Devotions

Nazareth • Devotion #5: Perfection

I was raised with an appreciation for boxing. My high school even had boxing as part of our gym class requirement. It clearly was not for everyone, but everyone had to strap on the gloves and go three rounds. I spent many Tuesday nights with my dad in Auburn Hills at Fight Night at the Palace. We saw some of the top fighters of our time; however, some of the fights in the stands were more entertaining than those in the ring.

Just over ten years ago, Kieran Mulvaney wrote an article for ESPN listing the “50 Greatest Boxers of all Time.” I do not necessarily agree with his list, but here are his top five. Fifth, was featherweight Willie Pep whose ring record was 230-11-1 (65 KOs). Fourth, was Detroit’s own Joe Louis with a career record of 68-3 (54 KOs). Third, was Henry Armstrong (Featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight at the same time) whose ring record was 151-21-9 (101 KOs). Second, was the one who floated like a butterfly, but stung like a bee. Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) astounded a 56-5 (37 KOs) record. First, was Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson had an amazing record of 175-19-6-2 (109 KOs).

What caught my attention was that none of the top five fighters was undefeated. I realize some went professional too soon, did not know when to retire, or came out of retirement when they should have stayed home. Yet, they all lost.

An amazing item about prophecy in the Bible is that it has to be correct 100% of the time!

One of the most amazing prophecies comes from Daniel 9:24-26, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.”

Please fasten the seatbelt of your mind and get ready to be blessed.

Daniel talks about a decree to restore and build Jerusalem. Ezra chapter 7 details King Artaxerxes (reigned 464-424 BC) and specifically the seventh year of his reign (457 BC). Daniel referenced “seven weeks.” Theologians use the word “heptad” for this week as it represents seven years. Therefore, “seven weeks” (7 x 70) means the work was finished in 49 years (408 BC). The walls, streets, and moats were completed.

Please stay with me; Daniel said, “the coming of an anointed one” would be “after the sixty-two weeks.” If we take the year 408 BC and subtract 434 years (7 x 62 “weeks”) of prophecy (while realizing there is no year “0”), we end up with 30 AD. That is the year Jesus, “an Anointed One,” was baptized and began His public ministry. Jesus was crucified for our sins in 30 AD.

Daniel’s prophecy has so many levels, but they all line up perfectly.

An amazing item about prophecy in the Bible is that it has to be correct 100% of the time!

The people knew the Messiah was coming. Scripture repeatedly recorded He was coming. They were anticipating His arrival, yet far too many missed Him. As Jesus (the Messiah) weeps over Jerusalem, He says, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).

Jesus is coming again. We do not have a prophecy detailing the date, but we know He is coming. He has already warned us. We need to be ready!



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