He never slumbers or sleeps!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 121:4 Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

We're living in a unique time in history, as once again Israel finds herself surrounded by enemies with few friends willing to stand with her. So often we are asked, and we wonder, how things will turn out here…we've found it's usually foolish to try and predict; but one thing is absolutely certain; the God of Israel is watching over this tiny nation!

I want to share a brief history lesson about the liberation of Jerusalem. Early in 1917, John Hilton, a mechanic in the British Royal Flying Corps, attended church one Sunday morning. Noticing Hilton's uniform, a clergyman approached and told him, having read Isaiah 31, he believed that airplanes would be used by the English air force to deliver Jerusalem into British hands. He was right…but only partly…

Months later, General Allenby was seeking advice from London as he prepared to liberate Jerusalem from 400 years of Turkish rule. He received a wire from London. The wire quoted Isaiah 31:4-5, “For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem, defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.”

After receiving the wire, Allenby called for planes to fly low over Jerusalem, dropping leaflets warning the Turks of his coming. When the Turks picked up the leaflets and read the name Allenby, they heard, "Allah en Nebi", which, in Arabic, means “Prophet of Allah”, so they surrendered Jerusalem without firing a shot! A tenth century Islamic poet with which they were familiar, had written, “The man who will conquer Jerusalem and redeem it from the infidel for all time to come will enter the Holy City humbly on foot, and his name is God's prophet.” In respect for the city of his savior's death and resurrection, Allenby dismounted his horse and walked into Jerusalem on foot. The liberation of Jerusalem took place the first day of Chanukah, the feast of dedication, in 1917.

The creative providence of our God is astounding in its details, and sometimes even reveals His sense of humor. He is not asleep, and His resources are far beyond our ability to comprehend. Who could have imagined that the name of an English general and the verse of an Islamic poet, would be the combination for a bloodless victory which would also fulfill an ancient Hebrew scripture?? So, we believe, in our present situation, again, God's deliverance will come in the most unexpected ways. How He will do it this time? Watch for the unexpected ways He will work…even in your own situation!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

Trim Your Lamps!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Matthew 25:1-13 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

This parable in Matthew 25 is a warning to the entire body — be ready with your oil! Each of these virgins was anticipating the Lord's return; none were atheists, or non-believers. They were all virgins who claimed to be awaiting the Bridegroom's arrival. But notice carefully that only half of them were truly ready.

In the ancient Temple era the Aaronic priests were in charge of lighting the lamp of God and keeping it burning. Their main responsibilities included trimming the wicks, refilling the lamp constantly with fresh oil, and making sure it never burned out.

A clear parallel can be drawn between the Aaronic priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood of Melchizedek and Yeshua (Jesus). Both are responsible to keep the lamps burning!

Are you feeling burned out this Chanukah season? Then trim your wick by getting rid of the useless things in your life and diving deeper into His Word. Are you feeling spiritually drained? Then wait on the Lord and ask Him for a fresh anointing. Bearing the light of God is the responsibility of all true believers; you are the bearer of that light; so be reignited today and keep your lamps burning bright for Him. Let's be wise virgins, anxiously awaiting His return!

Read more Christian Devotions on: Anointing, Light, Revival, Spirit Filled

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

Let the Light Break Through!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Judges 7:16-19 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a shofar into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. And he said to them, "Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: When I blow the shofar, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the shofars on every side of the whole camp, and say, 'The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!' " So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the shofars and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.

When God called Gideon to lead Israel against their enemies, He wanted to show that a small army empowered by God was more effective than the largest armies. But notice how they fought – without weapons that an army would normally use. They fought with shofars and lamps! They fought with weapons that the world would consider ineffective, yet triumphed mightily over their enemies. They shouted as loud as they could, sounded the shofar, and broke the vessels that held the fire so that their lamps burst through with brightness.

This breaking of the lamps of clay holds a powerful metaphor for us. If we too are "earthen vessels" holding the fire of God – the Spirit of God within us, then a "breaking" of the outer man is necessary for His inner light to burst through. Victory can come out of brokenness. Our old life of self, often called the "old man", when truly crucified and broken, will give way to the release of the Lord's Spirit of God in our lives. The death of our Lord has broken the power of our self-life, since we were crucified with Him. Walking in that awareness brings light and victory.

Let the love, peace, joy, and all the fruit of the Spirit break through in your life. Your old life of Self has been and is being broken, as Yeshua's victorious light shines through your earthen vessel this Chanukah season.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

Be a LIGHT!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

John 10:22-23 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication (Chanukah), and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

Chanukah, a time of celebration and rededication, began tonight in the Land and for Jewish people all over the globe. Those of us who are grafted in through the atoning work of Messiah, we who know God, have an opportunity to see the deeper significance in the Biblical holidays and are not only welcome but encouraged to celebrate as well!

Over 150 years before Yeshua's (Jesus’) birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.

According to an ancient Jewish legend, Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. Judah also found that there was only one cruse of undefiled oil which could burn in the Temple Menorah (holy candleabra which had to continually burn). This oil was only enough for one day but it miraclously lasted for eight days, just enough time to get more of this special oil made. So in memory of this miracle and the rededication of the Temple, Chanukah or the Festival of Lights has been celebrated by the Jewish people for over 2000 years and was even celebrated by Yeshua (Jesus) Himself!

Every Chanukah, chanukkiahs (the candleabra of nine candle holders) are lit. Each chanukkia has a special candle, known as the Shamash which is raised above the other eight. The word ‘shamash’ means ‘servant, helper, or minister — so the Shamash candle is the servant candle, or the ministering candle, and is used to light all the other candles. It is the servant who is raised up and lights all the others, symbolizing Messiah, for us who believe.

Yeshua came and proclaimed that ‘He is the Light of the World and whoever follows Him shall have the light of life!’ The one who serves the Lord will be a light! The one who does the will of God will shine! The more we serve the Lord, and earnestly do His will , with all our heart, soul and mind — the more we will shine with the light of God and so ultimately will we be raised up!

Let's strive to serve the Lord with gladness this season and light up the world around us! We may be small but a small light will go a long way in a dark place!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

Be Courageous!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid nor be dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Some of you may be celebrating the holiday of Chanukah with us — this will be the fourth night of this beautiful Festival of Lights.

While Chanukah is not a Biblical feast, it is an important one. Chanukah commemorates the story of small group of men with much courage — enough courage to defeat even the greatest of the world’s empires.

The Greek-Syrian Emperor Anticochus Epiphanes defiled the Temple by erecting an idol within it, and commanded all of Israel to worship it. If that wasn’t enough, he made it illegal to follow God's laws and anyone caught observing them would be put to death. Yeshua (Jesus) pointed out in Matthew 24 — when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel — flee! This was a foreshadow of a future event which He was referring to.

So what happened? A few men, the Macabees, decided to fight an entire empire on their own! They had a miraculous victory, restoring and rededicating the Temple, and relighting the menorah — a victory which we celebrate tonight.

In these dark days approaching, we're going to be called to a deeper walk with the Lord, to stand up for His truth and be a light to the dying world around us! Let's get restored, rededicated and rekindled so that we can be strong for Him! There's so much to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Chanukah