An Attack Against People of Faith

Yael Eckstein  |  December 20, 2022

hanukkah menorah

Precious in the sight of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful servants. —
Psalm 116:15

This month, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Enjoy this collection of my devotional teachings on this festival that Jesus celebrated (John 10:22) and explore the many lessons of faith that this observance has for Christians and Jews alike.

I want to raise a serious topic, one that doesn’t get enough attention, even from people of faith. I’m referring to the problem of persecution of Christians. Tragically, over recent years, more and more Christians in many parts of the world are being persecuted for their faith. In Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere, terrorists who hate all who have faith in the Bible and the God of Israel have been targeting Christians.

The willingness to sacrifice our lives for faith in God has been a tragic, yet essential part of biblical faith for over two thousand years. The enemies of God seek to destroy faith in Him in every generation. It is thanks to those heroic martyrs of every generation that there are Jews and Christians in the world today.

Because Christians have become the most persecuted and most martyred religious group in the world, The Fellowship has added protection of these persecuted Christians to our mission. As a Jew, I know that these Christians are under attack because of their faith in my God, the God of the Bible. And that means that an attack on Christians for their faith, is an attack on me and an attack against all people of faith as well.

An Attack Against People of Faith

The spiritual value of martyrdom, the willingness to die for faith in God, is expressed beautifully by King David: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.”

Before the Hanukkah story during the Second Temple period, the enemies of Israel in the Bible all had enslaved, exiled, or tried to wipe out the Jewish people.

But Antiochus, the wicked Assyrian-Greek ruler, was the first oppressor of Israel who tried to destroy the Jewish faith and spirit, rather than the Jewish body. He made it a crime to profess faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

He made it clear that the Jews could live a free and prosperous life so long as they rejected their covenant with the Lord, God of Israel, and ceased the practice and study of the biblical law.

The Jews who died fighting this battle were the first to be martyred for their faith in the God of Israel. And because of their heroic stand, Judaism — and subsequently, Christianity — were preserved for us today.

Let’s use this Hanukkah season as a call to protect and support Christians and Jews who are being persecuted for their faith — because an attack against one, is an attack against all people of faith.

Your Turn:

Sow into the work of The Fellowship as we defend persecuted Christians and Jews around the world.

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