What is the Real Hanukkah Miracle?

Hanukkah took place in 165 B.C. and has something to say to us today. It should move us to prayer and action! 

Should Christians even care about Hanukkah? The answer is “yes” because according to John 10:22 (NLT) Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Temple during “the Festival of Dedication” (Hanukkah). While Hanukkah is a celebration of the victory won during the Maccabean revolt it also points to Jesus because it is also known as the Festival of Lights and Jesus is the Light of the World. Most importantly if what happened during Hanukkah had not happened the Jewish people would have been wiped out and so our Savior would not have been born. Think about that for a moment. 

God brought a victory to the Jewish people against all odds during the Maccabean revolt – the real Miracle. But there also had to be people for God to use that were willing to stand up to the injustices of an oppressive regimen. Enter the Maccabee family which were of the tribe of Levi and therefore had a divine calling to be priests of the Lord. Jerusalem and the Temple were under the control of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (means “God Manifest”- oh my!). He persecuted the Jews, decreeing that they could not keep the Sabbath, nor celebrate their Feasts, nor read their Bible. They were forced to participate in pagan practices. Antiochus went so far as to desecrate the altar in the Temple by sacrificing a pig on it to Zeus! Under the leadership of the Maccabees the Jews said “NO!”, revolted and ultimately succeeded. 

The Legend of the Hanukkah menorah.

The legend that a one day supply of oil to light the menorah was found that lasted for eight days did not come into play until about 400 years after the Maccabean revolt and is probably a fake-news miracle! 

An Eight Day Festival

It does seem that the reason that the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which is a celebration of the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem lasts for eight days is because the Jewish people were not able to celebrate the eight day Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths) that year because it was forbidden. So when victory was won and the Temple rededicated in the winter the people celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. This is recorded in 2 Maccabees 10:5-8, written less than 100 years after the event and is more likely. Regardless, the tradition of lighting the Hanukkah menorah is over eight days and a beautiful symbol of how God empowered a people willing to stand against oppression and for HIS ways.

“Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to obey his commandments, everyone of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances.  We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”  (Matthias Maccabee, 1 Maccabees 2:19-22)

God will bring deliverance to His people even in extremely dire circumstances!

That is the real miracle! But He is looking for people who will co-labor with Him in the working out of the victory. That’s what speaks to us today. The Hanukkah story is a source of inspiration and also a call to stand-up and not bow to a godless society! Will you be one who will continue to pray and say NO to abortion on demand, NO to gay marriage, NO to the loss of religious freedom in our nation for Christians and Jews, NO to secular humanism, marxism, socialism and the like and say YES to upholding God’s commandments and ways, and YES to fighting? I pray that you will.  

A Hanukkah Miracle

Recently Karen Davis and Chaya Mizrachi joined us on Zoom from Israel for a special time of anointed worship, messages and prayer for the US and Israel. Karen spoke powerfully on “A Hanukkah Miracle” about the ongoing struggle of the Sons (and Daughters) of Zion (those that believe in the One true God) against the Sons of Greece (the world). See Zechariah 9:13. This is where we are! God is rousing us to fight the good fight of faith!. Chaya told us a very moving, inspiring and personal family story regarding how Jews were saved in Bulgaria during WW2. They were saved because the King of Bulgaria and the Church rose up and said “NO!” to Jews being deported to the death camps! The King lost his life over it! 

You can watch a recording of the Zoom call on our website at www.women-of-the-word.net/media.html#videos . For more history on what happened in Bulgaria watch the 30 minute film put out by Frontier Alliance International entitled “The Fox and the Fuhrer”. Definitely worth the watch! For more understanding on Hanukkah read articles written by Avner Boskey, a Messianic believer who lives with his wife Rachel in Israel.

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

Set a Trumpet to Your Lips!

I am writing this on September 11, 2020. I’m sure you remember that eventful day back in 2001 when almost 3,000 lives were lost and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC fell. Also a hit on the Pentagon and a flight that went down in PA. I know exactly where I was and you probably do too. It was a terrorist attack perpetrated by the Islamist group al-Qaeda. We saw America come together and churches were filled ——— for two weeks. May that sink in! 

Nineteen years later we see cities burning across America due to lawlessness and violence. We see the West Coast burning up with fires! I wonder where will we be a year from now? Today we face an enemy within. This enemy is shaking the foundations of our Nation because it is a fight not just of ideologies but actually a fight for the very soul of our Nation. Whose side are we on?  I humbly pray that we are on the LORD’s side. In this season we must continually ask “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I have been asking the Lord that question both on a personal and ministry level again since Covid hit back in February/March.

In 2014 the Lord gave me two scriptures that propelled me to start a bi-monthly prayer meeting at my church to pray for the Church (locally and globally), Israel and the Nations. It has remained a small group, but a very faithful and consistent group of prayer warriors. The Scriptures the Lord gave me then are Hosea 8:1 “Set a trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.” And Zephaniah 2:1-3 “Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect —before the day passes away like chaff—before there come upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands, seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” 

Prayer has increased somewhat as there are more prayer meetings since Covid, but it’s pretty much all those that have been praying for years. Yes, there is some increase in how many people but I wonder where is the rest of the Church? Still sleeping, or pre-occupied, or lethargic, or apathetic?  At home?, on the couch?, too afraid to gather in even small groups to pray, worship, and read God’s Word together?  Yes, you can pray at home. Yes, you can watch services on live-stream, etc BUT God’s Word says “GATHER!” It doesn’t have to be a large gathering, but “GATHER!” Two or three will do! Please understand that I am not talking to those at “high risk” for Covid here. Sadly, there are lots of folks though that are out and about and not gathering to be with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I was ready to stop the prayer meeting mentioned above. However, I waited on the Lord and He brought an answer via a message given by Pastor David Davis (now home with the Lord) from the Carmel Congregation in Israel in 2008! It is entitled “The New Wine is in the Cluster” from Isaiah 65:8. (Listen here) A timeless message! All about prayer and worship! And well guess what? God confirmed that the prayer meeting is to continue! This isn’t the time to stop prayer meetings! 

The upcoming Fall Feasts of the Lord are very strategic and critical. In the Bible these are called “appointed times” when Israel was to gather and go up to the Tabernacle or Temple (the House of the Lord). At his first advent, Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts. It is likely that at his second advent he will fulfill the Fall Feasts. It is not my intention here to teach on the Feasts. What I am saying is that they are important times on God’s calendar and so it behoves us to have some understanding of them. They are prophetic! In the Fall, they include the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. You can read about them in Leviticus 23 and other places. Jesus celebrated these Feasts and in Zechariah 14:16 we are told that “everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King; the LORD of hosts and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths).” 

Jewish people traditionally fast for 25 hours on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). I am not saying this is a mandate for us as Christians, nor that we even have to follow celebrating the Feasts because the Apostle Paul clearly taught that Gentiles are not mandated to do that. I am saying that I believe there is heightened spiritual warfare and it will intensify during the season of the Fall Feasts. I believe the Lord has called me (I’m not saying you) to fast from the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets (traditionally known as Rosh Hashanah) through the Day of Atonement. That would be beginning at sundown on September 18th until sundown on September 28. I am asking you to join my as the Lord directs you. Ask Him, “LORD, what do you want me to do?” I am also asking you to consider joining in on our weekly WOW Zoom prayer calls. You may not be able to commit to weekly, but can you join this coming Tuesday September 15th and/or on September 22nd at 8pm EDT, 7pm CDT? We need to pray as a “cluster” for many things, including this ministry if we want the NEW WINE God wants to pour out. We are in perilous times, but God has mercy for His people! 

The Women of the Word Prayer Zoom meeting held every Tuesday at 8 pm (EDT) ID 336 129 6405  or phone 646.867.9923 Email WOW for the password.

Karen Davis, an internationally known worship leader from Israel taught on the relevance of the Fall Feasts and how Gentiles are grafted into the beautiful olive tree of Israel and now part of the Commonwealth of Israel. She also led us in beautiful and anointed worship. Click here to hear the message and to hear the worship click here

In conclusion, like it or not we are in a war. It’s more than time to call the army of prayer warriors to attention and duty! With God we have the victory but we must engage in the battle! I know many of you have been engaging for many years and some are probably weary. I know I’m largely speaking to the “choir”. There are times when I am very weary. This is when we need reinforcements. We need the “cluster”. All armies have reinforcements. Let’s continue to ask the Lord for more warriors to join His army and stand on this scripture too:

“ When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord you God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” Numbers 10:9 

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.