Posts Tagged ‘assimilation’

Hanukkah Word: Assimilation

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

Watching a documentary recently on 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 and lose their identity, their Biblical calling as the people of God and a light to the nations. My husband and I talked about how we had to come out of Rome and leave behind all the doctrines of Roman catholicism that the evangelical/protestant church has embraced. It was difficult leaving behind cherished family traditions that were actually contrary to the Word of God. Sometimes it was as difficult as the rag tag Jewish army fighting the great and mighty Syrian military on elephants. Our families didn’t understand; moreover and sadly, our church brothers and sisters denounced us as legalists fallen from grace. Some said we even ‘left the fellowship of God’!

The documentary stated that the four-year battle was more than a fight to regain the Temple in Jerusalem and the ordinances given by God of Sabbath and circumcision, it was a battle for the existence of the nation of Israel. Without an Israel, there could never have been the birth of the Messiah, Yeshua. Without an Israel today, there can never be his return. The battle still rages even amongst those who have embraced the Biblical holy days, but neglect the Feast of Dedication.

As we watched the documentary, we could see how Christianity, by negating and removing the history of the Jewish people from their canon of Scriptures, have lost the understanding of what Yeshua/Jesus meant when he spoke of the ‘abomination of desolation’ and the ‘man of lawlessness’ that is at work already in this world. They create their own prophetic western perspective rather than having eyes to see that he was referring to the days before Hanukkah and the battle of assimilating into a world religious system that is contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures. It is much easier to assimilate and give rationalizations for assimilating into the culture around us and its expressions of idolatry than to stand as Mattathias did against the Syrian generals who wanted him to sacrifice to a false god with a pig or fight as the Maccabees did with few weapons or to follow the Jewish Jesus, the Lion of Judah.

Yeshua said it clearly in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

We are the lights of the world.  As lights in a dark world, we cannot join the darkness, but we must set our lights on a window sill for everyone who passes by to see.   We cannot assimilate into the darkness or we will lose ‘THE light of the World’ and be no better than those Jewish people who succumbed to the Greeks and became Hellenized.   Sha’ul told the non-Jewish followers of Yeshua in  Corinth how important it is to remain separate and full of light; what the result is of remaining righteous in a world of lawlessness – a concept that was new to them coming out of an unclean and blasphemous culture.

“Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,

“I will house myself in them, . . . and I will walk among you. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore Adonai says, “‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.”  Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.”  (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

Hanukkah is more than just donuts, lights and candles, it is about purifying ourselves from everything that contaminates our Temples, our walks with God.  It is about NOT assimilating into the culture around and being willing to die in order to stay set apart for God and His Kingdom.  It is about the miracle of becoming the Temple of the Living God and allowing His light to shine through us in the darkness.  Its about lighting a lamp, placing it in a prominent place to show that your light has not assimilated into the world and continues to shine in the darkness.

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