The Feast of Dedication
The Feast of Dedication
Hanukah the feast of Dedication, [John 10:22] also called the festival of lights, which is the celebration of the saving of the Jewish people from the Greeks in 168AD and the beginning of the count down to the coming of the Messiah. If Hanukah had not happened we would not have known the salvation that we have today. At this time people are running around buying and selling and they are talking of a baby in a manger, but there is much more to this story than one event to celebrate at this time, this was just the beginning. [Isaiah 9:6-7]
The evil in this world tried to destroy the Jewish people before the coming of the Messiah and if they had succeeded there would have been no Jewish people for the Messiah to come to. [Story is in the Maccabees in the Book of the Apocrypha] If they had succeeded the results would have been horrifying to think about. About 200 years before the Lord arrived on earth a battle was waging between good and evil. But on that day so long ago the war turned and the beginning of the end arrived on earth, the Saviour of the world and the plans of God were able to continue. [1 Corinthians 1:25]
The Miracle of Hanukah lit up the temple with the light of the world, the very light that the darkness tried to swallow but failed. [John 1:4] Again the darkness tried to put out the light on the cross [Luke 23:50-53] but the light once more shone forth from an empty tomb [Luke 24:1-6] and lit up the whole world. People, governments and whole countries have been changed because the darkness could not put out the light leading up to Hanukah and at the time of the crucifixion. As they say darkness is the absence of light and as long as we have the Light of the world we can never be in darkness, no matter what happens. [1 John 1:7]
Leading up to the time of Hanukah the people rose up against Antiochus Epiphanies, a Greek Commander who had taken over Jerusalem and sacrificed a pig in the Temple of God, who declared there would be no more Scriptures to read, there would be no more celebrations of those scriptures and all people would bow before him and what he stood for. He had declared himself god and of course later paid for such a stand. [Acts 12:23 was a good example] But the battle was on to stop the coming of the Salvation of this world to all people. Just as it is today, the battle is to stop the reading and the declaration of the scriptures in our lives, in government and in our schools and in all countries of the world. But we need to remember no matter what happens they can never taken the Lord out of our heart.
Many have tried to stop the Word like Islam and Hinduism plus Buddhism have all try to stop the spread of the Gospel. Plus the religion of atheism is trying hard to stop all mention of the One they don’t believe in, from being heard by all people in the west. The battle continues, the Disciples took the word to the world and they suffered to the point of death. [Acts 12:2] The Gentiles took over the ‘church’ and closed it down to the truth much like Antiochus Epiphanies did to the scriptures many centuries before. The world went into a thousand years of what was called the dark ages.
But praise the Lord! He rose up many people to bring the truth back to the people and over the last few hundred years the Word has once more become alive in the lives of the people. If you like we had another Hanukah event where men and women again defeated the evil as they had had enough of the evil control over their lives.
Then late in the 1800s once more the darkness tried to cover the light. The truth of the light was the re-establishment of Israel, which was under way. Ever since the battle has once more raged between the light and the darkness, good and evil. Wars and rumours of wars have covered the earth. [Matthew 24:6] Israel is again the Land the Lord said it would be in so many places in the Word, [Zechariah 8:4] there can be no doubt the Lord is behind it all. So why now and what is happening? Why are people rising up against the Word of God, trying to remove the Word from the lives of the people, the lives of the nations and remove the Word of God once and for all?
We are I believe in another time of Hanukah, where evil has replaced good and anybody who claims to profess the Word of God is shouted down and evil seems to be reigning in the world. [Isaiah 5:20] The spirit of Antiochus Epiphanies has appeared in many forms over time. Today it comes in the form of liberalism, which is just another form of Hellenism, which was being pushed at the time of Antiochus Epiphanies. Any thing goes as long as it is not Christianity. Of course if we read the Word we will see this is just another attempt to prevent the return of the Messiah to take up His Holy Throne and His reign upon the earth. [Revelation 20:4-6]
Have we just entered into the next step of our Lord’s return with the announcement of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel? Have we just seen the final step that needed to be taken before the Lord’s return? With the reaction around the world there is a good chance this could be so. However as people before us have waited in vain for His return in their lifetime, we just might do the same except that there is one difference, Israel exists, the Jewish people have total control over Israel and Jerusalem has been prepared for the coming King and now, someone other than Israel has declared it to be the capital of Israel. [Luke 21:4]
So what is our role in all of this as Believers in the Jewish Messiah? We must stay true to the Word of God because there are many strange teachings that are not Biblical such as Christians getting in to Yoga, eastern meditation and now so called Christian tarot cards. The Lord warned us about going astray, [Matthew 7:13] He even warned us that the leaders would or could go astray. [Matthew 24:24] The Word is simple the Word is easy to understand and we must be ready at all times for the coming of the Lord and not to run off after things that sound good to the ears. [2 Timothy 4:3]
Yeshua was dedicated, [Luke 1:59] He attended the Feast of Dedication [John 10:22] and we must remember, He is coming back as the King of kings and not a helpless babe. [Revelation 19:16] He is the conqueror of all things and over all situations. [Colossians 1:17] As He overcame at the time of Hanukah, as He overcame the grave [Psalm 16:10] and as He will overcome the evil that is trying to turn people away from the truth in these end of days. The truth will always win through in the end, as the living truth, Yeshua, will do on the day He comes as a thief in the night, so we need to keep watch. [Matthew 24:43] We are in a time of Hanukah a time to dedicate our lives to the Lord if we have not done so and for those who have, to renew that dedication to the One who saves. [Romans 10:9]
Like in a marriage, it is not enough to dedicate oneself to our spouse and to leave it there. We must continue to dedicate ourselves to the one we love or the love will fade by one or both. Dedicating ourselves to the King of kings on a regular basis is reminding the Lord and ourselves of that original commitment we made to become a child of God. [John 1:12] When we confessed His name into our lives it was the same as a wedding vow and should never be broken. We made a vow, a covenant, as did Abraham as did countless people throughout history. A covenant that we know the Lord will not break, as He is faithful and true. [Psalm 33:4] So in this time of Hanukah the time of dedication, let us dedicate our lives to the Lord afresh to renew that relationship we once made. Then people will know we are His disciples and the followers of the Living God and one day through that dedication and confession of faith we will be with Him for all eternity. Amen
Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy. Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to You I cry all day long. Make glad the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:1-4