In Daniel chapter 11, we find prophesy about the intertestamental period. The intertestamental period is roughly 400 years between Malachi, the last of the Hebrew prophets, which is the end of the Hebrew scriptures, and the appearance of John the Baptist which begins the Christian New Testament. Amos describes this period as a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” Amos 8:11
Daniel 11 prophesies the rise and fall of the Greek Empire and Alexander the Great. After Alexander, this empire is divided between four generals. Two of them are named Seleucid and Ptolemy.
The Seleucids took over the area to the north of Israel (what is today Syria and Iraq.) The Ptolemies took the south, basically Egypt. Israel (known as Judea at the time) was right in the middle. Predicted in Daniel, and now known as history, the people of Judea greatly suffered as they were caught in the middle of the warring “kings of the north” and “Kings of the south.”
From the Seleucid Dynasty, there came an evil ruler named Antiochus IV. He outlawed the rites and traditions of the people of the covenant and committed many atrocities against them. Observant Jews, those who continued to live by the Word of God, were executed. Whole cities were massacred. The armed forces of Antiochus IV desecrated the temple fortress and abolished the daily sacrifice. Then they set up the “abomination that causes desolation” in the Temple.
Some, who became known as the Maccabees, resisted. The were small and out-numbered, but they eventually and miraculously prevailed.
Hannukah celebrates not the war against the Seleucids, but what happened afterwards … the cleansing and rededication of the Temple.
Scripture also tells us that a third Temple will be built, and one like Antiochis (only much worse) will desecrate that temple, abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the “abomination that causes desolation” there. When Messiah comes back … when the glory of the Lord returns, the third Temple will also be cleansed and rededicated for good!
A Temple is a place for God to dwell. God's word says that you are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. If you are truly His, then you have His Spirit dwelling within you. God is absolutely pure. Purity and impurity cannot coexist.
So, what about your Temple? If you are willing, He will cleanse you of everything that causes you to be impure. He will shine His light in and through your life. He will give you the everlasting bread … the show bread … the Bread of Life. Your prayers will rise up to Him … if you are willing to be cleansed and rededicate yourself to Him.
A day will come when the whole world will be rededicated to the One who created it. God revealed to Daniel, “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:1-2
Let’s not wait. Even now, let’s begin to prepare ourselves for that day. Go to the Lord in prayer and seek His guidance in how to stand in faith and faithfulness to Him … how to be ready to receive Him and be received by Him when the appointed time comes.
“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.”