Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hanukkah started last night... Happy Hanukkah

From: Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

"And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time."
— 1 Kings 8:61

Hanukkah is a time of rededication. In fact, that's what the wordHanukkah means — rededication. After the military victory of the Maccabees over their oppressors, the people immediately began the process of cleaning out the Temple of idols and paganism and rededicating it to God. And whenever a ceremony for rededication was conducted in biblical times, it always lasted eight days — one of the reasons why we Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days.

Hanukkah is also an opportunity for us to rededicate and purify ourselves before God. We see this modeled during the dedication service and prayers offered by King Solomon when the very first Temple was completed 480 years after the Israelites had escaped from Egypt.

After seven years, the building of God's Holy Temple was completed, and King Solomon summoned everyone to assemble in Jerusalem for the dedication of this place where God's presence would dwell on earth. But it was more than just a dedication of a building. It was also an opportunity for the people to rededicate themselves to God's service.

Following his prayer of dedication for the Temple (1 Kings 8:23-61), King Solomon offered a blessing for the people of Israel in which he had five basic requests: 1) for God's presence with His people (8:57); 2) for the desire to do God's will in everything (8:58); 3) for the desire and ability to obey all of God's commands (8:58); 4) for help with daily needs (8:59); and 5) for people everywhere to know the one true God of Israel (8:60). And as he concluded his blessing, Solomon encouraged the people that their hearts would be fully committed to God and living for Him.

What a wonderful prayer for us as well! Solomon's requests are as appropriate today as they were in 586 B.C.E. when the Temple was completed. What wonderful verses to read and use in rededicating ourselves to God during this season.

I challenge you to read Solomon's blessing in 1 Kings 8:56-61 and to reflect on each of these requests. Make Solomon's petitions your own as you rededicate yourself to obeying God and doing His will. Ask for God's presence in your own life and for His help in meeting your daily needs. And pray with all God's people that His name and His kingdom will be known throughout the world.

Finally, let us ask that God will help us all commit our hearts fully to Him and that we will be found faithful always.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

I love Rabbi Eckstein's devotional's. I was thinking of how this month I have set goals for myself, I need to begin with the most important though: rededicating myself to the Lord God... I do want Jesus to be Lord of all areas of my heart, spirit, mind, soul. I need His forgiveness and cleansing first before I think of all the ways to dress up the outside of myself... my diet and exercise plan, the way I clean the house or take care of my family. All of those things will come from, extend from How I am doing in my thoughts and relationship with Jesus. I need His protection from the enemy. Don't be deceived continually that the abuse that I suffered in the past was deserved. That it should continue...That all begins right now with asking Jesus to be my saviour, Lord, shepherd, friend, protector and that He will teach me how to love and serve Him, just for today...Let alone the next eight days and the month of December. Thank you Jesus for the reminder it all begins with you. I can't wait to see you someday :D

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