There are two ways the enemy has consistently tried to destroy God's people over the years. Assimilation, and if that didn't work, annihilation, both physically and spiritually. The first Chanukah, or in English, Hanukkah, was celebrated at a time when Israel was almost completely assimilated into the existing Grecian empire and absorbed into their pagan culture and religion. They had all but lost their own identity. God intervened however. Through the Maccabees, a family of priests that chose to remain a separate people, He brought about victory, thus allowing Israel to maintain her separation from the world's systems and people. Just as the Greeks tried to absorb the people of God in the year 163 BC, the powers and principalities that operated through them are up to the same old tricks today. Hanukkah therefore is celebrated to commemorate the victory God brought against those who tried assimilation and failed in the past, as well as those that continue to try today. There is still a separate people, a remnant that does not walk like the world physically, nor do they spiritually indulge in the false doctrines and lies of the world's religions. For this reason the world and her churches hate the remnant. They mock, scoff and ridicule, trying to annihilate them spiritually. In fact, over the years, many that have taken a stand for truth have been killed physically as well. This opposition is soon to end. The book of Esther portrays a time when the beautiful, but lawless church, Babylon, represented by Queen Vashti, is replaced by Esther, who is a picture of the true Queen, the Church Triumphant. The principalities operating through the false religions today are the same evil Prince of Persia, Spirit of Error etc. that tried to kill Esther and her people in 485 BC. Again, God stepped in bringing their defeat, and the first Feast of Purim was a celebration in honor of that victory. At the end of this age, the final Purim will be a celebration of the victory over the entire empire of Babylon which encompasses all the false religions of today's world. At the final Hanukkah, God's people will experience the Lord's total victory over the Beast, or man's governments, and the force that guides them, Satan. In other words, God's systems, His economy, His education, His government, His pure worship will be restored as His Kingdom begins to rise. We can look at the first Hanukkah, and the first Purim as our proof and confidence that victory is possible through God, even though it may be a very small remnant that is taking a stand. In fact, throughout history, the greatest battles have been won by small numbers of God's people. In this way the Lord gets the glory, and man gains the courage to stand for truth and righteousness regardless of how many there are in agreement.
The book of Esther is unique however in that the name or person of God is never mentioned, yet it is a perfect narration of how God's people can survive in the midst of world hostility. Haman, symbolic of Satan through his body of people, meant to kill all of God's people, removing them forever from the face of the earth.
6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordecai.
7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is,the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
His hatred of God's people came from the fact his ancestors embodied all the evil that the Lord through His priesthood and the Torah had commanded Israel to obliterate. He was an Amalekite from a people that Israel was instructed to completely destroy.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven."
15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner;
16 for he said, "Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
Esther is symbolic of the True Church or God's Bride. She was spiritually mature, knew God, was well prepared within the Kingdom, not by the world, for the King. She was completely obedient to Mordecai,who is a perfect picture of how the Holy Spirit works on behalf of the church triumphant. Esther was strong, loyal and brave. She boldly laid her life on the line for her people by trusting in her relationship with the King, symbolic of God, and believing in His intervention on her behalf. She trusted His righteousness as a ruler and judge and His love for her. She feared God, not man and exposed the evil intent of Haman. In other words, Mordecai and Esther teamed up to defeat the enemy. Today, the Bride of Christ must team up with the Holy Spirit to stop the assimilation of God's people into the world's culture and to preserve His people from the final thrust of Satan to destroy the church. The name of the feast of Esther, Purim, means "lot", as in throwing the dice for a decision. Like Haman, the people Satan operates through today will, or perhaps already have, cast lots for a date when they hope to cause the final destruction of God's people. The Church, or the Bride of Christ, does not know this time or date, but God does. If she is well trained and prepared to be His Bride, separated to Him with no spot or wrinkle, and obedient to the Spirit, she will have the final victory. All of God's people will rejoice at the last Purim when the lot is tossed in favor of them and God's Kingdom is established.
For more information on Purim, please read Hanukkah and the Children of Oil, Parts One and Two.