In the story told by the Book of Esther, Prime Minister Haman talked the King of Persia into signing and sealing a law allowing the people to kill and plunder all Jews. Queen Esther, unbeknownst to the king, was a Jew. She revealed her identity and exposed Haman as a villain, prompting the king to have him executed and to replace him as Prime Minister with Esther’s uncle Mordechai. The king could not revoke a law that had been sealed with his signet ring, so Mordechai and Esther convinced him to sign a counter-order allowing the Jews to arm and defend themselves. The defense was successful and Mordechai declared the 14th and 15th days of Adar to be an annual holiday.
Read the Book of Esther if you want more details. Don’t be lazy; It isn’t very long.
I want you to notice a few key facts about this story:
1. God used a personally distressing series of events to place Esther in a position of influence where she could help her people.
2. God used Mordechai’s defiance of a lawfully appointed civil authority to destroy that authority and to elevate him to the second highest position in the land.
3. God did not rescue the people by sending the Angel of Death to kill all the first born of Persia. He did not turn the waters to blood or the dust to fleas. He did not send an angelic host to fight for them.
4. God used the political influence of Esther and Mordechai to enable the Jews to arm themselves and kill their enemies.
In the United States of America, the right of all people to arm and defend themselves is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution. No matter what the historical revisionists claim, it absolutely does not allow Congress or the President or anyone else to restrict who may own weapons nor what type of weapons they may own. The clause concerning “a well-regulated militia” says nothing about “restricted ownership”. It refers only to the regulation (training, organization, command, etc.) of the militia itself, not to the weapons owned by the members of the militia, who were commonly understood and frequently stated to be all able-bodied men.
I want you to know two more things:
1. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the absence of fear.
2. Fear is not preparation for terrible events, but the absence of faith that God will carry us through those events.
What would have happened if the Jews had refused to defend themselves, trusting in God’s protection alone? The story of a man on a rooftop during a flood comes to mind: a rowboat, a motorboat, a helicopter… Surely you’ve heard it before. God gives ultimate victory to the faithful by whatever means he chooses. Sometimes he does so through an overt miracle like a battalion of angels. Sometimes he just gives you a little boost, like better aim.
In honor of Queen Esther, the honorable Mordechai, and the men who risked–and frequently gave–their lives and property so that we could live free, I propose that all free people, especially those who put their faith in the God of Esther, arm themselves and gather with like-minded members of their communities to practice marksmanship and martial skills on or about Purim every year.