I am writing this in the middle of Hanukkah, sometimes known as the Feast of Dedication, which is referred to in John 10:22. This commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC following the successful Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This ruler had ordered the desecration of the Temple by instituting pagan sacrifices, including the sacrifice of pigs, and ordering Jews to eat pork. Many had refused and had paid with their lives.
Part of the rededication involved lighting the menorah using pure olive oil that had been consecrated for the purpose, but the story goes that only one flask of pure oil was found following the defiling of the Temple. This should only have been enough for one day. However, it is said that the oil kept flowing from this one flask for the whole of the eight-day period, giving sufficient time for more consecrated oil to be prepared.
This reminds me of the account in 2 Kings 4 when a destitute widow cries out to Elisha for help. All she has left for herself and her sons is a little oil. He tells her to collect as many jars as she can from her neighbours, and then to fill the jars with the oil that remained. Miraculously, the small amount of oil kept flowing and became sufficient to fill all the jars that she had collected. She was then able to sell the oil to provide for her family.
This makes me think of the amazing provision that God promises for His people, if we trust Him. Today’s verse tells us: “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
It also reminds me of the promises Jesus makes about the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:37-38). Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be with us forever (John 14:16), and so the flow will never run dry if we keep our hearts right towards God and go on thirsting for Him, coming to Him, and drinking from Him.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your wonderful promises of provision for me. I trust You today to provide for all my needs. I also come to You and ask You to fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, so that streams of living water will flow from me to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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