"MY FAMILY AND I WILL NEVER GIVE UP" (Day 1 of Hanukkah)

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication as it is called in the New Testament (John 10:22-23). It is a festival of lighting candles for eight days to remember the dedication of the temple and the relighting of the lampstand which God commanded should never go out (Exodus 27:20-21).

It all happened because of a very brave family. At this time in history Antiochus Epiphanes ruled over Israel and commanded all Jews to renounce their way of life, practice pagan observances, and live like the Greeks. He erected the "abomination of desolation" in the temple. Many Jews assimilated to avoid persecution and being killed. BUT NOT THIS FAMILY!

Mattathias was a godly older man with five brave sons--John, Simon, Judas (known as Maccabeus), Eleazar, and Jonathan. When the officials came to their town of Modein, they tried to get Mattathias to influence the people of his town to turn away from God. Listen to his reply, "Mattathias answered in a LOUD VOICE: What do I care if everyone in the king's entire kingdom turns from their own religion and starts obeying his laws? MY FAMILY AND I WILL ALWAYS KEEP THE PROMISES OUR ANCESTERS MADE TO GOD. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP OUR FAITH OR DISOBEY EVEN ONE OF GOD'S LAWS. WE WILL NOT OBEY ANTIOCHUS!" (1 Maccabees 2:19-20).

When a cowardly Jew stepped forward to obey the king by offering a sacrifice, Mattathias was so furious that he rushed over, killed the man, destroyed the altar, and killed the official who ordered the sacrifice. He and his sons then ran to the hills leaving everything they owned behind. But, thus began the bravery of the Maccabee family to conduct continual battles against the enemy and eventually deliver Israel and Jerusalem.

We don't face being killed for our faith today. But, we do face subtle indoctrination to succumb to the Satan's plans and give in to humanist, progressive ideology. Will we be those who give in or will we have courage, individually and as families. to stand for God, even if no one else is standing? The Scripture says, "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).

Love from Nancy
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