“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. 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. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”
He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
- Daniel 12:1-13
Okay, I am not saying that we have entered the End Times and that the tribulation clock is counting down. I included the entire chapter just to get down to the very specific numbers. Oh, how I love specific numbers in the Bible. Yet, I don’t think anyone would complain if the tribulation ended up a day or two short of the number. The 1,290 days is comparable to the 1,260 days in Revelation 11 when the two witnesses will prophesy. I am sure the additional 30 days ties into the calculations in one way or another. And then the 1,335 days is only a month and a half more. And if you haven’t done the math, 1,290 days, in the Christian calendar, is roughly three and a half years, but the Jewish calendar may vary a bit. So, we are looking at halfway through a seven-year span.
So, does this have anything to do with what we are facing today? Surely, we are not going to be suffering from this virus for another three years and then some… We haven’t killed off the virus yet, there is no vaccine, and we have done nothing regarding the source of the virus and the unsanitary practices to prevent the next mutation of the virus that will resist the drugs that we create to kill off the present version of the virus. Thus, as Daniel 12 begins, the world is seeing a time of distress unlike anything that we have seen before. We have had plagues that have killed far more people, but in shutting down the entire world? Have we done that before? I am still not claiming this as End Times, but let’s face it, if we do not repent, we may get there soon. It’s like an earthquake. There are pre-shakes that dogs can respond to before the initial earthquake and countless aftershocks. God will not just stop the earth in one swoop. He will give us warnings, and this may be one.
About two and a half weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “It Ain’t That Bad.” It is quite odd that on the day that the post was published, my late Sunday school teacher was laid to rest. I had written the post about a week before, just before I talked to him for the last time, when his breathing was almost too thready to be able to talk. There was much love and few words in the conversation, less than a minute. I didn’t want to tire him. About the time that I had that last conversation, it started to get “that bad.” I was helpless. I could not visit his bedside. Once he was gone, he was gone to a much better place.
In that post, I talked about having been isolated for two months before the isolation for everyone started, but that was a bit disingenuous. I talk to my wife 3-5 times every day on the phone. We haven’t set up any Zooms or anything like that, but I hear her voice – only about three weeks or so left for that. But when something came up, or I dreamed up an excuse to talk to someone who was local, I called my Sunday school teacher. Even if he could not relate to the issue that I struggled with, something that I might be writing about – a voice of sanity in my crazy world, he would pour a little love into the phone, and I felt comforted. If for no other reason, I’d call to tell him a few jokes, just to hear him laugh. I have no idea if he found any of it that funny. Since his passing, I have physically reached for the phone roughly once each day and stopped, telling myself that he isn’t there.
Although our outlook may only change temporarily due to dealing with grief, it is rarely the event that changes your outlook that gets your goat or creams your corn or whatever expression you wish to use. Australia is far ahead of the US in getting back to “normal.” I have watched all the Third Space Panic Room episodes at thirdspace.com.au in the Watch tab, but they called it quits on the Panic Room due to things starting to get back to normal. The two hosts, David Robertson and Stephen McAlpine, are switching to something new that is weekly rather than roughly Monday-Thursday, every week. Yes, I know that they were doing it to provide some sanity in the midst of panic in Australia, but I felt this as another gut punch in that where I am, we are far from normal.
I think some of the latest stress is that I will be going to retrieve my wife from her babysitting duties in a few weeks. Change seems to take ordinary stress and multiply it several fold. My diet has totally changed while she was gone. She announced a while ago that she was having another bout of gout and some of the things that I can eat are off her diet until she can get the gout under control, maybe never enjoying those things again. I think her gout stems from internal systems not processing the uric acid as they once had, so the changes may be hard to rectify. She will be missing the grandchildren, probably often weeping, and I will be missing the solitude and lack of an unscheduled day, week, month. But yes, I will be able to do something that I have not done in over four months – hug someone. That one thing will make the discomfort of other adjustments worth it. And my wife and I are smart enough to make the adjustments. There may be a lot written about those adjustments.
But are we to the point where we can say, “Maybe it is that bad?” If this were the beginning of the tribulation, it would get worse, so no.
Everything is in God’s hands, and we are not at the paygrade to be privy to the schedule.
All we can do is pray, study God’s Word, and try to grow closer to Jesus every day. And by all means, we need to repent. A national repentance and a world repentance are badly needed. Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Since I wrote this, I have moved up the date for going to Tennessee. And as the date for leaving approaches, I feel the need for a hug more and more. Maybe it’s not that bad after all.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.