As we move through the days of the Festival of Lights, we come to the third day. And this day I have chosen Abraham to be the representative to continue our theme of the light. We started with the Light of Creation, when the Word of YHWH came into being and the concept of separation was birthed. Then we came to Noah, who represented the eight days of Hanukkah, a candelabra that was “shut in by the LORD” and used to bring the Light to the new world. Tonight, it is Abraham’s turn to pass the torch.
Author: Jim Staley
Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah and I’d like to connect the second candle to Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:9 it says that “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” The word for “perfect” here does not mean without sin or perfection, but rather mature and complete. This is what we all aspire to be–perfect and complete, not lacking anything, as James says. Noah was righteous because he was spiritually mature. For this reason, the Creator chose to allow Noah to take the torch of truth, the light from creation, and pass it on to the next generation. But He did it in a very creative way.
Tonight is the first night of the Festival of Lights, a celebration to remember the Temple in Jerusalem being liberated in 167 BC from the hands of the enemy. Although this is not a commanded holiday, it is a wonderful tradition that both Yeshua attended in His time and a celebration that has tremendous relevance for us believers today. After all, we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we have also been liberated by Christ from the hand of our enemy. We too have been defiled and then made clean by the blood of the Lamb, and I am very grateful that His tree of Life (the menorah) shines brightly once again in us because of it.
Every year at this time I begin to share with my audience the beauty in the feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) as me and Cheryl teach our children the power of the light of Scripture for eight days, tracing it through the great men of the Bible and learning many valuable lessons along the way. And every year at this time there are people that strongly oppose the celebrating of this feast, as if it is some sort of pagan ritual. And every year I have to address this. So, I shall do so again and pray that the principles I will be sharing will be of some help to those that might be confused by this issue.
On night four we did a quick review of the Hanukkah story and then dove into the story of Moses at the burning bush. I asked everyone who was talking. The Angel of God or Yahweh? Then I discussed the Angel of Light who speaks in the first person as Yahweh in several other places and it became clear that the Angel of LORD and Yahweh were, in fact, one and the same. I took them back to a passage we’d read earlier when we discussed Abraham, in Genesis 18, where three “visitors” approached Abraham, one of whom declared himself Yahweh. While two of the (angels disguised as) men went to Sodom to retrieve Lot, the other man, who was called Yahweh, stood before Abraham and conversed with him about Sodom’s future.
How Do You Wait on The Lord?
We had a packed house for Day 5 of our Hanukkah celebration. And what a blessed evening it was! A man from my hometown got radically saved and the Father is delivering him from his drug addictions as we speak. He gave his testimony in front of everyone in the room and said that it was “time to make a change and get right with God.” The light was very bright in the room; you could feel the Spirit in an almost tangible way.
As we moved into night 3 of Hanukkah, we did a short review of the Hanukkah story and then dove into the ceremony. I lit the Shamash candle and passed the hanukkiah around so each person could light a candle until all three were shining bright. As it came back to rest in front of me at the head table, I stood and took my position at the white board. Oh, how happy I am with a white board! I already talk with my hands, so I might as well have them doing something besides waving in the air! 😉
TRADITION OR NO TRADITION? THAT’S THE QUESTION…
It seems every year when holidays come around, there’s this cloud of controversy as to whether today’s believers today should celebrate them or not. In this short article, I hope to provide you with a real standard to help you discern between something that should be celebrated and something that shouldn’t.
To determine the answer, I always use the law of extrapolation. It has aided me over the years in seeing the forest for the trees and says that if something is true it should still be true at the furthest extremes. So let’s establish a few rules first:
- We are NOT allowed to worship the one true God in a way that is forbidden (Deut. 12:30-31).
- We are NOT allowed to worship Him in any way that replaces an already clear mandate (Ex. 32).
- We ARE allowed to create traditions to worship Him that do not break the first two rules.
- We ARE allowed to observe traditions that don’t break the written Word or the spiritual principle (the original intent) behind it.
Let’s break each of these four rules down one by one.
Like me only has one gear and that’s sixth gear. Pedal to the metal. I agreed that I needed to slow down, but didn’t quite know what that looked like. Well now I do. I get it. I have not just slowed down. I am at a pit stop, getting new tires, an oil change and a tune up like never before. I don’t have a choice about slowing down now. In His love, He is showing me what that looks like in reality.