How many of you, who know about the history of Hanukkah or read my last post on Hanukkah See here:, cheered for the Jewish underdogs when that little group of freedom fighters were victorious over Antiochus Ephiphanes, his army, and his evil plot to destroy Judaism? It is an incredible account of how God works for His people. We should all give God praise for what He did. We should also be encouraged by the faith and determination of the Maccabee family.
However, it got me thinking. The Seleucid government was trying to impose Hellenism on the Jewish people. This meant that they could no longer practice Judaism. Specifically, they couldn't:
1. Circumcise their sons
2. Observe Shabbat (Saturday worship)
3. Eat kosher (in fact, they were forced to eat "unclean food")
4. Observe the Lord's feasts
For freedom loving people this is an atrocity! No government should impose restrictions on this kind of behavior. Thankfully, here in America, we don't have this problem, at least not yet.
Although we don't have this situation because of high-handed government officials we do have it in the Christian church! What, you say? Think about this. What happens when a person comes to faith in Yeshua? He or she is expected to attend church on Sunday, eat non-kosher food (think of all the potlucks where ham is served), and ignore the feasts. Circumcision for newborn boys is optional.
Hmm! How ironic! The Christian church falls perfectly in line with Antiochus Epiphanes! This should cause us to sit up and take notice! How did evil become good? Have we made an error in interpreting Scripture? What must we do to get back to viewing good as good and evil as evil?