Using Hanukkah as an Illustration of Abuse Recovery

hanukkah-lights.jpegIt’s an illustration that honors the meaning of Hanukkah and provides an image that gives hope to the adult survivor of physical or sexual abuse. Hanukkah celebrates the reclaiming of the temple in Jerusalem from those who spoiled it. By analogy, the body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Abuse recovery involves the reclaiming of the dignity and godly function of the body having been cleansed from its spoilage.

hanukkah-temple.jpeg A full explanation of Hanukkah is provided by Yeshuat Yisrael. While the celebration of victory is exciting and glorious, the picture of the abomination of the temple is horrible. Listen to the similarities between the atrocities inflicted on the temple by the Seleucids in 164 BC and those inflicted on the victim of sexual abuse. Under the delusion of making peace, the marauders stripped the temple of its gold and valuables and forced the Jews to worship Zeus and sacrificed a pig on their altar. Thus, the dignity and sacredheart-broken-abuse.jpg purpose of worship was spoiled. Similarly, when a young girl is violated, she grows up feeling contaminated and spoiled. She is stripped of her dignity. Her dignity as a uniquely designed individual is exploited for the conquest of someone who, for the moment, is more powerful and uncaring. Forces of ruin and destruction seem to reign supreme.

Periodically, over the past 30 years of counseling, I have witnessed the encouragement this analogy offers to an abuse survivor. Since the abuse is over, she is no longer a victim. When she realizes that she can lead her own Macabeean revolt, take charge of her temple again, cleanse it and purify it ceremonially, and experience a renewed function for which she was designed, then she is ready to celebrate. What a glorious picture of victory and restoration, two themes that are always close to the heart of God.

 



 

 

 

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3 Responses to Using Hanukkah as an Illustration of Abuse Recovery

  1. Loretta Gilliam says:

    What a wonderful illustration of God’s healing power. As a abuse victim, it is very difficult to imagine that I can ever be cleansed and clean. I was reading in the Scripture just this morning in Exekiel 47. Through tears I read of The river running from the Temple, giving life to the Dead Sea.
    As I closed my eyes, I remembered the feeling of being in the Dead Sea, and how I just bounced on the water. It was fun and fasinating at the time. However as I have grown in the Scriptures, I realized how much like the “bobbing up and down” I have done in my life. I have prayed for a cleansing, and slowy, that is happening in my life. When I was in the Dead Sea, I couldn’t go under the water, up to this time in my life, I haven’t been able to get under the grace of cleansing.
    My heart was thrilled as I thought of that wonderful river running from the Temple and giving life to the Dead Sea. Life will appear, wonderful life, trees will bear fruit and the fruit will be sweet and wonderful.
    As I continue in my journey, it is my desire and prayer that soon I will be able to “jump in” go under and be cleansed from memories, feelings of filth and dirt, feelings of no worth, and know that I have finally allowed myself to swim in the cleansing power of The Holy Spirit,

  2. leejagers says:

    Thanks for your response, Loretta. Wow, “swimming in the cleansing power of the Holy Spirity.” What a wonderful place to be! You make me think of all the various ways we are cleansed — by the blood, by the Word, by the water, etc. There is true freedom and joy in the cleansing you are desiring. God bless. — LJ

  3. leejagers says:

    Here’s an interesting update today (12/3/07) to add to this post: Click on http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/december/14.18.html
    –jlj

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