Like every year, we can celebrate Hanukkah with joy and light the candles for eight days. But this year on Israel’s 75th anniversary, let us see the restoration of the light that Israel is to be to the world. As believers in Christ, we rally around Israel for all that she needs and all that she is to be. We add our strength, our faith, our finances, and all that we can to be a blessing to Israel and to the Jewish people during this time of rededicating our lives to God.
Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, commemorates the time when the Temple and the vessels of the Temple worship were cleansed, sanctified, and rededicated to the worship of the Lord after they had been defiled. The Jews retook the Temple in the Maccabean Revolt, but they had to rebuild and consecrate the sacred things in order to restore the worship and the relationship to God that had been destroyed by those who had overtaken the land. Hanukkah therefore celebrates the rededicating of our lives to God in our service to Him as vessels fit for the Master’s use.
This feast has special significance for 2023 because this year Israel is celebrating its 75th anniversary. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of Israel’s existence as a state. Number one, it is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with His people. But also, as we have seen in recent events, without a Jewish state that houses and protects them, the Jewish people once again face the threat against their very lives. That is why the rededication expressed in Hanukkah is so important for them this year. After 75 years they are seeing much of the values that built the State of Israel being eroded.
Israel was built on the dedication of its people who had only one focus, and that was to form the Jewish state where the Jewish people could survive the obvious determination of the world to see their destruction. But in Israel today, just as in America, we are seeing people forgetting the lessons of history and tearing down the very principles that framed the nation in the first place. Let us believe for a rededication to the sacred values built upon the Word of God that are at the root of Israel and of our connection to them as Christians.
- John 10:22–24. “The Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; … and Jesus was walking in the temple.”
- 2 Timothy 2:21. “If anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master.”
- “I believe that we are seeing something interesting happening; and that is that after the passage of a great amount of time, you lose the significance of that which is sacred, that which is holy.”
- “There needs to be a reeducation of the youth of Israel, the youth of America, and the youth of all nations into the Judeo-Christian values that have been the core, that have established these great nations before God.”
- “We need to rededicate, number one, our own hearts to God. We need to rebuild the sacred things within our own hearts and spirits. We need to regenerate the love in our hearts for one another.”
- When the Jews took the Temple in the Maccabean Revolt, they rebuilt the altar; they rebuilt the menorah; they rebuilt most of the sacred implements. All of these things were recreated and rededicated so that they were fit for the service of worship. This is where we get the idea of rededication, which really is what Hanukkah is known for now.
- One thing that has always tied America and Israel together is the Judeo-Christian values that have been at the core of our culture and laws. There must be a rededication to these sacred values that are built upon the worship of God, the Word of God, the love of God, and the love of our fellow man.
- Not only do we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Israel, but we set a course for the next 75 years of her history. There must be a reeducation of the younger generations into why there is a State of Israel and why it is necessary, not only for the Jewish people, but also for the nations of the world. Those lessons of history must be retaught.