Monday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Daniel 11:36—12:11 (NKJV)
11:36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.
2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
In yesterday’s Gospel reading we heard our Lord speak of the “abomination of desolations” spoken of by the Prophet Daniel. Today, we hear that text from Daniel 12:11: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
This is a reference to the time we live in now; the time between the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the End of Days. During this time within the Church there will be “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” And, when “the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” During this time the devil, the world, and even our own sinful flesh will war against us to diminish and extinguish the Church.
We certainly live in a time when we think to ourselves, “How can things get any worse for Christians?” It is scary to think that they might indeed get worse as the prophecy of Daniel foretells. However, our Lord God, the man clothed in linen above the waters of the river, through the prophet Daniel also preaches some Good News to us. “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined” and “the wise shall understand.” All those baptized into Christ and have received the gift of faith will understand these things to be signs of our Lord’s return to call us to our eternal home in Heaven.
We pray: Almighty God, we beseech Thee, show Thy mercy unto Thy humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Thy judgment, but according to Thy mercy; through Christ, our Lord. Amen.