Chag Sameach (happy holidays!),
Did you know that the story of Hanukkah is VERY applicable to us today?
If you aren’t familiar with Hanukkah,it is NOT the Jewish Christmas—but it IS connected with Yeshua.
It is difficult to read about the story of Hanukkah and not see parallels with our lives today—we, too are warring for our culture.
The Story of Hanukkah
The story takes place during the 2nd century BC when Antiochus IV tried to force the Jews to assimilate into Greek culture—to the extent of prohibiting Jewish religious observance.
There could be no Jewish worship, no circumcision, and there was a practice of forced assimilation.
The Jewish people, lead by the Maccabee family, revolted against this tyranny. After 3 years they defeated Antiochus’ armies and reclaimed Jerusalem in 164 BC.
After their victory, the Jewish fighters entered the Holy Temple, finding it in complete disarray. The Temple had to be cleansed and rededicated. The Greeks had littered it with pagan idols, sacrificed pigs on the altar, and defiled the Temple in every way.
When it was time to light the Menorah, the Maccabees found only one jar of Holy oil bearing the seal of the High Priest, Yochanan. The men were forced to light the Menorah in faith that this small amount of oil would last until more Holy oil could be prepared—it would take a miracle!
Through a miracle of God, the oil burned for eight days—the exact time it took the priests to prepare more Holy oil. This was the miracle of Hanukkah… God provided!
In John 9:5 Yeshua identifies Himself with Hanukkah as the Servant who brings the Light. The center candle of the Hanukkiah (the nine branched menorah) is referred to as the “Shammas,” or “Servant” candle—the one candle that provides light for all eight.
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”—John 9:5
We know that Yeshua had a very special relationship with the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah). It is believed that He was conceived during this season, and it is recorded in John 10:22-23 that Yeshua Himself—the Light of the World—was at the Temple in Jerusalem, walking in Solomon’s porch, during the Feast of Dedication:
“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.”
Hanukkah Blessings for Israel
This year as we are honoring the Feast of Dedication during this special Jubilee season, we are sponsoring olive trees as a symbolic gift to release 8 unique blessings—corresponding to each of the 8 Hanukkiah Candles—into the land of Israel:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD [is] one!”—Deuteronomy 6:4
May the faithfulness of the Father flood over Israel in this season!
The first light of Hanukkah represents God, the Father. Through My Olive Tree sponsorships we are demonstrating the heart of the Father towards His children by helping immigrant families earn a reasonable living. Our groves are tended to and harvested by Israeli farmers, Thai immigrants, and Arab Israelis.
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”—Amos 3:3
May the love of the Father heal the hearts of Israel this Hanukkah!
The second light of Hanukkah represents the Son. Through our sponsorships we are taking care of the sons and daughters of Israel by helping support safe house work in Israel. Each year My Olive Tree donates our harvest of oil to the farmers for economic support—AND we also donate 10% of the monetary value of each harvest into humanitarian outreach. Year-after-year…Tree-after-tree…We are making a difference!
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”—Ecclesiastes 4:12
May the Spirit of the Lord breathe on Israel!
The third light of Hanukkah represents the Spirit. As we operate in the Spirit of the Lord, we are literally helping fulfill the Bible prophecy of Amos 9 and Isaiah 35.
“So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”—Genesis 1:19-20
May Israel be at peace and may she prosper!
The fourth light of Hanukkah represents that God created. Through My Olive Tree we are being invited to participate in His creation. Our work generates the physical response of olive groves andhas a positive impact on the agricultural economy in Israel. Each tree is planted for peace and stands tall fighting against the BDS movement.
Plant an Olive Tree and be Part of HIS Creation!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16
May the land of Israel and her people experience grace and full redemption!
Every tree and every vine sponsored through My Olive Tree grows as a sign of redemption and grace for the people and the land of Israel. We are planting to redeem the land and take root in the promise of Zion.
“…having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is,] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace…”—Ephesians 2:15
May Israel experience the blessings of the One New Man in unified action!
The sixth candle represents man. As the One New Man, Jew and Gentile united, we have been called to bless Israel with our prayers and tangible gifts. There is nothing more tangible than an olive tree that grows as a symbol of peace and solidarity. Give a harvest to help support farmers and Israel’s economy.
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it…”—Genesis 2:2-3
May God’s spiritual perfection, alignment, revelation, and provision be released in Israel!
The seventh candle represents spiritual perfection or completion. At My Olive Tree we do not simply plant olives trees and then leave. We provide irrigation and continued care to ensure that our trees not only survive, but thrive! Our trees and vines receive water and care from either farmers or soldiers.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13
May a sense of hope flood through the land and the hearts of the people with every tree sponsored growing as a sign of friendship and a bright future!
The eighth candle represents the abundance of hope and a new beginning.
Genesis 12:3 promises us that that when we bless Israel we will be blessed, and 2 Corinthians 9:6 reminds us that:
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Friends, we reap what we sow. This Hanukkah season we have a special opportunity to sow faithfulness, love, a release of the Spirit, unity, restoration, alignment, provision, peace, and redemption.
We are sowing into Israel’s Jubilee Hanukkah, and we are believing that every seed sown and every tree planted will result in a release in our own lives, and our own country—a release that is pressed down and shaken together.
YOUR Hanukkah tree is a declaration of miraculous freedom and provision—for Israel and for us. As a small way to say thank you for your sponsorship I want to send you a few gifts to help you remember that our God is faithful to provide even in the darkest of seasons (see the sponsorship form for more information on your gift TO Israel and FROM Israel…).
Shalom and Chag Sameach,
Curt and Christie Landry
Founders, My Olive Tree
P.S. Limited stock is available. Offer valid Nov. 23 to Dec. 17, 2015. Visit www.MyOliveTree.com/hanukkah or call us at 855.208.0723. Thank you!
Our mission is to create a partnership between the Evangelical community and the nation of Israel; this partnership will produce employment, income, and revenue for humanitarian aid projects in Israel. We envision the planting of one-million olive trees over the next seven years. This relationship was prophesied in the Bible centuries ago, that the foreigners and strangers (those not of Jewish descent) would help rebuild the walls of Israel and cause the desert to bloom (Isa 35:1). Among other things, this reforestation is an environmental blessing for the entire region. May all who participate in this project be blessed body, soul and spirit; it is time for you to take root in Israel!