I love Hanukkah, as I probably made abundantly clear in my earlier column this week.
But there’s more to be said about this holiday.
In fact, I would say Hanukkah holds great spiritual as well as political significance for us today – Jews and Christians alike.
First the spiritual:
My friend Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger,” the No. 1 faith book of 2012 and my colleague on “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the No. 1 faith movie of 2012, has a new video teaching out about what he calls “The Hanukkah Endtime Mystery.”
Most prophecy teachers have missed the fact that Hanukkah contains one of the most amazingly detailed revelations of the endtimes, Cahn explains. The story of Hanukkah is a metaphor – a foreshadowing – of what we can expect before the return of Yeshua the Messiah.
I won’t go into the detail here, because I would prefer you hear it from Cahn. But here’s a video trailer to provide a tease.
But what about the political significance?
The political lesson of Hanukkah is that we can do all things through our faith and obedience to God.
There are many disillusioned Americans today. They are wondering if our election system has broken down. They are wondering if our culture has become degraded past the point of no return. They are wondering if America is being transformed from a self-governing society to one in which the people are ruled by government. They are wondering about whether all the false idols we worship are going to spell our doom. They are wondering if our collective sins – from same-sex marriage to abortion to child pornography to dismissing the Creator from our lives – places us beyond redemption as a nation.
Something similar happened in Israel 200 years before Yeshua the Messiah was born. A foreign empire sought to impose its false religion on Israel. It was largely successful. Most Israelis went along with the Greek orders. Idols were placed in the Temple. The altar was desecrated by the sacrifice of a pig. Jewish woman about to be married were forced to submit themselves to Greek officials for an evening of sexual entertainment.
But one family, the Maccabees, refused to capitulate.
They led a revolt that was far less likely to be successful than the one America's founders led against Great Britain. They were outnumbered. They were out-armed. The odds did not look good.
But the Maccabees had faith and swore obedience to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob rather than the Greek pagan myths.
The Greeks attacked with a massive army. They were routed by the Maccabees.
The Greeks attacked with a bigger army. They were routed by the Maccabees.
The Greeks attacked with all their power and might, determined to wipe out this uprising. And once again they were routed by the Maccabees.
The Temple was ritually purified. The Greek idols were removed. And that is the breathtaking story of Hanukkah in a nutshell.
The lesson? If God is with us, who can be against us?
Americans should take heart in this holiday commemoration and the miracles of Hanukkah – whether they are Christians or Jews.
Because God will work this same kind of miracle for us today if we are faithful to Him and repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways.
And I don't mean the whole nation has to do this.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, it makes very clear that only those called by His name need to humble themselves and follow this prescription.
What that means is that all the forces of hell can't defeat us if we take this one simple, vital step today.
We can overcome the darkness. But it all begins with the believers.