Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Time Between Time- Epic Power in A Tiny Village

By Mary Vee
Between the Old and New Testament

From the Historical records

The time in between time. 

Four hundred years are in the process of passing since God last spoke through a prophet to His people.

Remember we are counting backwards to year 0. The year is around168 BC.

    400 BC                           300 BC                        200 BC                        100 BC                          Birth of Christ

The Greeks are still in power and they are quite adamant all Jews will give up their cultural ways, language, and worship no matter what. 

The army first marched to every Jewish home in Jerusalem killing those who refused to conform. Antiochus IV then ordered the soldiers to go to all the villages in Judah. They were to take a pig to each village's gathering place. 

The soldiers did so then ordered all the villagers to attend a meeting. 

Today's story is about one particular village called, Modi'in located northwest of Jerusalem. The soldiers invaded the gathering place then built an altar for Greek sacrifices. They ordered all the people to attend a meeting. 

Jewish men and women left their homes and fields as they were told. Mattathias the priest and his five sons were among the villagers.

The soldiers led a pig to the center. The leader said, "Who is the man most honored among you?"

The people pointed to Mattathias. 

The army commander faced Mattathias and ordered him to step forward. "Kill the pig and eat it. If you obey us you will be friends of the king."

Mattathias didn't move.  

To move forward would be to dishonor the One True Living God. To move back would be to call the army down on him.

He cleared his throat and said, "If obeying the king requires disobeying our God, we will not do it."

The Jewish men and women looked at him then at the guards waiting for someone to speak. One of the Jewish men stepped forward. "I can't take it," it said. "I'll do it." The man pushed through the villagers and walked toward the pig. 

The soldiers grinned. They even lowered their weapons a bit. 

Mattathias' anger boiled. He lunged forward, grabbed a soldiers spear, and thrust it into the Jewish man. He then turned on the commander and killed him, too. "We will worship only the Lord God.

The villagers rallied with Mattathias grabbing the soldiers weapons before the soldiers knew what happened. 

"What should we do now?" one of the Jews asked Mattathias.

He looked around at the village that had become their homes. Once the army in Jerusalem discovered these men hadn't returned to the city they would send more troops. "We have to leave. Those who only choose to worship the one true God, follow me."

He and his sons gathered as much food and blankets as they could carry. They led their animals to the hills and hid along with the other dedicated Jews.

Come back next time, because some really exciting events happen in Jerusalem in days to come.

*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981

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