Hanukkah & its Direct Relation to Israel Today, part 2
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lights the first Chanukah candle …
Throughout the millennia, enemies have attempted to destroy Israel. Yet, time and time again, G-d has brought about miracles. G-d’s promises to Israel are yes and amen.
At the Western Wall last Sunday night, the Prime Minister of Israel, lit the first Hanukkah candle. His comments articulate how G-d protected Am Israel (Nation of Israel) two thousand years ago and his resolute belief that Israel will continue to overcome any obstacle and difficulty. (Below are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments, as quoted from the Prime Minister’s website.)
“2,200 years ago, a handful of Jewish fighters arose and defeated what was then a global empire. This was before the rise of Rome. The Seleucid Greek empire was then very strong and – during the reign of Antiochus IV – very cruel. Indeed, the threat was to our unity and our greatness. The Maccabees fought, first of all to restore this [spiritual] independence but they were not satisfied with only that. Part of the people wanted them to suffice with that. But they were not so inclined; they fought to restore their political independence. They understood that without political independence there was no chance of ensuring spiritual independence.
“This effort, which undoubtedly ensured the future of our people, also serves as a symbol and an example to peoples in general and to the strength of a people – to strength of spirit. They dispelled the darkness – and we are fighting a great darkness today. The struggle of Israel today, as it was then, in those days at this season, is – first of all – a struggle for our existence, independence and culture but also for all humanity.
“Israel is a candle in the darkness. Around us is a great darkness and here in Jerusalem, in the State of Israel, we are lifting the banner of the independence and honor of man, for the right of the Jewish People to live free in its land and in its city, the same city that the Maccabees liberated.
“This battle has continued into our generation. In every generation they have risen up to destroy us and in every generation the Holy One, Blessed be He, has saved us from them, on condition that we hold the banner and candle and also the sword of Israel. And here, we are doing just that. First of all, to defend ourselves but I say we are defending all of humanity, as well as the culture of all humanity, against the unbridled brutality that the world is today beginning to understand.
“This struggle is appreciated by many peoples. I was just at an international conference and I saw this appreciation, the admiration that the leaders of the world have for the State of Israel and the fact that we are fighting the darkness of radical Islam, that we are fighting terrorism on a daily basis. They have great admiration for the State of Israel and for our soldiers. Here you are, doing this holy work on a daily basis and many times I am with the Public Security Minister and the Defense Minister in the field, and I see your actions, your sacrifice and your heroism.
“We can raise soldiers’ salaries as we did today but your true salary is your contribution to the Glory of Israel, and the Glory of Israel does not lie. [See I Samuel 15:29.] Here we are, standing near the Holy of Holies, not far from there. We can overcome any obstacle and any challenge and I believe that this is a symbol today, especially at his time, of the restoration of Israel and of the Glory of Israel.
“With G-d’s help, very many around the world understand this more and more with the passing of time. I want to say the blessing over the first candle of Chanukah. I want to wish the entire People of Israel a Happy Chanukah.”
The Prime Minister and Israel, herself, are examples of right priorities. Rather than wallowing in problems and overwhelming odds, Israel has moved forward. Israel reaches out to other countries undergoing tsunamis, civil war, etc; at the same time, she has pioneered an impressive number of scientific and technological advancements.
G-d promises He will bless those who bless the seed of Abraham and curse those who curse her (Gen 12:3). How do we know G-d keeps His promises? As the Prime Minister quoted, “He [G-d] who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” 1Sam 15:29.
Our choice is: will we be like the Seleucids 2200 years ago and attempt to destroy Israel? Or will we stand by Israel? Our nation will be blessed if we choose the latter!
“Thank You, L-rd, that all Your promises are yes and amen. That You are not a man that You should lie. You do not change. Hallelu-YAH! We worship You. Help us to seek Your face and to follow Your ways. In the midst of all the darkness, help us not to become faith-hearted, but to be steadfast in You. Protect Israel, protect believers both in our country and also those who are part of the persecuted church. Turn the hearts of Americans to You. This holiday is a wonderful testament as to how You keep Your word and Your promises to Israel. Help us, as a nation, to stand with Israel. In the precious name of our soon-coming Messiah, Yeshua, we pray.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests: