|Something very interesting occurred in Israel the week before Hanukkah and the Lord began to show me prophetic parallels in it for this Hanukkah season. A seven year old girl, Hadas, and her mother Ayelet Goldberg – Keidar went for a walk in the historic Beit Shean Valley. They were climbing the mounds near Kibbutz Nir David when Hadas noticed a pottery vessel lying near the mouth of a cave. It turned out to be a rare, intact 2,200 year old clay lamp. They took it to an archaeologist who confirmed it was from the historical period known as the Maccabean Wars against the Greeks. He also told them that a porcupine digging out its den for the winter was responsible for the excavation of the lamp and added that porcupines prefer archaeological sites because the earth is less packed due to man’s activities in the past.
It is no coincidence that the Lord brought this particular clay lamp to light at this specific time in this place, near a kibbutz which means ‘lamp of David’. The Word tells us:
Pro 20:27 A person’s spirit is the lamp of the LORD; it searches throughout one’s innermost being.
We carry the treasure of the knowledge of the glory of God in our earthen or clay vessels (2 Cor 4:6,7) and therefore this little lamp which once belonged to a Maccabean warrior hiding in this very cave represents to us today a believer who feels very strongly about the defilement and encroachment of idolatrous Greek thinking in the temple of the Lord, a warrior who has waged many spiritual battles contending for the faith that was handed down once for all to the saints (Jude 1:3). It has been a violent and wearying spiritual battle against your faith and it has driven you into hiding and brought you to a place where you have been buried by layer after layer of dirt, or fleshly manifestations from the hand of others and your light has been unable to shine as God intended it to. It has been so very dark around you and the attack has been so horrendous that you have felt quite unable to dig yourself out of this cave. But now, in God’s impeccable timing, He is going to send help of the most unusual kind and your great worth and true identity in Christ are going to be brought to the light of day! You are going to be brought out of the cave and deposited at its mouth, almost like Jonah spat out on the beach by the whale. And guess what? It is going to be the stinky, prickly co-inhabitant of that dark cave that is going to be used to remove the layers of dirt off you and reveal your true beauty. You may even have feared the sharpness of those spines and not understand why the Lord would allow you to be buried deep in darkness in the dwelling place of such an unpleasant creature. But God has put it there to keep others away until the precise moment of unveiling. If it had not been there guarding your appointed hiding place, you would have likely been ‘discovered’ way too soon. In fact, that ‘porcupine’ has been helping to guard one of God’s best kept secrets for the precise moment in history in which you are appointed to shine forth with full strength.
That little girl Hadas is seven years old and I am sure she has walked in that very area many times with her mother, but the orchestration of God ensured that she only found that lamp just before Hanukkah, the very period when it is time to fill and light lamps and celebrate deliverance from the enemy and return to consecration and holiness. You will be filled afresh and set on fire with the baptism of fire in this season. Seven is the number of completion. The trial and testing and days of darkness and pressure are complete and the work within is done. The Lord has been searching your innermost being, little lamp, and now you have been marked as a true and authentic vessel, worthy to be used as a carrier of the glory. And the day of unveiling will confirm what Heaven already knows.
Hadas was Esther’s name before she entered the palace for preparation and her appointment with the king, once again a connection between Esther and Hanukkah. Her mother’s name Ayelet means ‘gazelle. She is the one who knew the significance and value of the lamp and what to do with it. She had understanding of the times and what to do. Her name is taken from a Hebrew phrase ‘ayelethashachar’ which means ‘gazelle of the dawn’, which is the name of the Morning Star.
2Pe 1:19 And we have the prophetic word [made] firmer still. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through [the gloom] and the Morning Star rises (comes into being) in your hearts.
The rising of the Morning Star in our hearts is a fulfilment of the coming of the dawn after a very dark night of trial, during which we have held onto the prophetic word given us. That word has been our only light in the darkness of burial. What we tend to forget is that burial with layers of earth is a necessary part of being conformed to His death. Without that hiddenness, pressure, darkness and obscurity for a measured season, the work is not complete. The ‘opening’ of the place where we are entombed, the appearing of the resurrection light and life of the Morning Star is only scheduled in the morning watch of our night of trial.
Hadas was Esther’s original name but she received a new name which she would bear as queen – and it means ‘star’! This Hanukkah, many humble little hidden lamps will be brought to light and shine like stars as they lead many to righteousness through the wisdom they carry ( Daniel 12:3), even as the end-time Antiochus Epphanes tramples some of those stars underfoot, as he wages war with the saints (Dan 8:10).
Let us look at those who receive the reward of the Morning Star and why they are found worthy to receive it:
Rev 2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not explored and known the depths of Satan, as they say–I tell you that I do not lay upon you any other [fresh] burden: Rev 2:25 Only hold fast to what you have until I come. Rev 2:26 And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations; Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father; Rev 2:28 And I will give him the Morning Star.
Thyatira means ‘odour of affliction’. Here John describes saints who are dwelling in a place of great suffering where Jezebel (who hates the prophets) is reigning, and this crushing is releasing a perfume which ascends to the Lord and pleases Him. They have not explored the depths of satan and in spite of their weariness are holding on to the Truth they possess until Jesus comes, or manifests, as He promised, and ends the trial and testing of their worth. These are those who have continued doing the works that please Him through day after day of suffering. Yes, the assault from Jezebel has been brutal but it has been earning you a measure of authority in the spirit that you would otherwise not have been appointed, and, because you have overcome, you will be given authority to rule in wisdom and justice from the wellspring of the power of Christ within you. You will be a carrier of the Morning Star and will possess the power to bring the long night of trial to an end and open the tombs for other weary little lamps.
This porcupine cave was situated in the Beit Shean valley, a name which means ‘House of Rest’. Beloved, did you know that the House of Rest is found in a valley, not on a mountain top? Your long season in the valley of weeping has been very necessary. It is in the valleys where deep, fertile soil is found and where great fruitfulness can come forth. A necessary part of being found worthy to enter His Rest and be a part of the House of Rest is a season dwelling in the valley:
2Th 1:4 And this is a cause of our mentioning you with pride among the churches (assemblies) of God for your steadfastness (your unflinching endurance and patience) and your firm faith in the midst of all the persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions under which you are holding up. 2Th 1:5 This is positive proof of the just and right judgment of God to the end that you may be deemed deserving of His kingdom for the sake of which you are also suffering. 2Th 1:6 [It is a fair decision] since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with distress and affliction those who distress and afflict you, 2Th 1:7 And to [recompense] you who are so distressed and afflicted by granting you rest along with us [your fellow sufferers] when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in a flame of fire, 2Th 1:8 To deal out retribution upon those who do not know God, and [upon those] who ignore and refuse to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Th 1:9 Such people will pay the penalty and suffer the punishment of everlasting ruin and eternal exclusion and banishment from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 2Th 1:10 When He comes to be glorified in His saints, and be marvelled at and admired in all who have believed…
Ayelet and Hadas have an interesting surname. Goldberg means ‘gold mountain’ but Keidar comes from a verb which means dishevelment and disarray because of grief. This verb is often used in connection with the endtimes, when the sun will grow dark and people will mourn.
Heb 12:22 But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, Heb 12:23 And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect,
The heavenly Mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of gold, the Bride of the Lamb is destined to become visible during the endtimes when there is great darkness and sorrow and mourning worldwide. This is the time when you will be brought forth to arise and shine with His glory, little lamp, kept secret and hidden for such a time as this. The glory of the Morning Star will be seen upon you. Be at peace and at rest and continue to release the fragrance of your unconditional surrender to the Lord. His timing is completely perfect and He has not forgotten you! The corporate Lamp of David, the giant-slayer, dwelling in the House of Rest will be filled and lit at Heaven’s appointed moment.