A Celebration of Chanukah – The Feast of Dedication: Sixth Night
Living Worship in a Living Temple
The Sixth Night of Chanukah – A New Way to Kindle the Chanukah Lights
Before You Begin…
There are three principal symbols of Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication:
- The people of Israel—a people dedicated to the God of the Bible…
- The Holy Temple of the Bible…
- The Lampstand in the Holy Temple…
What Torah Says – The Temple
The Tabernacle [and later the Temple] was the dwelling place on earth for the only true and living God. This one place was the center and focal point for all of life among the people set apart (dedicated) to belong to a holy God. It was to the Temple [and earlier the Tabernacle] that all men on earth—both Jew and non-Jew—must come for learning of the only true God. It was to the Temple [and earlier the Tabernacle] that all men on earth—both Jew and non-Jew—must turn to prayer and petition to the only true and living G-d. It was to the door of the Tabernacle [and later the door of the Temple] to which all men on earth—both Jew and non-Jew—must come seeking forgiveness for sin against a holy God. In the Holy Bible it is written for all men everywhere that there was one place, one door, one way—only one—for hope of dedication and forgiveness before a holy God. It was the holiest place on planet earth. Everything that was in it was to be pure and holy to God—undefiled. If anything ever happened to that Holy Temple to defile it or to destroy it, no man on earth—neither Jew nor non-Jew—would have a place to learn of God or find forgiveness for sinning against Him.
Reader, do you understand the weight and gravity of this historical fact? Whatever your spiritual persuasion, this is Biblical history. These are the recorded facts of life for the people which Biblical history records as those whom a holy God dedicated from among mankind to be the messengers to all men of His Way of redemption from the rebellion against God which the Bible declares renders all men everywhere worthy of condemnation before Him. Other symbols have risen in the celebration of this season, most of them overshadowing the clear historical fact that what the armies of Israel fought and bled and died to regain was the Holy Temple—the center and focus for their God-given way of life and the one Sanctuary of truth on earth. Chanukah is about the re-dedication of this Temple—the dwellingplace of a holy God among His people.
Almost 400 years after the Temple had been rededicated by the family of Mattithias Hasmoneas (the Maccabees), many of God’s people had once again wandered away from their dedication to God. Like people lost in the darkness, they were having trouble finding their way back to His Light, the Truth. Until a great miracle happened there! One special Person named Yeshua was born. This is the Hebrew name for the one many know as Jesus. The history of the Bible says He was born as a miracle child in Israel, and dedicated completely to God. The history of the Bible says He was the living Temple of God on earth. The history of the Bible says He was not only born on a night filled with the light from heaven, but was promised as the everlasting Light of Israel…
1 Corinthians 6.19-20 reminds all who believe in Messiah Yeshua that a great miracle has happened in them. Faith in the Lord Jesus has made them living temples—temples alive with the Holy Spirit: “…Do you not know that your body is the temple of Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s!”
Dedicate Your Hands: How are you using the hands God has sanctified for His glory in your living temple?
The Shepherd’s Voice:
- Deuteronomy 6.5
- Ecclesiastes 9.10
- Colossians 3.17
Kindle the Sixth Light:
Say a New Blessing: “Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the universe! Whose hands have formed me from the dust of the ground. Whose hands have touched the sick and healed them. Whose hands obeyed the commands of Joseph and Miriam and were pierced at Moriah’s Golgotha for my sin. Who has given me hands to touch the beauty of Your creation, to fold in prayer, to lift up in praise to You, and to do my daily work. I dedicate my hands to You, Lord. Teach them to faithfully do the work you have given me each day. Teach them the kindness of Messiah Yeshua toward others. Let them never be raised in hate toward others. Keep them holy for You, that I may lift them in prayer and praise before You. In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah, my Lord and my Light. Amen.”
As oil was the precious fuel that kept the Light of Israel burning in the darkness, may the time you spend in the Word of God this season fill you to overflowing with His Oil of Joy to keep your lamp burning brightly in the darkness. And as you give your mind and heart to the Voice of Your Great Shepherd in His Word, may this precious celebration of Yeshua, the Light of the world kindle in your life a new found fire of dedication to your Great Shepherd.
[Excerpts from: A Celebration of Chanukah – The Feast of Dedication: Living Worship in a Living Temple, by Patricia Stachew, copyright 1994; and Chanukah and the Feast of Messiah, by Patricia Stachew, copyright 2003: Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA. All rights reserved]