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HANUKKAH and THANKSGIVING TOGETHER: FROM the SANDY VAULT…

I wanted to wish my Jewish readers a most blessed Hanukkah!  One year we actually bought a Menorah and the proper candles to go with it.  We decided to wait until the last day and we carefully and reverently placed nine candles in the small Menorah and lit each one.

SUDDENLY, whirr, whirr, whirr!  Too much candle smoke too close to the smoke detector!  No lie!  True story!

This year, let’s post to some Hanukkah posts from the past!

2012:  Hanukkah history from Joshuapundit!

That is the first Hanukkah!  The war continued and Judah was killed.  Another brother, Jonathan and still another Simon fought until the Children of Israel were independent in 142 BC!  It was a miracle:  Both the oil lasting in the lamp and the defeat of the enemy.  Like in Esther’s day, the people of Israel, God’s chosen people, were saved.  Without the Maccabee rebellion, the setting would not have been right for the Messiah (Jesus, Y’shua, similar to Joshua actually, Hebrew for Salvation) to come less than 150 years after the amazing victory of the Maccabees.

2011:  I cited from 2010, and wrote about finding true liberty in Jesus Christ!

I am not Jewish but I try to find a way to honor Hanukkah.  I carry an Israeli coin around that has the Menorah on it – apparently a special coin that parents and others could give the kids during the holiday.  I’ll probably pull it out today and show it to somebody – perhaps a fellow believer in Christ Jesus as Messiah.  Or I’ll ponder how liberty is worth fighting for.

***

The world, Jew and Gentile alike, was trapped in sin and hopelessness until Jesus came.  We as Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.  (Go here for a discussion of that)  The Scripture exhorts people to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (see Ps 34:8)  Trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior brings liberty – liberty from sin and liberty to live a holy live – for both Jew and Gentile.

2010:  The original article cited in 2011:  A holiday for Christians and libertarians, too!  Couple highlights from 2010!

I am a devout follower of Christ but I am a staunch supporter of Israel (The coming of Jews by airplanes and ships to Israel in 1948 and after is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy:  “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?  Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from afar,…”  Isaiah 60: 8-9 [KJV]) and respect the Jewish people, their customs and holidays.  There is no excuse for anything other than that kind of respect coming from a follower of Christ Jesus.  Isaiah tells in two places (49:22 and 66:23) that in the future end times Jews will be honored by the Gentiles (“…they [the Gentiles] will bring thy sons in their arms,…” [KJV]) and their “new moon” festivals will be celebrated by all men on the earth.  Many of the holidays, e.g., Passover (Exodus 12), Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:24, 27), Purim (Esther 9:26, 28) are found in the Old Testament of the Bible.  Virtually every major positive character in the Old Testament is Jewish:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Daniel and many others.  Hanukkah (or Chanukah as it is spelled here) is an inspiring holiday for all lovers of liberty, especially religious liberty.  Thanks to www.chabad.org for much of this historical account.  (Why this is not a movie I do not know.)

***

Do I believe in the miracle?  The First Book of the Maccabees (found in a Catholic Bible but not in most Protestant ones) does not mention the miracle but the Talmud (a collection of Jewish laws and history) does.  I do believe that God could have done it.  It is clear the successful revolution really happened and that was a miracle in and of itself.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could do it.  My prayer is that all people, Jews and Gentiles will be one under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy!

I am thankful for the Maccabees who fought for freedom and religious liberty and God gave them victory!  Anyone, Jew or Gentile, who trusts in Jesus as Messiah, can have victory as well.  Here’s where to go to find out more!

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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