This Festival in the Jewish calendar last 8 days and is always in December around this time of year. It is called the Feast of Dedications or sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights. It started over 2,300 years ago in the land of Judea, modern day Israel.
During the 2nd century the oppressor was the Syrian King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (a forerunner of the Anti-Christ, foretold in Daniel 11:21) who attempted to force the Jewish people to assimilate into the Greek culture outlawing all Jewish religious observance. Eventually the Maccabees
defeated Anticochus’ armies and the Jewish people reclaimed their inheritance and restored their ways.
In December of 164 BC the Jewish fighters made their way back into Jerusalem and found their Holy Temple had been defiled and desecrated by the foreign armies. The enemy had defiled the Holy Temple by offering a sow (pig) on the altar and raising up in the Sanctuary a statue to Zeus.
As depicted in the First Book of Maccabees (a respected historical account of Jewish history found in the Apocrypha), a revolt was launched by the priest Mattathias and later led by his son Yehuda (Judas) Maccabee. Thus the work of cleansing the Temple of the pagan idols begun followed by a Rededication of the Temple of the Lord on the 25th Day of Kislev.
A Miracle within a Miracle
This is known as the miracle of Chanukah! This is the Festival of Lights which is now observed by the lighting of a special Chanukah menorah with eight branches (plus a servant candle), adding one new candle each night.
In the New Testament, you might recall the story of Jesus, Yeshua, when He was at the Temple for the celebration. "At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon" (John 10:22-23). I personally love celebrating Chanukah knowing that my Messiah Jesus honored the Jewish traditions during his physical time on earth! I have personally observed this Festival in my own home over many years. So why shouldn’t we?
Our Applications in Prayer
In our Global Prayer Storm this week, let’s remember Hanukkah and let’s call forth for the “light of the world” to shine in each of our homes. Let’s also call forth the multiplication of oil in our own lives. It is also a time to recall God’s miraculous provision in history past knowing we can rely on Him in our own lives, families, ministries and congregations for His unlimited supply today! So let’s observe the Feast of Lights as Jesus did and call forth His abundant supply for our needs today! Amen and Amen!
James W. Goll