The Narrative Of Hanukkah
Hanukkah means dedication. It is the story of dedicating ourselves to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His holy Law. It is all about our responsibility to be faithful to the ways of God regardless of the cost. The drama of Hanukkah comes to life in the books of the Maccabeus. In these writings we find the fulfillment of what Daniel the Prophet prophesied in chapter eight of his book. Daniel’s prophecy came to pass and has been preserved for us so that we can be prepared to confront and overcome the spirit of the anti-Messiah (typified in Antiochus Epiphanies) in our generation.
The Agenda Of The Anti-Messiah
We see the agenda of the anti-Messiah in Daniel chapter eight. He will attack the Jewish people and destroy many without cause. He will fling truth (Torah) to the ground. He will defile that which is holy. In 1 Maccabeus 1, we discover that he:
1. Legislates an anti- Torah program.
2. Sabbath Observance – forbidden and illegal!
3. Biblical Holydays - forbidden and illegal!
4. Pagan holydays – mandatory observance!
5. Pagan forms of worship - mandatory practice!
6. Biblical Dietary Laws – To be rejected
7. In short: The Torah must be rejected and forgotten and paganism embraced and celebrated!
Suffice it to say, He and His agenda was and is the spirit of Lawlessness (Torahlessness). He hates God, he hates the covenant, he hates the Jewish people, and he hates Israel.
The Courage And Nobility Of The Maccabeus
The Maccabeus family shines like bright stars in the dark agenda of Antiochus Epiphanies. They gave up everything to follow God and to stay true to His ways. They were brave and loyal to the covenant. Many died. Those that lived wrote the story in memory of those they lost and for all generations to come. They represent those who believe and whose faith is vindicated by their observance of the Law of God. Their faith was not just found in their words or creeds but in their deeds. These are our ancestors, our brothers and sisters. Their lives will arouse us to live faithfully in the covenant. Their martyrdom inspires us to stand steadfast in the majestic commandments of our God. This part of our history will inform and keep us in every period of lawlessness and from seductive pagan days and ways. I, like you, love Hanukkah, the stories, the truths, and the light of God found in the hearts and lives of the Maccabaeus and those who joined them in resisting the evil of their day.
From The Harvest: Happy Hanukkah To One and All!