Jesus uses a phrase from the book of Daniel in Matthew 24:15 when he instructs his disciples about the coming of the end. He never implies any specific dating but he speaks of when the “abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, is standing in the Holy Place.”

Those of us who enjoy studying prophecy are familiar with that phrase. There have been several instances in Israel’s history that have been referred to as the “abomination of desolation.” Many try to associate it with Antiochus’ offering of pigs on the altar in Jerusalem around 165 BC. But Jesus’ use of the phrase sees the event as future. The point of the phrase is that something was placed where only God should be. This something, or most likely someone, would make themselves to be God. Some scholars argue that it almost happened in 40AD. Caligula was then Roman Emperor. He was an epileptic and mad. But he insisted that he was a god. He heard of the imageless worship of the Temple of Jerusalem and planned to set up his own statue in the Holy Place. His advisers besought him not to do so, for they knew that, if he did, a bloody civil war would result. He was obstinate, but fortunately he died in A.D. 41 before he could carry out his plan of desecration.

When the world removes the Lord Our God from His rightful place in the world, and replaces Him with something else, it will usher in the last days, including the final battles of Armageddon. It’s an “abomination” to put other gods in the place of the one true God. It results in “desolation.” I believe that there will be one climactic abomination that Jesus is referring to, but I can’t help but notice all the little ones that serve as preludes to the main event. Just as there will be one Anti-Christ in the end, but there are many that serve as preludes to the ultimate fulfillment of that prophecy. John tells us this in 2 John 2:18. He writes, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. “

It’s true in each of our lives also. When we set up other gods in the place of the one true God in violation of the first commandment, it too is an abomination to the one True God. It also leads to desolation in many ways; relationships, health, wholeness, happiness, and holiness. Wiersbe writes, “When we put God first, we have the promise of His care. But when we put self first, we lose His blessing and whatever we spent on ourselves! The people knew God’s covenant with Israel. He promised to bless them if they obeyed His Word and to discipline them if they disobeyed (Lev. 26). You never lose when you put God first in your life.”

“The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” Deuteronomy 14:23