. This rest does not imply the ceasing of activity, but a peaceful and joyful trust in the Lord. It is the place from which we derive renewed strength to move forward.
This Scriptural passage comes to mind:
"He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." (Isaiah 40:29-31) The year 2014 was one of great turmoil for many families, ministries and nations alike. As a result, hopelessness has set in, vision has been clouded, strategies have been wanting, and forward movement has been delayed. Yet I concur with the prophets who have been proclaiming 2015 as a turnaround year! Regardless of how great the hardship, betrayal, sickness or loss in 2014, this is your year of breakthrough!
In 2015, you will see a reversal of the enemy's decrees and strategies enacted against you. Stand confidently upon the Lord's promise of divine intervention; He has been working all things together for your good (Romans8:28)! This year, God will cause light to break forth from darkness, turn curses into blessings, and mourning into joy (Isaiah 60 and 61)! Through the adversity of the past year, the Lord has been preparing you for the fulfillment of His promises over your life! And from this new place of celebration, victory and rest, the Lord desires that you partner with Him to help facilitate a righteous turnaround in this nation.
You were born for such a time as this!
This article is derived from Dutch Sheets' Word of the Lord for 2015: Your Turnaround Year.
Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, teacher, and conference speaker. He travels extensively, empowering Believers for passionate prayer and societal transformation. Dutch has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. Dutch's greatest passion is to see America experience a sweeping revival and return to its Godly heritage. Dutch is a messenger of hope for America, encouraging Believers to contend for awakening in our day and reformation in our lifetime. Dutch has written over 20 books, many of which have been translated into over 30 languages. Dutch and his wife Ceci have been married for 35 years and now reside in the Dallas area. They treasure time spent with their two grown daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren.
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