As we approach the time of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, let’s look at how the story took shape. In its essence, the story of Hanukkah is about how different people responded to the edicts of a tyrant, Antiochus IV, also called Epiphanies, a title that mean, “manifest god.” There were those who feared this king and, consequently, gave into his edicts and tyranny. For a while everyone in Judea was adversely affected. In time, there arose a small group of people who determined within themselves to fear the God of heaven more than a mortal man. As a result, they rose up and resisted his tyranny.
Today, we have essentially the same story taking shape. Powerful men, governments, industry, society, and all of these things collectively, are trying to rule our lives. They issue their own edicts, whether it be compliance to a newly enacted law or their expectancy that we conform to their ideals of tolerance and coexistence. There are those within the Body of Messiah who fear these developments and the people responsible for them to the point that they feel they have no choice but to comply. This fear of man results in lowering of our moral standards and a dilution of the Word being spoken in our pulpits.
Perhaps, our problem is this: whatever we focus our attention on is what we tend to fear or revere the most. Whatever consumes us will dominates our thoughts, our conversation and our deeds. Therefore, based on what we can observe in the Body, it seems there are many believers who are focusing on the wrong things and the wrong people. Consequently, their fear is misplaced. The Creator had something to say about this in Isaiah 8:12-13:
“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread.”
If we truly focus on Him, then we are going to fear Him more and revere Him above all else. If He is our focus, then it really doesn’t matter what others can do to us. In the same chapter of Isaiah 8, the Creator says that He is a refuge and a sanctuary. If we fear Him as we should, then we will perceive Him as that refuge. Those other things and people that we tend to fear more do not offer us a refuge but a prison for our thoughts and heart.
In another chapter, Isaiah also said this:
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
In Him is everlasting strength and hence we find our refuge. He’s worthy of our fear, our respect and our trust. So let’s not focus on men, governments, and other institutions that compel us to concede to their tyranny. Let’s set our face upon our Creator and believe that He is setting His face upon us.