Monday, December 26, 2005

A Hanukah Reflection

As Hanukah begins Jews, both observant and secular, celebrate the festival of lights and the American Spectator Online has a very good article by Jay D Homnick on the meaning of Hanukah. [ Which by the way, I have always spelled with two k's but this writer uses one, I guess I was mistaken. :-) ] The origin of Hanukah and the story of the Maccabbees is known to most students of the Bible, but Mr. Homnick adds some thought to it.

When the Maccabbees began their gorilla war against Antiochus Epiphanes' people Judaism was at a very low ebb and it looked like it was going down forever to the Greek culture and religion. Just a few faithful Jews stood up and in the end triumphed over unbelief and secularism. As he points out, it starts near the Solistice, the very day this part of the world gets the least amount of sunlight, yet the light grows and never fades. This parallels that the Word of God will always triumph even if it appears to be losing.

He than points out that Christianity and Judaism seem to never fade no matter how many concerted efforts are taken at their eradication. It does not matter if it is other religions or Atheism (which I consider a religion anyway) are attacking, in the end they always fail.

As I think of Christianity and Judaism surviving overwhelming odds, I think of this passage of Scripture from Revelation 11.

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, dressed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the Earth. And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. Revelation 11: 3 - 5

Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on the left? And I answered the second time and said to him, "What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves" So he answered me saying, "Do you not know what these are?" and I said, "No my lord." Then he said, "These are the two annointed ones who are standing beside the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4: 11-14

One must remember that the main ingredient of the oil that lit the lamps was olive oil, which signifies both the Spirit and Word of God, which in turn lights the light of truth, both literally and symbolically. I am of the opinion, though I cannot absolutely prove it, that these two olive trees and witnesses (who are identified as one and the same in Revelation) are the true Church and the true Israel. We together are the ones who help light up the world with the Word of God and the reality of His existence. The message of Hanukah is for all believers.

Happy Hanukah. Light the candles (both literally and figuratively).


Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Neat post. I buy my kids History videos from a company called Nest videos. They had one on the Maccabees and my kids have watched it. I still haven't watched it but you've peaked my interest so I'll have to check it out.

1:46 PM  

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