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2014_01_06 Hanukkah

This year my family celebrated Hanukkah for the first time and I have to tell you it was extremely emotional for me. Mind you, it was not a grand celebration for us this year, but we did spend the time learning more about the celebration and how it applied to us as followers of Yeshua. There was something just so inspiring and peaceful about taking 8 whole days to  celebrate the Light of Yeshua, the Oil that NEVER runs out, and the ever-present provision of HaShem {YHVH, literally The Name} for those who are dedicated to Him.

What is Hanukkah?

For those that may not be familiar with the celebration, Hanukkah, which means dedication, is an annual celebration of the miracle that occurred after the Maccabees defeated Antiochus. After the victory, they went through and cleaned the Temple of all the idols and impure things before rededicating it to HaShem. Yet all they could find was one jar of pure oil for the menorah, only enough for one day, and the process to make more took eight days. So they used the oil they had to light the menorah and HaShem kept the lights burning bright for eight days until more oil could be brought.  The full history and story is told in the First and Second Maccabees.

What does Hanukkah have to do with Yeshua {Jesus}?

In John 8:12, Yeshua tells us that He is the Light of the world and that those who follow Him will have the Light of Life. HaShem keeping the light burning in the Place in which His Name dwells is very much like Yeshua keeping His Light burning in us, the temple of Ruach HaKodesh {The Holy Spirit} {1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16}. In addition, one of my favorite passages, John 10:22-42, takes place during Hanukkah. There are many more correlations that can be drawn as well and I encourage you to study those for yourself.

What did Hanukkah teach us?

The most profound experience from Hanukkah, the part that made it so extremely emotional for me, was the lessons I learned about myself, my house, my business, and my life. I was reminded that the very first post I wrote on the Journey2Surrender blog was titled “Yah is Calling for a Rededication of His People”. I had no idea when I wrote that how much it would impact me all this time later, but it’s message spoke through to me with resounding clarity. Paul reminded us of the importance of examining and testing ourselves {2 Cor. 13:5} and that is exactly what He called me to do during Hanukkah. The instructions given were to examine my temple, my home…basically every aspect of life…and identify the idols that were defiling it. Some that were revealed to me were not a surprise, but I was astounded at all the hidden and overlooked idols that were cluttering my spiritual life and keeping me bound to the things and ways of the world. I know that I have a long way to go, but I am grateful for being awakened to the need to regularly rededicate myself to Him, to regularly battle the things of the world and keep them from gaining a foothold in my life, to regularly go through and clear away all the idols that have found their way into what is set apart to Him as holy. I have a whole new understanding of the importance of Romans 12:2.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” {ESV} 
That is what we learned during Hanukkah this year. We learned it takes a daily renewal, constant examining, regular testing, and purposeful rededication to keep the temple of Ruach HaKodesh holy. We also learned the importance of standing up for what you believe in and fighting for what you know to be right. In the words of my kids’ new favorite book Maccabee!, “Sometimes it only takes a few, who know what’s right, and do it, too.” I encourage you to take a rededication journey of your own, be it with the story of Hanukkah or simply between you and Yeshua. Living in this world subjects us all to its pollution and that pollution leaves a residue on everything it touches, so take time regularly to clear away the clutter that has come to dull your faith. Add stronger support stones to the beliefs that make up your spiritual foundation and stand firmly on that foundation.  Most of all though, spread grace and love all over the process and remember that cleaning like this does not happen overnight. God is the only perfect One. Lean on Him, accept His love, embrace His mercy, and inhale His Grace and Forgiveness. He gives it abundantly for such a time as this. I pray that you journey be flooded with the Light of Yeshua and that the angels of HaShem clear your way. Blessings beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~

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Share some of the lessons you learned from Hanukkah or some of the ways you can think of to be intentional about rededicating your temple to HaShem.

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4 Responses

  1. Heidi Cooper
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! Dedication is so important, and involves cleaning out a lot of garbage sometimes. We read the story of the Maccabees together, and what they did took a lot of bravery, but we need just as much bravery to follow YHVH today. Blessings!

    • ~rose~
      | Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Heidi! I think that bravery and boldness are a huge part of dedication. So often our hesitations to stand strong in the Faith are rooted in the fear of loosing the “favor” of one of our idols, one of the things that we have slowly but surely placed above HaShem on our list of priorities. Those were some hard realizations for me to swallow, but as I do I find that life is simply better when lived out out in adherence to His will!~

  2. Wow – what a profound post! I have long known the story of Hanukkah – but I had never related to it the way you shared here. Thank you for sharing this with us. I think I need to revisit that story a little more often.

    • ~rose~
      | Reply

      All glory goes to God! There was just something about living it out with Yeshua in mind and teaching it to my children that made the story come alive. I was even reminded of when Yeshua Himself cleared the Temple! I am slowly learning that it is the “little” idols…the ones we justify or convince ourselves couldn’t possibly matter that much…that are eating away at our Faith the most.~

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