Lit by the Power
by Michelle Shelfer
God Speaking Without Words
Some may say that God was silent during the so called inter-testimental period between the writings of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, or between Malachi and Matthew. However, just as in the book of Esther, even without the mention of His name we sense His presence. In fact, during those years God preserved a remnant of the Jewish people through one of the many holocausts they have suffered throughout history. The victory of the Maccabean revolt over the Saleucid Empire under Antiochus Epiphanes culminated in a rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which is celebrated in the Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah.
According to the Talmud, at the rededication of the Temple there was only enough oil to fuel the temple flame for a single day, but by a miracle of God the oil lasted for eight days, enough time to procure new oil so that the flame would not go out. Although it is not a biblical feast amongst those commanded by God in Leviticus 23, Hanukkah was nevertheless honored by Jesus:
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch (John 10:22,23).
Today we light our menorahs in remembrance of the Maccabean victory, in remembrance of the steadfast presence of God, Who has been true to His word to keep us as a people, and in remembrance of the miracle of the oil. We who know Jesus the Messiah recognize His presence in the "shamash" or servant candle that stands above all the other candles and is used to light the others. Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and He makes us salt and light even as He is the Light of the World.
Rededicating Our Temples
Honoring the Festival of Lights this year, I offer this song entitled "Lit By The Power." In writing it I was identifying with the lamp that had no fuel for eight days and nights but was "Lit By The Power" of His Holy Name. Inasmuch as "ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you," let us consider this Hanukkah season how Jesus has fueled and equipped us with His Holy Spirit to rededicate ourselves in service to Him; once He lights our lamp, it can never go out.