Dedicated to What?
by Moshe Morrison, Teaching Elder, Tents of Mercy

"At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon."
(John 10:22, 23)

Two Enochs Dedicated to Two Different Things

There are two individuals in the Scriptures named Enoch. The first was the son of Cain. Cain had murdered his brother and was condemned to wander the earth away from the presence of the Lord. Cain fathered a son and built a city, calling them both Enoch. Cain invested the stability and security for which he so fruitlessly yearned in these two symbols of his earthly, human achievement. The other Enoch was the 7th from Adam through his son Seth. Of this Enoch it was said that he walked with God and that God took him without him seeing death.

In Hebrew the name Enoch is "Chanoch". It means "Dedication" and from it comes the name of the Feast of Dedication - Chanukah.1 In the days of the Maccabees (approximately 165 years before the birth of Yeshua the Messiah) a well-armed Greek enemy sought to subjugate Israel. However, that was not the heart of the conflict. Then as now, the fiercer battle was within the soul of the people, over which direction they would take:

Would they follow the path of the first Enoch, the "Greek" focus on dedicating themselves to the glory of human ability and achievement?

Or would they follow the path of the second Enoch, dedicating themselves to walking with God in His ways, which transcend the power of death?

Human Philosophy or God's Instruction

Malachi is the last of the Biblical prophets of the Tenach. He closes the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures 400 years before the coming of the Messiah by exhorting Israel one more time, "Remember the Torah of My servant Moses" (Malachi 4:4). A short time later they would be in sore need of this reminder.

Human Philosophy - Plato and Aristotle
(Painting by Raphael)
While Malachi was prophesying to Israel, Confucius was teaching in China, Socrates was teaching in Athens, and Roman law was being codified. Fifty years later Plato was writing and then Aristotle. In another 50 years Alexander the Great would conquer much of the known world, spreading the Greek philosophy of Hellenism. This philosophy came to Israel causing conflict and ultimately precipitating the Maccabean revolt. New philosophies and teachings would continue to arise and spread. Aspects of truth can be found in nearly any system of thought. But the prophet's call was for Israel to look to God's instruction manual, not human philosophy. Only in this was their preservation.

By now we have had 2500 more years of those same philosophies and numerous others. We are still engaged in the same battle over who will direct our steps. To what and to whom will we dedicated ourselves?

Human Might or God's Spirit?

"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

This verse is read in the synagogue on the Sabbath of Chanukah, spotlighting the theme of the Feast of Dedication. The theme is the rebuilding and rededication of the temple to restore God's presence on earth. Greek temples were monuments of human might. God's temple is different. His temple cannot be built by human might: It is by the grace of God that we individually and corporately dedicate ourselves to Him, stand on His Word, see His Spirit shine in the darkness and see His presence restored to the earth.

1  Chanukah is celebrated this year from December 17-23

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