Purim means ‘casting of lots’ (Esther 3:7). Casting of lots was used to determine God’s will when decisions were made, signifying God’s sovereignty in human affairs, especially of those who respect, love & obey Him.
In the story of Esther, Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) refuses to bow to Haman, King Xerxes’ Prime Minister. According to Jewish rabbinical tradition, Mordecai the Jew refused to bow to Haman the Agagite because Haman had an idol embroidered onto his garment, and bowing to Haman meant bowing to the false god as well. As a result, Haman’s rage is kindled against Mordecai and all of the Jewish people that Mordecai represents. Through a series of twists, Haman’s hatred and plotting against Mordecai and the Jews becomes his own undoing, and he is hanged on the very gallows he built for the public execution of Mordecai. Mordecai and Esthers’ faith in God and boldness to stand for righteousness in spite of the possibility of death is a key principle of the story.
The history of Esther is also an awesome account of God’s sovereignty and intervention in the lives of those who are His and love & obey Him, and how God is not hindered by the folly of mens’ decisions, even if those men are powerful leaders. ‘We know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.’ – Romans 8:28