The miracles of Hanukkah remind me and give me hope that nothing is impossible with God (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17; 27), and that miracles still happen today. In addition to the humanly impossible victory of the small band of Maccabees over the mighty Greek-Syrian army, one of the best known miracles of Hanukkah is that when the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple, the one-day supply of oil that they found for lighting the Menorah miraculously lasted eight days, the length of time it took for new oil to be made. Thus, they were able to fulfill God’s command that the light of the menorah – representing and reflecting God’s eternal presence – should never be extinguished (Ex 27:20).
The Jerusalem Temple menorah was a reflection of the heavenly menorah in the Heavenly Tabernacle. It reflected and revealed God’s presence (“panim,” i.e., face), as “the light of His face.” The fact that He commanded it to be lit continually reminds me that the light of His presence never ceases, His presence is always with us as believers, and that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Heb 13:5). He is light and there is no darkness in Him at all (1 John 1:5; Job 12:22; Pv. 20:27; 1 Cor 4:5). Once again, there is NO darkness in Him at all. When we open our spiritual eyes to see miracles each day, we see that the light of His face never goes out, it never stops breaking through the darkness. He is always working for good (Rom 8:28; Jer. 29:11), always bringing life (John 10:10), always desiring to heal (Ps 103:2-3; Matt 9:35), to reconcile (Eph 2:14), to renew (Rev. 21:5; Is 65:17), to restore, to rebuild, to “take us back to the garden.”
As I write these words, my heart is heavy today from hearing of the horrendous loss of life, many young children, at Newton school in CT. Some may see this shocking, heart-wrenching darkness and ask “where was God?” But when we see these tragedies, we have to remember these Hanukkah truths – He never changes, the light of His presence is never extinguished, and He can still break through ANY darkness. There is no depth or degree of darkness that is too hard for Him to penetrate.
Evil is not His will, and death is not His will. In fact, we know from God’s Word that it is not His will that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9). We were not created to die, to have disease, or to experience the death of others. I believe this is why it is so painful when our loved ones perish. We were not created to experience this painful loss. Death was not in the world when Adam and Eve were created. Death only entered the world when sin entered the world (Rom 5:12). Death entered through sin, and Satan’s power in our lives entered through sin.
Many times in previous blogs, I have emphasized how our sins (stronghold beliefs about ourselves and about God, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, self-condemnation, self-hatred, rejection, blame, accusations, guilt, shame, performance, worthlessness, criticalness, pride, etc.) give the enemy a handle. Sin gives Satan power in our lives and throughout the entire world. Everything from God is good and perfect (James 1:17), but because God in His love gave man free will, the ability to choose good or evil, to obey or disobey His Word, there will be sin in the world — which gives Satan power (Eph 4:27), and leads to death (Rom. 6:23).
In these times of darkness, we must gaze at the menorah and remember — just as the light of the menorah never went out, God’s light, His presence can never be extinguished, and HIS light can still break through ANY darkness! We have this assurance because Yeshua broke through and conquered death itself, the ultimate darkness. (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8; 1 Cor 15:54; Hos. 13:14; Rev. 1:18). Since He has already broken through the ultimate darkness, we can be confident and trust that He can still break through any darkness in this world today and use it for good, to bring life, to heal, reconcile, renew, and restore. Remember, Yeshua’s mission statement here on earth was to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Is 61:1). He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
Yeshua reversed the curse at the cross (Gal. 3:13; Rev. 22:3). Every day He desires to do miracles in our lives. Every day His heart is to heal our hearts. Every day He wants to take us “back to the garden,” to restore His original intent for us — to experience that intimacy with Him when “He walked with us in the garden in the cool of the day.” (Gen 3:8). This is the whole purpose for our existence — to know Him intimately and to make Him known. Our primary purpose and focus from the moment we awake each day should be to “go back to the garden,” to walk in intimacy with him, and to be aware of and deal with anything that blocks this intimacy with Him.
What stronghold beliefs (lies that you believe about yourself or about God) or negative emotions (fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, self-condemnation, self-hatred, rejection, blame, accusations, guilt, shame, performance, worthlessness, criticalness, pride, etc.) are blocking your intimacy with the Lord today? Use your weapons of warfare to take you “back to the garden” with Him.
What darkness do you need Him to break through in your life? Believe that He can break through ANY darkness, that there is no depth or degree of darkness that His light cannot penetrate. Stand on His promises, and that His character, attributes, and nature never change. He has proven Himself faithful and He will do it. In your daily life, begin to call the things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:17), and you will see that great miracles still happen today, and every day.
Gen 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.
Jer 32:17 – Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
Jer 32:27 – I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
Ex 27:20 – And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.
Heb 13:5 – because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 John 1:5 – God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.
Job 12:22 – He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.
Prov. 20:27 – The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.
1 Cor. 4:5 – Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Jer 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
John 10:10 -The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ps. 103:2-3 -Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases
Matt. 9:35 – Yeshua went throughout Galilee…healing every disease and sickness.
Eph 2:14 – For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility
Rev 21:5 – He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Is 65:17 – “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
2 Pet 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—
James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Eph 4:27 – do not give the devil a foothold
Rom 6:23 – for the wages of sin are death
Heb 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
1 John 3:8 – He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
1 Cor 15:54 – When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Hos. 13:14 – I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.
Rev. 1:18 – I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and Hades.
Is 61:1 – The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Heb. 13:8 – Yeshua is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Gal 3:13 – Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Rev. 22:3 – No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him.
Gen 3:8 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
Rom 4:17 – ….the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.