I love calendars. I love organizational tools. Any big office supply store is much more appealing to me than any clothing store. I am currently bummed because calendars here in Peru are horribly expensive, so the one hanging on my wall is the one from last year…currently flipped to January. I’m not sure why. I think in my depressed state of not having a 2010 calendar, I’ve just given up.
Doing Bible study today, though, I came to realize where I got my love of calendars from. God. I inherited it, apparently. 🙂
Obviously from my last entry, you saw a taste of my eschatology. I’m not one that wants to debate eschatology. There are so many views and honestly, any one of them could be right. But, I believe you need to cling to one or drown in the midst of all of them, so I have my view that I have found to hold water for many years now. I don’t discount or disregard the other views; I don’t claim mine is the only one and I definitely don’t know for sure it’s the “right” one. Ultimately, God will do what He chooses to do when He chooses to do it and our eschatology won’t make an ounce of difference in the end. But, you need to interpret Scripture somehow and I’ve chosen the pre-mil, dispensational view.
So, doing the “Daniel” study by Beth Moore has been right up my alley. This week’s lesson was perfect timing. Now, granted, I don’t have a calendar, but from my memory, I believe Palm Sunday is this Sunday, right? Such an appropriate lesson today in light of that fact.
We went over Daniel 9 and the “70 7’s” that Gabriel is helping Daniel piece together. It was so cool seeing how Daniel’s prophecy occurred, down to the date. It’s mostly history to us now and we can literally know to the day when things happened. God is a God of calendars, what can I say?
From my eschatological view, the first “7” in Daniel 9 is 49 years, followed immediately by 62 “7’s” or 434 years. There’s then a gap (the church age) followed by the last “7” – the 7 years of the Tribulation. The first 49 years were the time it took for Jerusalem to be completely rebuilt and restored after their captivity. It began with Nehemiah 2, the Jewish month of Nissan, technically speaking, March 5, 444 B.C.
The 434 years followed on the heels of the 49 and were the waiting period from the time of the restoration of Jerusalem to the time the “Anointed One” (Hebrew – “Masiyah”…sound that out) arrived on the scene. Exactly 173, 880 days by the Jewish calendar, you arrive to March 30, A.D. 33, or Nissan 10. So, what happened on that day?
So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. Then the crowds spread out their coats on the road ahead of Jesus. As they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones alone the road would burst into cheers!” -Luke 19:35-40
The triumphal entry. The time when Jesus entered Jerusalem and was acknowledged as Messiah – the One they had been waiting for. The Anointed One. Masiyah.
Down to the day. How awesome is that? My God is a God of calendars. Of time. Of organized history and planned futures. He started out by creating the world in seven days; He’ll finish the world with seven years. Seven years that are fast approaching. I don’t know when they will begin, but I know our time as a church is coming swiftly to a close.
My husband and some friends were talking last night about the movie “2012” and how some actually believe that’s what’s going to happen. I just couldn’t help saying over and over, “Aren’t you glad it’s not? Aren’t you glad we know how it’s all going to end? Aren’t you glad we don’t have to worry about any of that??”
God has shown us these things in His Word to strengthen our faith. Even if you don’t agree that the exact date was the Triumphal Entry, most believe it pointed to some point in Jesus’ earthly ministry. Regardless of which one, God knew ahead of time when His Son would walk the earth and He gave the information to the Jews hundreds of years beforehand. No wonder Simon and Anna were waiting in the Temple. They must’ve been well studied and knew the time was coming to a close. No wonder the Pharisees got so mad at Jesus the day He came into Jerusalem. They weren’t stupid men; they knew exactly what the crowd was saying and when they were saying it. No wonder Jesus said the very stones would cry out. They would have no choice! This was the day decreed by God that Jesus was to be announced as Messiah! Somebody was going to give Him the praise He deserved!
So, this Palm Sunday, be encouraged. God has a very specific time line and He put you on there for a reason. Nothing that happens on God’s timeline is accidental or coincidental. You are where you are, doing what you’re doing, for a very specific reason that fits perfectly into His plan.
A God of calendars. A God of purpose.
“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.” (Eph. 3:14)