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I have, for the most part, not commented on many of the passages we have read in our Bible readings. Part of this is because I am lazy, but part of it is also, because we have the Worthy Christian Forums where discussion already goes on, and it is a place where Many views are represented. When I set up the Bible 365 Club, one of the things I wanted to accomplish, was just to get people into God's word and read it, without the need for squabbling. Here in Daniel 12, I don't think it is proper for me, to not draw attention to some connections to the New Testament. Reading the Bible for the sake of reading it, is not to get it's full benefit, we want also to understand what we are reading. With that said, I am not attempting here, to use this as a soap box for my particular views, but I do think I have a responsibility to connect some of the dots, since some Bible 365 Club members may be encountering some verses and concepts for the first time. By providing some Bible passages outside of our reading assignments or schedule, we can broaden our understanding a little, and begin to make some of the connections that we can examine, and hopefully the Holy Spirit will aid our understanding. In Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, Jesus is speaking with His disciples about the time of the end. Those are good chapters to read to broaden our understanding about the things of the end. However, here we are in Daniel 12, so what are the connections I am alluding to? Quoting from Matt 24:15 (NIV in this case) Jesus said to His disciples: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’a spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—" and in Mark 13:14 it reads: “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’a standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand— These passages make reference to a coming abomination, and desolation, and the Matthew one tells us that this is spoken of in Daniel. In Daniel 12:11, here is a connection: 11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days." This is a perfect example of a principle of Bible study, comparing scripture with scripture. Here we have something in the Old Testament, that is difficult to understand, or at least might make us wonder. However, in the New Testament, we get some explanation and elaboration. Now, if you read the New Testament passages that I mentioned in Matt, Mark and Luke, you might well have more questions than answers, but at least you will understand with a little more detail, something about Daniel 12. Just to give you some more connections, more things to file in the back of you mind, allow me to point out some concepts or details to take note of, that will help you to make associations in other chapters of various books of the Bible. Not going to get into it deeply here, but notice in Dan 12:11, not only the abomination of desolation, but, the specific 1290 days. Be mindful of that number, and of numbers that the Bible is going to bring up from time to time, in the context of the end times. Examples, 1260 days, time, times, and half a time, 3 and a half, the week and the middle of the week. Also of interest in this connection, is the concept of "great tribulation". Jesus uses that description in Matt 24: 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. In this case, the NIV says great distress. The word distress is the Greek word "thlípsis". Many versions use the word "tribulation". It basically means pressure. To understand the word better, see http://biblehub.com/greek/2347.htm I do, however, want to make another connection, so we can again, see that Jesus and the book of Daniel, are referring to the same thing. Again, Jesus said in Matt 24:21 "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again." Notice that in this distress or tribulation, is unique, not having an equal previously, not in the future. How does Daniel describe this? From 12:1: “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then." It is also note-worthy, that Michael is mentioned. You probably know, that Michael is an archangel. That ties in to this (probably) if you look at 1 Thess 4:16, and comparing that verse or passage, with the Matt 24 one. I am not trying to send you down all sorts of side trails, but these things are all related. Going to stop at this point, and move along. Thanks for reading what I have said here, and especially for reading the Bible itself.
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. We know from later in the story of Abraham and Sarah, that there is a ten year age difference between Abram and Sarai. That means then that Sarai here, is 65 years old. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” Now, I find this interesting, because in my society and time, it is hard to imagine, that if I had a 65 year old wife, that I would have to fear for my life, because a 65 year old woman was so beautiful, that others would seek to kill me to possess her. Really, I find it hard to believe that I would have to fear for my life, over the beauty of a woman, even if she were the most beautiful woman in the world. Seems to me that there are several observations to be made about different societies and their values. For my society, I am willing to admit, that we value the beauty of youthfulness, way out of proportion. Sure, I get that it is easy to see a twenty something year old model as aesthetically pleasing, but we have taken this standard to such an extreme, that we encourage women to hide their age, as it is is something to be ashamed of. Anti-wrinkle creme, makeup, hair coloring, face lifts, silicone enhancements, etc. entire fortunes are made, and lots of time and money spent on convincing women (successfully) they are of lessor value, because they have a few miles on the odometer, and show some signs of maturity. I am not a fan of appearance shaming, and that is not the Biblical standard for beauty. We all, know well enough, to what degree we have bought into the standards of the world personally, and I think it is worth considering as individuals. I will leave it at that, and move on to other things. Next, that these Egyptian would actually do as Abram feared, value Sarai so highly, that they would go to extreme measures to posses her. I suppose, it is at least better, that they would consider purchasing her from her "brother" instead of killing her husband to have her, but still, how weird is that? That they considered her to be more valuable than some sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels apparently, for at least in some way, Abram was able to make that sort of profit on his supposed sister. While people are more valuable that animals, the male and female servants, are people too. Evidently, it was Sarai's beauty that made her valuable, not the fact that she was human. So, the priorities of those Egyptians, were more messed up than the society of even my culture is, when it comes to the value of physical beauty. Then there is the aspect of treating people like property to be bought, sold, traded, and killed for. We (humans) are so messed up, no wonder we need a savior! Abram, is on this adventure, as an act of faith. He goes, because God said "Go!". That seems admirable, to just pull up stakes and go somewhere, not knowing where, based on faith. However, I cannot help but wonder about the faith of a man, who takes some risks to go on an adventure into the unknown, but then, thinks that God won't protect him enough as Sarai's husband that he conspires to lie and deceive strangers. Seems not only to be a bit shaky in his faith at that point, but perhaps even a bit cowardly, but I suppose he knew better than I, what the Egyptians might do, so I won't judge him too harshly there. Later in the book, we will see that Abraham, will be willing to sacrifice his "only" son, out of faith and obedience to God. I would say that is faith that has grown, and I think that that is also, a lesson for us. We are not always as faithful as we could of should be, but, God is able to grow us. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As we go through these readings, let's be thankful, that God's word accomplishes what He designs it for, and one of those, is the building of faith.