Glimpses - Hanukkah, A Light in Dark Times

An eight-day celebration commemorating the victory of the Jewish people over the greater, more powerful Greeks, in 165BCE, Hanukkah is more than a military victory celebration, it remembers the miracle of the return of the city of Jerusalem, and the subsequent rededication of the Temple back to the Sovereign LORD, the Creator of the Universe and God of Israel.

Sadly, like other important dates, the nations do not herald or remember this important occasion. Only the nation of Israel, the Jewish people celebrate the blessing and goodness of God of this historically significant event.

Today, the holiday festivities focus on the miracle associated with the lighting of the Menorah, when it was rededicated in the days of the Maccabees. At that time, a single jar of holy oil was found to relight the Menorah. It would take eight days before new oil could be produced. Normally, the single jar was sufficient for one day's supply, but miraculously, it lasted the entire eight days.

Each day begins at sunset with the lighting of a candle, on an eight-branched candlestick. On the final day, at sunset and as the darkness of night falls, the eight-branched candlestick is fully alight, a reminder that God's people "the light to the nations" will not be extinguished.

"And now the LORD says, 'Who formed me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (for I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength), indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that you should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'" (Isaiah 42:5-6)

Mark Warren