We observed our first Hanukkah Saturday night; it being the first night of said festival. The story behind Hanukkah has come to mean something special to me, especially in these last days. My son and I discussed how it is important to take a stand and trust God. We also talked about being a light as Yeshua is the Light and, like the menorah in the story, to trust God will sustain us and give us what we need. We also celebrated how even when we are faced with tremendous opposition, God is still in control.
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. John 10:22-23
Over 2000 years ago, before Christ, (the 3600s by Hebrew calendar), Israel was controlled by Syria (who was basically controlled by Rome). Long story shorter: the Syrian king Antiochus IV decreed an end to the Jewish religion. All Jewish practices were forbidden, punishable by death. A group of brave and faithful Jews called the Maccabees revolted against Antiochus and fought to reclaim Jerusalem and the temple. Although vastly outnumbered, the Maccabees prevailed. That is Miracle One. The Maccabee army’s leader, Judah, found the temple vandalized and cluttered with Syrian idols. He and his men cleaned out the temple and built a new altar. They rededicated the temple on the 25th of Kislev and lit the Menorah. Miracle Two is they found only ONE DAY’S worth of pure, undefiled, oil with which to light the Menorah. It takes several days to purify the oil and once lit, the candlestick is not to go out! Still, they lit it anyway and that one day’s supply of oil continued to burn for EIGHT DAYS, until new oil was available. The event is commemorated as the Festival of Dedication, or the Festival of Lights, aka Hanukkah.
It’s an amazing story and one I had never heard until last year! Below are three videos in a series by Jacob Prasch concerning Hanukkah. He not only tells the history of the holiday, but he does a wonderful job relating it to Bible prophecy of the last days. He challenges all of us to be a Maccabee and stand up for the Truth no matter what. The special “prayers” recited during Hanukkah has to do with ” “delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few… the wicked into the hands of the righteous.” (linked below)
I recommend taking the time to listen to these videos. Not only are they informative, but also encouraging. To read a more complete history of Hanukkah and how it is celebrated today, click this link: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/102978/jewish/The-Story-of-Chanukah.htm
Also, just FYI: Hanukkah this year begins on December 24th and ends January 1st.