This year, Jewish people will commemorate Hanukkah from December 18 to December 26. I recently read about Hanukkah and would like to share what I learned with you.
In a time of war and occupation in the 2nd century BC, after three years of fighting with Syrian forces led by Antiochus lll, the Maccabees, Jewish fighters, regained control of the Temple Mount.
The Maccabees cleansed the Temple, dismantled the defiled altar, and constructed a new one. They held a dedication (Hanukkah) of the Temple with proper sacrifice and the rekindling of the golden menorah. For eight days they praised God that proper Jewish worship had been re-established.
For this particular Hanukkah, a miracle had occurred. After searching the Temple from top to bottom, they only found a small jar of oil for the menorah. There was barely enough to light the candelabra for one day, let alone eight. Miraculously, the oil lasted for the entire celebration.
There are examples in both the Old and New Testaments where God provided miraculously or multiplied resources. Abraham comes to mind. God provided a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns, for a sacrifice instead of his son, Isaac. Throughout their whole wilderness journey, God supplied manna supernaturally for His people to eat. And for the widow of Zarephath living in a famine, "...the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah" (1 Kings 17:16 NIV).
In the New Testament, Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, and 4000 with seven loaves and a few small fish. And after a day of preaching from a boat, Jesus told his disciple Peter to go out into deeper water for a huge catch of fish. Reluctantly, Peter agreed. The haul was so big, the nets threatened to break.
We should not be surprised at these examples. One of the Hebrew names for God is El Shaddai - God Almighty, the All-Sufficient One, the God of more than enough. Some scholars believe Shaddai is derived from the word shad, meaning breast. This refers to God as One Who is nourishing, satisfying, and supplying the needs of His people, such as a mother would do for her child.
At this Christmas season, we celebrate the provision of salvation God provided through His Son, Jesus. When we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, we have the hope of spending eternity in Heaven with Him. While we are here on earth, He has promised to supply our needs, whether they be physical, financial, emotional, or relational. "Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King (Philippians 4:19 VOICE).
Today and everyday, be encouraged! You can trust God to take care of you. His provision is part of His Name.