There is a day coming, that some of us may live to see. Waiting at the shores of tribulation for the sea before us to part. Standing at the edge of battle clutching our shield of faith. Walking through a wilderness of uncharted territory nourished by manna from the Fathers hand. As we go down the path that we are each destined to walk, we can know that the feet of God’s people have marched there before, and He has not abandoned them. The story of His victories when all seemed lost stay with us. It is said that what has been will be and there is nothing new under the sun. And so, as we walk into a time unknown, we can hold onto the promises of the One who is faithful and true. And with our lamps filled with oil, we can look and see the steps of those who have gone before us.
This history begins when Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedonia, marched from Macedonia and attacked Darius, king of Persia and Media. Alexander enlarged the Greek Empire by defeating Darius and seizing his throne. 5-7 When Alexander had been emperor for twelve years, he fell ill. After his death, the generals took control, 9 and each had himself crowned king of his own territory. The descendants of these kings ruled for many generations and brought a great deal of misery on the world.
10 The wicked ruler Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus the Third of Syria, was a descendant of one of Alexander's generals.
11 At that time there appeared in the land of Israel a group of traitorous Israelites who had no regard for the Law. They said,Let's come to terms with the Gentiles, for our refusal to associate with them has brought us nothing but trouble.
After the conquest of Egypt, Antiochus marched with a great army against the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. 21 In his arrogance, he entered the Temple to defile and steal from it
Israels Temple became as empty as a wilderness; her festivals were turned into days of mourning, her Sabbath joy into shame.
The king also sent messengers with a decree to Jerusalem and all the towns of Judea, ordering the people to follow customs that were foreign to the country. He commanded them to treat Gods Sabbaths and festivals as ordinary days. 46 They were even ordered to defile the Temple and the holy things in it.[e] 47 They were commanded to build pagan altars, temples, and shrines, and to sacrifice pigs and other unclean animals there.
48All this, so that they would forget the Law which the Lord had given through Moses and would disobey all its commands. 50 The penalty for disobeying the king's decree was death.
14 In their grief, the grandson of Simeon, Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, put on sackcloth, and continued in deep mourning.
The king's officials said to Mattathias,
You are a respected leader in this town, and you have the support of your sons and relatives. If you do what we have asked and encourage others also, you and your sons will be honored with the title of
Friends of the King, and you will be rewarded with silver and gold and many gifts.
But Mattathias answered in a loud voice,
My children, my relatives, and I will continue to keep the covenant that God made with our ancestors. 21 With God's help we will never abandon his Law or disobey his commands. 22 We will not obey the king's decree, and we will not change our way of worship in the least.
At the time of his death, Mattathias called on his son, Judas Maccabeus to be commander and to lead God’s people in battle against the enemy. 67 Call everyone who obeys God's Law to rally around you; then avenge the wrongs done to your people.
It is not difficult, Judas answered,
for a small group to overpower a large one. It makes no difference to the Lord whether we are rescued by many people or by just a few. 19 Victory in battle does not depend on who has the largest army; it is the Lord's power that determines the outcome.
And Indeed, Elohim led His people to victory over the enemies.
Judas and his brothers said,
Now that our enemies have been defeated, let's go to Jerusalem to purify the Temple and rededicate it. Then Judas, his brothers, and the entire community of Israel decreed that the rededication of the altar should be celebrated with a festival of joy and gladness at the same time each year, beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev and lasting for eight days.
Feast of Dedication is a looking back at a great victory of God for the remnant of His people. We also see His mercy in the midst of judgement on a rebellious people who had joined themselves to the gentile customs. We see a remnant of God’s people rise up and die for the cause of righteousness with an extreme and honorable faith that superseded human fears and frailties.
In this hour we face, Whatever may come, it is in Him and Him alone that we have the victory. May we hold fast to the commands of our Father and stand on the testimony of the Messiah who has come. May our temples always to dedicated and purified to the service of The Most High and May the oil and light of the menorah burn within us continually.May Elohim be good to you and keep the covenant he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants. 3 May he fill each of you with the desire to worship him and to do his will eagerly with all your heart and soul. 4 May he enable you to understand his Law and his commands. May he give you peace, 5 answer your prayers, forgive your sins, and never abandon you in times of trouble.
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