Hanukkah brought in a revival in Israel. This revival, like all revivals in Israel and in Church history, was temporary and partial. The victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenists among the Jewish people reestablished the worship of God without the paganism of the Greek influence, and the altar of the Temple was rededicated to YHVH, from which the name of the holiday came – Hanukkah (which means dedication).
The hanukkiah (the special candle/lamp stand) differs from the menorah in that the menorah has a central lamp and six other lamps, with three on either side of the central stem; whereas the hanukkiah has nine candles, one of which is called the Shamash/Servant light (which is essentially the same word for the sun/shemesh). This ‘servant light’ is lit first, and then used to light the other eight candles. (There is no prescribed order for the arrangement of the lights on the hanukkiah. Another difference is that the menorah in the Tabernacle and in the two Temples was to always be kept lit. The hanukkiah is used only during the eight days of Hanukkah, and the tradition is to light the shamash and each of the other candles according to the corresponding days of the holiday.)
The menorah could also be said to be a Christian symbol in that Yeshua refers to the seven churches in Revelation as the seven lampstands (menorote). Jewish people will buy a hanukkiah, but not usually a menorah, since that was to be a holy vessel to YHVH in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle and Temples. Christians buy menorahs, but not usually hanukkiahs.
2 Cor 10:4-6 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; and having readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Just as the Maccabees contended for the true faith then (circa 165-162 BC), so are we today as believers in Jesus. There is a spiritual war going on concerning Truth, and the Name of the true God and Savior. The revival which came into Israel through the victory of Hanukkah was, as I have already said, temporary and partial. In fact, it was the Maccabees themselves who put one of their own relatives on the Throne to rule in Israel. That may sound reasonable, except that it was against the Torah! The Maccabees were priests of the Tribe of Levi, but the ruler over Israel was to be of the Tribe of Judah and the House of David.
This is the way of revivals throughout history for the people of God: they start well, but then the flesh, and even the devil, gets involved and taints what seemed to hold such promise. Something of the truth is recovered, but something has also been lost, and over time, another revival is needed – like today.
Revival always begin inside the House of God, and that then goes out and spills over to impact the world outside so that others see and hear that the Living God is among His family. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their unbelief and sins, bringing repentance towards God – either in faith unto salvation, or else in rebellion towards condemnation.
Jn 10:22-42 And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s Porch. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, How long do you make us doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one! Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from My Father; for which of these do you stone Me? The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, “I said, You are gods?” If He called those gods with whom the Word of God was, and the Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of Him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. Then they again sought to seize Him, but He went forth out of their hand. And He went away again beyondJordan into the place where John baptized at the first, and He stayed there. And many came to Him and said, John indeed did no miracle, but all things that John said concerning this One were true. And many believed on Him there.
The candles of Hanukkah point to the true Servant and Light of the world and the true Savior. Candles burn out; the light of the one true God is eternal. To this the perpetual light of the menorah testifies. Let us pray and believe with hope for a true Holy Spirit revival among us in love for our Father in Heaven, in anticipation of the last great revival of the harvest when all Israel will be saved, and life from the dead of those who are holy and blessed to have part in the first resurrection at the return of the Lord.
Jude 20-25 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to everlasting life. But pity some, making distinction. But save others with fear, snatching them out of the fire; hating even the garment having been stained from the flesh. Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling, and to set you before His glory without blemish, with unspeakable joy; to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty and might and authority, even now and forever. Amen.