What is a Maccabee you might be asking? Great question, the Hebrew word literally means “hammer.” But let’s discover who they were as we take a closer look at Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. This celebration takes place each year in December, beginning on the 10th and running until the 18th this year. It celebrates the rededication of the restored second temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. This took place when the Maccabee’s, the Jewish priesthood rose up against the Greek-Syrian rulers and drove them out of Jerusalem. The Syrians wanted to rid the world of the annoying, “non-conforming ” religion of the Jewish people. They desired to unify the empire with a one world religion and political system. To accomplish this the Jewish Temple was desecrated and all forms of Jewish worship were forbidden and many Jewish mother’s were murdered for circumcising their children. Forced to eat pork, which by Jewish culture was forbidden. A small remnant of God’s people decided to stand on the testimony of His power to deliver from evil as He had done for His people in times past. This united group of God’s people took a stand against a powerful empire, “a Goliath defying the armies of the living God.” They knew, that their God would deliver. To mark their victory the Maccabee’s rededicated their holy temple by lighting the 7 branch Menorah. They only found enough pure olive oil to burn for one day, that one day supply lasted eight days, exactly what was required to complete the re-dedication of the temple. This event took place in 167-160 B.C. The Jewish temple was now ready for the first coming of our Messiah Jesus Christ with His birth in Bethlehem.
Then it came to pass between 6 and 4 B.C. on the very first Christmas our Savior was born. Jesus would later come often to that re-dedicated Temple releasing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus actually was celebrating Hanukkah in John 10:23-29. We see Him walking in Solomon’s Porch as He declared, “the shepherd knows His sheep and the His sheep hear His voice.” As the Maccabees heard God’s voice and took a stand for God’s Holy Name it prepared the way for the first coming of our Lord Jesus. As they dedicated their lives to serve God only, committing to obey His laws, Light replaced darkness through the Holy Spirits supernatural power. Today, we are experiencing the very same act, a repeat of history as the “cancel culture’ is attacking every moral and spiritual standard that America believes in. It’s true desire is to remove God’s place in our nation as it tries to shame, blame and then move to retaliate and eliminate everyone that stands up and disagrees with them. You may be asking, what can I do? If God’s remnant will take on the heart of the Maccabee’s and stand on their testimony, allow the Light of the Holy Spirit to fill you, we as God’s people can replace that death-cycle with a Life-Cycle. As we join together and break this darkness on America we will begin to prepare the way of our Lord Jesus second coming.
Question: Are you hearing God’s voice asking you to choose this day whom you will serve? Bob Dylon, in his song, “Your going to Serve somebody” tells us everyone will serve somebody or something. The reason, it’s in our nature’s to serve something. Will it be the one true God or the false god of this world.
Key Thought: As we celebrate Hanukkah 2020, we can experience this special season of miracles. John 5:4 tells us we can, “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water, whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water was made well of whatever disease they had.” Let’s step into this Hanukkah season, get a Maccabee heart, and receive our Christmas miracle.