Dedication…

Few people have it. It is not easily stoked. But it is something of utmost importance, especially in the day we live in. But, the object of one’s “Dedication” needs to be as meaningful as the effort.

Scripture

When I was a boy in a small, southern Baptist church, we often had people go up during the prayer time at the end of the service and ‘re-dedicate’ their lives to The LORD. If memory serves, I believe I saw one or two people do this more than once during our tenure at that congregation. I remember my Dad remarking about it once, how it seemed to be a show. Maybe so; maybe not. But, in my latter years, I have noticed a complete lack of dedication on the part of the majority of believers I’ve been around.

Why do I muse in such a fashion? Because we are fast approaching the season that is called “Dedication.” And what is “Dedicated” during that season? “The House.”

Of late, we have noted in our congregation how when the Scriptures wax poetic about the Sabbath, warfare and strife always accompany the beauty of the day. Psalm 92 is the best example of that. But, the same is true of “The Dedication of the House.” Darkness lurks around it.

King David wrote the “Dedication” song for the House of God before He died. He knew his son would build it, and he penned these words:

1A Mizmor [melody]; a Shir [song], at the Dedication of The House; by David.

2I will extol you, O  יהוה , for You have raised me up, and have not suffered my enemies to rejoice over me.

3O  יהוה  my Elohim, I cried unto You, and You did heal me;

4O  יהוה , You brought up my soul from She’ol; You did keep me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

5Sing praise unto  יהוה , O you His Khasidim [Devout ones], and give thanks to His Holy Name.

6For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a life-time; weeping may tarry for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

7Now I had said in my security, “I shall never be moved.”

8You had established, O  יהוה , in Your favor, my mountain as a stronghold.  You did hide Your face; I was terrified.

9Unto You, O  יהוה , did I call, and unto  יהוה  I made supplication:

10“What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise You? Shall it declare Your truth?

11Hear, O  יהוה , and be gracious unto me;  יהוה , be my helper.”

12You did turn for me my mourning into dancing; You did loose my sackcloth, and gird me with gladness;

13So that my glory may sing praise to You, and not be silent; O  יהוה  my Elohim, I will give thanks unto You forever.

Some might wonder at why we assert that we are almost in the ‘season of Dedication of the House’. And our reply: “Khanukat HaBayit” is the Hebrew for that phrase, as “Dedication” is “Khanukah” in Hebrew.

Khanukah starts on Dec 19th this year, and goes to Dec 26th.

Fifteen years ago, when we, as a tiny congregation, went through our very first ‘pruning’, where the Father cut off branches away from us, I thought to end my own ‘dedication’ of service to His Body. That Shabbat morning in late 2007, I got up early, covered myself and prayed, and read in Ezekiel 43, “YOU, son of man, Show the House [of God] to the House of Israel!” I had told God that I felt like I lived in Laodicea, and that there were no righteous ones here. And that night, I had an experience I will never forget, where I ‘saw,’ very ‘alive’ and vividly, our city, at nighttime, and there were lights coming on here and there; I saw this from the air. I understood them to be His people. And then I sat bolt upright in bed. And I ‘dedicated’ myself to building and serving His house.

Since then, people have come to our aid, and to our destruction, unbeknownst even to themselves, because they were tools of the adversary, dedicated not to His House, but to their own desires. We remain dedicated to His House. And we still stand, though pressed on every side.

During the season we are entering, there is, of course, another commemoration that far ‘overshadows’ ours, in most peoples’ eyes. But, this year, I will express clearly why we celebrate “Dedication” instead at this season.

First, the simplicity of the historical fact that even the most lofty ‘theologians’ admit: Yeshua was not born on Dec 25. He was born in the fall. We have already celebrated His birth this year, as He was born on the first day of Sukkot. However, Yeshua’s birth is linked to Khanukah in a most CRITICAL way. Yeshua’s having been BORN during Sukkot nails down the time of His CONCEPTION at Khanukah, DAY 1. Because Khanukah is EXACTLY nine months away from Sukkot. Khanukah is at the end of the ninth BIBLICAL month, and Sukkot is in the middle of seventh Biblical month. They are exactly nine months apart.

Yeshua’s birth was indeed special and celebratory, which is exactly what Sukkot is: “The Season of our Joy”, and visitors who visited Jerusalem in the first century, overflowing into Bethlehem during that ‘festive time’, speak of Sukkot as the MOST EXCITING TIME they’d ever seen. But, Yeshua’s birth was ‘natural’; He was a human baby boy, born on Day 1 of Sukkot, and circumcised on “The Great Day”, Shmeni Atzeret, the “eighth festivity”, the Day of REJOICING in the Torah. It was an utterly NATURAL birth.

But, His CONCEPTION was SUPERNATURAL. And His CONCEPTION is what makes Him DIVINE AND human…conceived of the Spirit of God, and not of Joseph.

And He was conceived during a time when the CELEBRATION of Sukkot was done OUT OF SEASON.

Khanukah was “The Dedication of the House”, done in mid winter, after the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, who had defiled the Temple of God. They miraculously had enough oil to light the Menorah for EIGHT NIGHTS, and they decided to DEDICATE the House of God, not wanting to wait the NINE MONTHS before it could be done as the Temple had been dedicated the first two times: on SUKKOT. So, they celebrated SUKKOT in the WINTER, lit the MENORAH on miracle oil for EIGHT NIGHTS, and STARTED WORSHIPPING GOD AGAIN…

They had been commanded by the Greeks NOT to worship יהוה , not to say His Name, not to speak Hebrew, not to pray, not to read scripture, and told to worship a statue of Zeus that Antiochus IV Epiphanes had erected in the Holy of Holies, after having defiled the altar by sacrificing a PIG on it.

In similar fashion, the people of God have been told not to worship Him on His Sabbath, not to say His Name, that we are incapable of understanding His Word, and given alternate feasts of Greco-Roman and Canaanite origin instead of Biblical, Godly High Holy Days.

The SABBATH returned to them on the heels of a Sukkot out of season. Their first Passover in 3 and 1/2 years would soon follow. So, they decided to keep celebrating this GREAT VICTORY, in the DARKEST TIME OF THE YEAR, by lighting lights, each night for eight nights, every year, remembering their UNLIKELY victory over Greek oppression.

One light on the first night; an additional one each night, until eight are lit on the last night. This year, it will be on these days, and it will look like this:

An astute observer will notice one extra light. That’s because in the Ashkenazi Jewish community of the late Middle Ages, some “Khanukiah” / ‘candelabras’ were made accidentally with a ninth light. Rather than do without, the ninth light was deemed “The Servant Candle”, or “Shammash.” It was used to light the other lights each night. It still is today.

Our Jewish people cannot help but point to the Messiah Yeshua, even when they try to steer people away from Him; Yeshua was CONCEIVED on the first night of Khanukah. And He brings light to each believer. He came to SERVE, the House. “Do you not know that you are the Temple of God, and that the Ru’akh [Breath/Spirit] of God dwells in you?”, writes Paul. [1 Cor 3:16]. Having been conceived on the first night, by the eighth night of Khanukah, Yeshua’s ‘zygote’ would attach to the uterine wall and begin growing, fully DEDICATED to His life’s purpose.

One of Yeshua’s stronger messages about Himself, and the false Messiah that would come was declared during the Khanukah season. Khanukah, in fact, is mentioned ONLY in the ‘Brit Khadashah’, [NT] and no other holy writings. It is ‘The Feast of Dedication’ mentioned in John 10:22-23.

Yeshua participated in the culture of Israel. He preached IN THE TEMPLE, the House of God, during the Season of DEDICATION OF THE HOUSE. He describes KNOWING the Shepherd’s voice, and not following false shepherds, during a time when Epiphanes declared himself god in the Temple just 160 years before.

It was during this season that Yeshua said, “why to the one whom The Father consecrated and sent to the world, do you say, ‘You blaspheme,’ just because I said to you, “I am the Son of God”.

Yeshua was conceived in a woman by the power of God’s Spirit. He was SENT, FROM God. THAT is HIS TESTIMONY about Himself. False ‘shepherds’ have come along and twisted His words, and misidentified who the Messiah would be.

During this time, it is FIT to DEDICATE oneself to the study of THE WORDS of THE SHEPHERD. Go back and read that psalm again, 30, above. See that the resurrection of the Messiah is predicted in it. The LIFE of the Messiah, Yeshua, the Son of God, began during Khanukah. During these darkest winter months, when all the world hails pagan notions about this time, Yeshua was quietly forming in the womb. And thirty three years later he would defy the religious zealots of His day and say plainly to them that He IS the predicted Messiah, the Son of God. Just two months earlier, during the season of Sukkot, after that “Great Day” of the feast, He would say these words: “I proceeded forth and CAME OUT OF MY FATHER.” [John 8:42] In similar fashion, we each came out of our fathers. But, Yeshua is the Word of God, and not conceived by the will and passions of man.

People have been fighting that truth ever since.

In our day, there are so many variations of who Yeshua is that it’s sickening. But, HIS SHEEP truly do know HIS VOICE: the man from Nazareth, sent from God, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died in the place of every human, and offered them the free gift of having the guilt of their sins removed, if they would only admit they indeed have sin in them, and turn from it. And he rose again, defeating death itself.

Be DEDICATED to the TRUTH of who Messiah is and what He did for us, especially during these last, dark days.

Shalom!

Published by danielperek

See my about page! I'm a Messianic Jewish writer, and teacher of the Torah as Messiah Yeshua taught it. I'm a husband, father, and grandfather. A musician, singer, and composer. Most importantly, a servant of the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua HaNatzri!

4 thoughts on “Dedication…

  1. Beautifully explained for Jews and Christians to understand prophecies… HOWEVER why do you spell Channukkah with a “K” ?
    Also in Tenach… you write and pronounce with a “K”. As a Sephardi, I’ve never seen this invention before (neither among Ashkenazis).

    Like

    1. There is no ‘standard’ for transliteration. We looked. We took three or four different systems of transliterations and combined what we felt were the best features of each.

      Like

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