Throughout the historical account of the Maccabean revolt, there were certainly aspects of what the secular world would call honor and heroism. YHWH blessed their efforts, in my opinion, because their hearts were fixed on Him and in guarding His commands (and of course because it was His will to bring success to their endeavor). Victory ultimately came through their determination, their willingness to die rather than betray their Elohim, and most importantly, His Sovereign Hand purposing and guiding their success.
Centuries later, an American warrior expressed a similar thought, focusing (unfortunately) on the lesser part of the equation…
The fixed determination to have acquired the warrior soul, to either conquer or perish with honor, is the secret of victory.
~~ General George S. Patton
In the next “great” war, will there be any honor involved? Will there be any thought of dying rather than betraying our Creator?
Let us remember in this Hanukkah season, those who were so determined and steadfast in the past. Let us pray that we will honor YHWH if we are called to make such decisions ourselves, choosing obedient love to Him above even our own lives.