Great Miracle of Hanukkah

The Great Miracle of Hanukkah
Trumpet Sounds - December 6, 2015

At every critical point in Jewish history, there has been an opponent dedicated to their destruction. After the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great had been divided up into 4 pieces (which had been prophesied in the Bible), Judea came under the power of the Seleucid Empire of Syria. A particularly sinister ruler (also prophesied in the Bible), Antiochus IV Epiphanes, invaded Jerusalem, massacring many Jews. He made it his objective to obliterate everything related to Jewish worship of their God. "A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew." (2nd Maccabees 6)

Malignant spiritual influences with a "theology" which threatens Jewish existence
The story of Hanukkah begins with the Maccabean uprising against this tyrant, one of many in history who have attempted to annihilate the Jews. There is a strong parallel to today. Antiochus referred to himself as "God Manifest", and part of his malignant "theology" was to wipe out the Jews. A rarely discussed factor in the examination of antisemitism is the dark spiritual influences underlying those hatreds. It is because the Jews are the nation chosen by the true God to evidence Himself to the world, as explained in the Bible, that fraudulent, idolatrous, malignant religious systems attempt to forcefully disallow the very existence of the Jews. And today we have another such dark system threatening Jewish existence, radical Islam.

In mosques all around the world, Jews are regularly vilified. It is a part of explicitly stated Islamic "theology" that the Jews must ultimately be eradicated. Like all prior attempts to do that, this one will not succeed, because the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will most decidedly not allow it. And we also know, based on commentary from God Himself in the Bible, that He has made His defense of the Jewish nation a showpiece, to demonstrate to the entire world once again who He is.

That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel
David's speech to Goliath, during an earlier attempt to destroy Israel, is still very relevant."You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand... that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand." (1 Samuel 17 45-47 ESV)

Wow - "that all the earth may know"! Clearly young David had a remarkably greater understanding of the larger theme behind what was happening. And it is with that kind of understanding we must examine Israel's primary foe today.

Israel's hostile Islamic neighbors incessantly scream their harsh contempt of Israel
When Israel became a nation once again in 1948 against impossible odds (also in fulfillment of Biblical prophesy), it was in a very nasty neighborhood. And it still is a very nasty neighborhood, where Islamic populations incessantly scream their harsh contempt of Israel. It is no coincidence this same toxic radical ideology is the greatest threat to the world today. But God will prevail with His purposes!

Looking with the larger perspective, we know that during the days of David, and Esther, and the Maccabees, and Ben Gurion, and other crisis situations, it was ultimately the Lord of Hosts who accomplished the victory to save Israel. Not surprisingly, the Scriptures do describe in detail today's predicament of the regathered nation of Israel being threatened by their vicious neighbors, and the Lord's ultimate great victory on their behalf.

So as we celebrate Hanukkah, remember the great miracle which happened was not primarily the oil lasting for eight days, but the nation of Israel lasting through the threat of annihilation. Today they face a foe no less sinister and powerful than Antiochus IV, but the God of Jacob will prevail.


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