The Devastating Horror
For God’s people in the Old Testament the Temple was the Holy Place. It’s where their priests daily offered the burnt offerings to cover their sins, and where they went to pray and praise the Lord. In times of threat it was their fortress—the place they ran for God‘s protection. But on December 15, 167 BC, when the Jews went to worship in their Temple, an idol-statue of Olympian Zeus (Jupiter) stood in their sacred place.
The Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes, had commanded that circumcision, the Jewish feast days, and reading and obeying their Scriptures was now outlawed. The penalty for disobeying the edict was death. Pigs were sacrificed on the altar, and Gentiles and Jews mingled together in a Dionysian orgy of pleasure and lust.
In our first episode in the Book of Daniel we saw how Nebuchadnezzar tried to brainwash Daniel and get him to worship Babylonian gods. Daniel decided to devote his heart to the God of Israel, but now he has a vision of a time in Israel’s history when another ruler would attempt to stamp out their faith.
“His armed forces will rise up and defile the Temple, the fortress. They will abolish the daily burnt offering and they will set up an abominable thing that generates horror. With his smooth talk he will cause those who are wicked to break the Covenant, but the people who know their God will grow strong and prevail.” Daniel 11:31-32
Antiochus did erect an abomination in the Temple and attempt to abolish the true worship of God. And there were many Jews who went right along with the progressive, pro-Greek, anti-Moses cultural wave. But in Modein, a small town north of Jerusalem in the hills of Ephraim, a priest named Mattathias rose up. He killed the Syrian officer trying to implement Antiochus’ decree and with his five sons ignited the Maccabean Revolt. In tomorrow’s Devo Daniel will tell us the cost of their stand against Antiochus.
LORD, help me to remember today that smooth, deceitful attacks from Satan will try to allure me away from you and away from obedience to Scripture. Help me remember that it’s not an external enemy, like Antiochus, I need to worry about, but as the Apostle Paul stresses, my wrestling match is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12).
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!