Posted by: cindybythesea | December 5, 2010

a week of contrasts

    with just the tips visible, light shines brightly from this 9 branched Hanukkah Menorah

This week, the week of Hanukkah, the news coming out of Israel has been filled not with the joyous images of brightly burning Hanukkah candles but, instead with the horrific images of  deadly flames from a fire which has been burning out of control for the last several days on the mountains of Carmel. A fire which has tragically taken the lives of 41 people, displaced thousands and consumed everything in its path.

As a result of months of drought, this small area of forestation (only about 7% of Israel is forested) had become a tinderbox.  With allegations not of arson but of negligence as the cause of the fire, one can only surmise that the severe conditions that resulted in this fire may well have been prevented had the dry conditions been addressed pre-emptively by Israeli forest management.  With this in mind, I can’t help but think of the prophet Elijah who God used to call down fire from heaven and who also closed up the heavens to dew and rain in response to Israel’s faithlessness and idolatry – and neglect

We see an example of this from 1 Kings 18: 16-18 when Ahab is confronted by the prophet Elijah.  Ahab blames Elijah for the drought taking no responsibility for himself.

“When he (Ahab) saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”  “I have not made trouble for Israel” Elijah replied. “But, you and your family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.”

Abandonment, the almost certain outcome of neglect.

And, apparently as the leadership goes, so go the people.  This is why God calls leaders (especially spiritual leaders) to such great accountability.  With the people of Israel and the prophets assembled on Mount Carmel (Carmel by the way which means garden or orchard) Elijah confronts the people with these words:

“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him: but, if Baal is God, follow him.” But, the people said nothing.”

Wow!  I think that statement says a lot! How tempting it is for us as humans to try to take the middle road when it comes to spiritual things.  To just say nothing!  As if saying or doing nothing relieves us of any responsibility before God.  A sharp reminder this week of *Hanukkah as the fire burns uncontrolled on Carmel that it is faith in action like that of the Maccabees who in 165 BC acted in faith to take back the temple and to cleanse it from the defilement it had received at the hands of  the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes that is still commemorated today.

*Hanukkah as many of you know commemorates the miracle of the small amount of oil which burned for 8 days until new oil could be consecrated for cleansing the temple after it had been desecrated in 165 BC.   http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/hanukkah.htm

With the fires burning on Carmel, I am reminded that our God is a consuming fire and that all that is wood, hay and stubble will be burned up.  Unlike the oil of the Holy spirit which burns miraculously in the lives of God’s chosen vessels, (refining, but never consuming) his people.

As I think about this, I’m convicted and reminded of my own faithlessness at times and how totally dependent I am on the grace of God to keep the oil of the Holy Spirit burning miraculously in my life.  The challenge is in keeping dry undergrowth from taking root in my life by neglecting to take the time I need daily in prayer and study of the word – essential elements all in keeping my spirit green, fresh and supple before God.

Tonight when I light my own Hanukkah Menorah, I will be thinking about these things.  It is Jesus that keeps the oil burning in my life and all those who have put their trust in him.  Something which is beautifully demonstrated by the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah by the servant candle (the Shamash) by which all the other candles are lit.

May God bless you all this beautiful Hanukkah season, may the light of Jesus shine brightly in you and through you! 

And as always, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6   Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

 

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Responses

  1. Thanks Cindy!

    Btw, the death toll was 42 last i checked news, certainly an interesting number if that remains the final count.

    Also, Israel is in the seventh year of drought.

    And yet they still turn to the nations for deliverance instead of the Lord. :/

    • Thanks Jay for clarifying the numbers, sadly, this is just one of the tragedies they will be facing before they realize on whom they need to call for their deliverance – keeping them in prayer. Cindy

  2. An eclipsing Red Moon will cross through Jerusalem for 72 minutes Dec 21, 2010.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2010_lunar_eclipse

    Blood Red Moon
    The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. (Joel 2:20 and Acts 2:20)

    I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red (Revelations 6:12)

    “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. (Luke 21:25)

  3. WOW – a lot of supernatural signs did occur in 2010. I believe 2011 will be a very bumpy ride.

    The Lord has led me to study Joel 2. I highly recommend that every Christian reread this passage (ONLY in the King James version – other versions changed dramatically). It speaks about an army of God (“northern” army apparently described in Daniel) which I believe are an army of demons (fallen angels). The verse speaks of an army that never has been and never will be again. Joel 2:8 (King James ONLY) speaks of beings that cannot be killed (i.e., demons – fallen angels). I believe this is the same “army” spoken about in Revelation held at the Euphrates River (the Abyss) until the last days. Rev 9 speaks of the Abyss being opened and locusts that also resemble a human army. They can only hurt those without the “seal” of God on their foreheads.

    I believe Joel 2, Rev 9, and Rev 7 may all be speaking about a great battle of demons LIKE an army running across the earth (the northern army – the army of God). (You won’t see this in other versions except the King James.)

    Further down in Rev 7 we see a “great multitude no one can count” standing in heaven that have come out of the tribulation.

    Cindy – this is another topic that I believe you could really get your teeth into!

    The Great Rollercoaster – the year 2011!

    • Amazing portions of scripture Jeane and I agree, I don’t think the army described in these passages is any ordinary army as we would know it in earthly terms. What’s coming is way beyond what any of us can really imagine. 2011- A rollercoaster year indeed! 2010 in my opinion just set the stage for what’s coming next. Blessings sister and thanks for writing!


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