Today's Bible reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
So courageously did the Jews fight for freedom to worship and obey the only true God that - by 142 BC - the Seleucid rulers had to grant a measure of independence. A third son of Mattathias - Simon - became the first of a line of Jewish rulers known as the Hasmoneans. At first they were granted only the hereditary high priesthood. Later they also took on the title of “king.”
Sad to say … this royal line did not live up to expectations that it would restore David's kingdom, with peace and justice for all. Instead, some of the Hasmoneans proved to be tyrants – brutal rulers who neglected their priestly duties in the quest for greater political power. Rivalry between two Hasmonean princes became so intense in 63 BC that the Jews actually called on the Roman admiral Pompey - stationed in the eastern Mediterranean at the time - to intervene. This he gladly did – but with typical Roman force. Jerusalem was captured, and many lives were lost. From now on, Judea was part of the Roman Empire. The independence gained by the Maccabees had tragically been lost.
Prayer: We thank You, Father, for the new covenant of forgiveness won by Jesus on the cross. Amen
GOD BLESS YOUR CHRISTMAS EVE!
(HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US FOR WORSHIP THIS EVENING AT 5:00PM AND /OR AT 11:00PM!)