Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hanukkah Day Five - 2011

Hanukkah Day Five - 2011
These are our "new" Hanukkah candles.  While they lack the personal touch of "Danny's Hands", the light they give warms our hearts as we are able to continue celebrating this year's Feast of Dedication.  It was very sad, the last few days, to think that we might find ourselves unable to complete the festival.  Our hearts are much lighter this evening as we watch the candles burning once again.  


There is much for us to contemplate this evening as we had listened to an interesting teaching on Friday evening.  Eddie Chumney was the surprise guest teacher on Lion & Lamb's weekly Torah broadcast.   He brought out a very intriguing overview of the importance of Hanukkah for those of us that are carefully watching and waiting for the return of our Messiah and King, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach.  


As he contrasted the events that led up to the revolt headed by the Maccabees with the news items that are front and center in the assault on believers today, our hearts ached with yet another confirmation of the days and times that we live in.  


He listed the "evil decrees" put forth by Antiochus Epiphanies and pointed out the blatant similarities to the religious practices embraced by many today.  These decrees included bans on studying Torah, honoring Shabbat and the other appointed Feasts of YHVH and the ritual of circumcision. He required the eating and public sacrifice on YHVH's altar of unclean animals, namely, pigs, and that all people would follow the laws and customs of the Hellenistic Greeks abandoning any and all other forms of worship and government.  


As we move closer to the Tribulation events, those of us that find ourselves alone and set apart in a world that hates us because it hated HIM, will find ourselves targeted by many that call themselves "believers".  The thought is sobering and we struggle to focus our hearts on what must lie beyond those events when we are gathered with HIM into HIS Kingdom in Yerushalyem.  

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