Why would someone so close to you reject you and cut you from the care you need? Ask a shepherd.
“Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve…”
The story of the eight nights of oil is the most recognized reason for Hanukkah, but the history is far deeper. The “abomination of desolation” shown to the Prophet Daniel (Chapter 12) had a fulfillment under the King Antiochus Epiphanes, and foreshadows the abomination of desolation to come in the Last Days. The full account of Hanukkah is gory and heart-wrenching, which is probably why so much of the celebration is redirected to the rabbinical tradition of the oil. However, only when you recognize the extent of the evil can you appreciate the principles and righteousness of the protagonists. The account in I and II Maccabees shows the importance of loyalty, religious liberty, and trusting in YHWH’s strength when the fight is impossible to win.
The Maccabean revolt against Antiochus is an inspiration to stand for the Truth and our covenant with the Almighty, against the abominations and lies of the world, cleansing our temples in which His Spirit resides, and Dedicating ourselves to His purpose.
We don’t have to stress with “must have” decorations, extra spending, and propping up fables of a red-suited man. We can simply gather together, learn about our history, and inspire our children with real-life heroes and the Light of the World!
Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, Chanukah, Hanukkah – may it be full of family, joy, love, thanksgiving, and Shalom!
Overwhelmed mothers all over the social media groups ask for affirmation that their current troubles will improve. “My twins are four months. Please tell me it gets easier?!”
Well. . . Not really. There is a major trade-off for every improvement in parenting. You’ll be able to do housework once the baby can go four hours between feedings, but there will still be more work than you can complete. Babies won’t need to be carried everywhere forever. You’ll merely have to chase them down all day. The child will learn to vocalize his needs, but then you must consistently monitor and correct mean and disrespectful attitudes behind the words. Little ones grow to care for their own physical needs, but they require your wisdom on complicated and deeply emotional matters.
Apply this to parenting, but also work, marriage, grief, faith, skill, lessons, health — life doesn’t get easier; you get stronger. The seasons change, but with every improvement of your situation, there will be a regression of some sort, another pressure to endure. Like the winds on a mighty cedar tree, our circumstances may stir or bend us. They do not cease, but we grow in strength.
“The righteous one flourishes like a palm tree, He grows like a cedar in Leḇanon. Those who are planted in the House of יהוה Flourish in the courts of our Elohim. They still bear fruit in old age; They are fresh and green, To declare that יהוה is straight, My rock, and in Him is no unrighteousness.”
Tehillim (Psalms) 92:12-15 TS2009
Many Scriptures make better sense when you’re rearing children. “To have faith like a child,” used to sound like pretending that the pain doesn’t exist, or to remove our negative reactions and try to restore our former ignorance.
Now, I see my daughter. No matter what goes wrong, what is broken, or how badly something has been damaged, she responds with a happy, “Daddy fix it.” The clothes washer was out of balance, the toilet didn’t refill, a hairband snapped. Her instant reaction remained, “Uh oh!…Daddy fix it.”
Now, the washer had to go to a repair shop. The toilet filled on its own. The hairband was thrown away. She still relies on Daddy to fix anything, simply because he does fix the majority of our broken things.
How much more can we rely on the Heavenly Father?
When relationships are at an impasse, Abba fix it.
Money gets tight. Abba fix it.
Hearts break. Abba fix it.
Loved ones are lost. Abba fix it.
Evil increases. Abba fix it.
We don’t know what to do. Abba fix it.
We don’t know when, or by what means He will heal us and put things right. There is no need to force our own solutions as Abraham’s wife, Sarah, did. With the faith of a child, we can still smile and be satisfied that by the end of time Abba will fix it.
Leviticus 25-26:2 Every seven years, the fields have a Sabbath to lay fallow. Every fifty years is the Jubilee, a release of all debts and return to original family land claims. Houses in a walled city may be redeemed within a year; they are not released in the Jubilee. Levites, however, have no sizable land holdings, and their cities and houses are their possession in the land. Levites’ city houses must be released, like other tribes’ land holdings. When a brother is down, do not treat him harshly.
Jeremiah 32:6-27 Even as the city was falling, there was a promise of returning His people to Israel.
Luke 4:16-21 Yashua reads Isaiah 61, proclaiming release and Jubilee.
Galatians 5:1-13 Salvation is not in circumcision, but freedom comes from Yashua.
Psalm 119:1-8 His Law is blessing. Though not the means of salvation, it is a blessing upon our living and our relationship with YHWH.