Watching a documentary the history of Hanukkah, it became clear that the Jewish people did not want to assimilate into the Greek Hellenistic culture being forced upon them. They did not want to lose their identity as a nation. They did not want to lose the favor of Adonai.
The documentary stated that the four-year battle was more than a fight to regain the Temple in Jerusalem. It was more than a fight to maintain the Sabbath, circumcision, and dietary regulations. It was a battle for the very existence of the nation of Israel.
As I watched the documentary, I could see how Christianity, by removing the Jewish people, their land, their culture, and their history from their tenets, has lost a lot of Truth. They have no idea what Yeshua meant when he spoke of the ‘abomination of desolation’ and the ‘man of lawlessness.’ They don’t have eyes to see that Yeshua was referring to the days of the Maccabean Revolt and the four-year war fought to avoid assimilating into a pagan religious system. For the church, it has been easier to justify its separation from its Jewish roots than to stand for Truth as Mattathias did.
We are to be the light in a dark world. If we assimilate into the darkness, we will lose our witness to the world and be like the Jewish people who succumbed to the Greeks and their gods. Sha’ul warns the Corinthians about being yoked together with unbelievers. He tells them to separate from the temples of idols and not to even touch what is ‘unclean.’ He wants the Corinthians to embrace the promises of God, purifying themselves so they can be set apart for Adonai (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1). This is what the followers of Judah Maccabee understood; this is what they fought for with their lives.
Hanukkah is more than just jelly-filled donuts, lights and candles, it is about purifying ourselves from everything that contaminates our temples and purify our walk with God. Hanukkah is about standing firm in the Truth and not assimilating into the pagan culture around us. Hanukkah is about being willing to die for what we believe so we remain God’s holy people.
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