For the ancient Israelites, this victory represented the triumph of religious freedom. For us, the larger lesson can be seen in the dedication of a people in their struggle, whatever it may be. When a significant goal must be achieved over a long period of time, it is possible to lose sight of the objective, or get lost amid distractions. Some may lose energy, or become discouraged when short-term objectives appear out of reach. Yet when the cause and goal are righteous and honorable; when a group of individuals strive together to achieve a just and noble purpose; when, even through defeats, the group maintains a sense of optimism: These are conditions that will, eventually, lead to success.
As we consider the needs of those in our state who struggle for worker rights and economic justice, we should also bear in mind the example of the Maccabees, which was to struggle even when the odds seem to be against us. The Maccabean army fought for religious freedom against a foe ten times their size. The forces against economic and social justice may seem to be of similar proportions, yet the struggle for doing what is right is just that: right and proper, and supported by people of good faith.