A Desolating What?

A Desolating What?

“But when you see the Desolating Sacrilege set up where it ought not to be…”  -Mark 13:14

Well, that is a sermon that I have not heard preached!!  As a matter of fact, I can’t remember ever hearing this term before.  It struck me pretty hard.  What does this mean?  Why haven’t I paid attention to this before? So, I did a little research and thinking.

I first started by exploring the context. This seems to fall in the middle of Jesus’ instructions to his followers about preparing for the end.  He is instructing them about all the destruction to expect.  Jesus cautions them and gives them signs to look for.  So the desolating sacrilege must be a sign of sorts.

Other translations use other wording for desolating sacrilege.

  • the abomination that causes desolation (NIV)
  •  abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet (KJV)
  • the monster of desecration (The Message)

The Amplified translation also uses the abomination of desolation.  It adds the phrase “[in the temple sanctuary], where it ought not to be” . In the footnotes of the Amplified translation, it attempts to define the phrase as “the detestable one who desecrates the temple.”

I looked for other uses of this phrase.  I apparently missed this phrase “desolating sacrilege” in Matthew 24.  Matthew 24:15 also says “So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains…”  Matthew’s context clues: “standing in the holy place” make it a little easier to picture what is going on.  We are looking for something that is desecrating God’s holy temple…as Jesus did when he turned over tables in the temple.

According to Oxford Biblical Studies Online, this phrase is related to Daniel 9:27. Daniel is referring to the pagan altar set up in the Jerusalem temple in 167 BCE.

So, now we have a little clarity on the mysterious phrase “desolating sacrilege”.  It amazes me what details I have overlooked many times?  Have their been phrases or stories that have stood out to you for the first time?  What things have you read that seem new to you?  What is God trying to say to you this time as you read the scriptures?  What phrases or ideas do you need to explore a little deeper?  As we leave Mark and start to journey through the third gospel, we may have even more questions!  To which I say…keep ’em coming!!


If You Missed Sunday’s Sermon…

Read or listen to Mission: What if God is Already There? 


This Week at Hood

Wednesday, March 1st, 6:00 pm– Choir
Wednesday, March 1st, 6:00 pm– “young-ish” Small group
Thursday, March 2nd, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Sunday, March 5th, 11:00 am – Worship with guest pastor Rev. Eric Thornton and music from Hickory Grove Quartet

**Upcoming Events

Tuesday, March 13th–serve at the DUMA food pantry; Time TBA
Wednesday, March 14th–Love Wins: Kids Mission Projects; Backpack Buddies
Saturday, March 24th–Rise Against Hunger; childcare or packing food bags



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