Hanukkah: A Story of Courage

It’s rarely easy being Jewish. From the time the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 B.C., the Jewish people have been under Gentile domination. Even today every country on Earth thinks it has the right to tell the State of Israel what to do—where to place its capital, where it can build housing for its people, and how much force it can use to defend itself. The list goes on.

For centuries the Jews have suffered persecution, torture, and murder; yet God preserves them because He loves them (Dt. 7:8; Rom. 11:28). And they continue to be an example to the world of perseverance in the face of adversity.

At sundown on December 20, Jewish people around the world will begin the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah by lighting the first of eight Hanukkah candles. Most of us know the story of Hanukkah. In the second century B.C., the evil Seleucid ruler, Antiochus IV, tried to assimilate the Jewish people into Greek culture and destroy Judaism. He forbade circumcision and Torah study, desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem by sacrificing a pig on the altar, dedicated the Temple to Zeus, and murdered anyone who did not conform. Some estimate he killed more than 100,000 Jews. He was so wicked and depraved that he is considered a type of the future Antichrist in the book of Daniel.

In the village of Modiin in Judea, the Jewish priest Mattathias refused to cooperate. He and his five sons, one of whom became known as Judah the Maccabee, courageously stood up for truth. They killed the soldiers trying to force them to forsake Yahweh and led a rebellion that resulted in the Jewish people retaking the Temple in 165 B.C. and restoring worship of the one true God: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When Mattathias and his sons decided to defy the authorities, they had no idea how things would turn out. They could easily have been killed. Yet they decided they would rather die fighting for truth and freedom than debase them-selves serving a false god.

Today many Christians around the world find themselves in a similar situation. In fact, Christian persecution is so severe that Raymond Ibrahim, with the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Middle East Forum, has begun writing a monthly column about it. “Most religious persecution in the Muslim world is by far directed against Christians,” he wrote.

The accounts he provides can make you cry. Wrote Ibrahim, “Then there are the countless atrocities that never make it to any media—the stories of persistent, quiet misery that only the victims know—such as the recent revelation that a 2-year-old girl was savagely raped in Pakistan because her Christian father refused to convert to Islam: it took five years for this story to surface. How many are the tales of woe that never surface?”

More Christians are dying for their faith today than at any other time in history. Only God Himself knows how many are taking a page from the Maccabees’ book and putting devotion to the true and living God over the expediency of converting to Islam.

Hanukkah is a story of Jewish courage, of men who stood for truth despite the cost and of almighty God who blessed their efforts. As the lights of Hanukkah burn brightly in windows this holiday season, may we Christians remember the Maccabees’ bravery and pray for our persecuted brethren, asking God to give us the same courage to stand up for our faith.

Features

Is There a Way Back?

The story of the Gospels is the wonderful news of what Jesus did for us. But the anti-Christ forces in America are power- ful. There is an antidote, and it’s the same one God prescribed for ancient Israel.

Keepers of the Scriptures

If you read a Bible, you owe much to the Jewish people for the extraordinary mea- sures they took to preserve His Word— and much more.

Thank God for Israel

Do you have a love for Israel and the Jewish people and don’t know quite where to go with it? We know a way you can tell them how you feel. And it’s terrific!

Inside the IDF: The Most Humane Army in the World

The world wants you to believe that Israel’s soldiers are like Hitler’s Nazis. But the truth is exactly the opposite. You’ll be amazed at what this army does to protect its enemies.

Show Me the Law and I’ll Show You the Lawgiver

Law students used to be taught the importance of the Ten Commandments in American jurisprudence. Not today. But truth is truth, as you’ll see here.

Subscription Options

1 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$9.99 every year

1 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$19.99 every year

2 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$19.99 every 2 years

2 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$39.99 every 2 years

3 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$29.99 every 3 years

3 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$59.99 every 3 years

Free 1 Year Digital Subscription

Unlimited Articles

Unlimited Posts

Free