“As soon, however, as you see ‘the Foul Desecration’ standing where it ought not” (the reader must consider what this means) “then those of you who are in Judea must take refuge in the mountains;
ruled by disgust
we set up rules
about who is pure
who is most foul
eventually our disgust
of them and those
comes to the center
of a sin-sick soul
betrayed by our own heart
in its deep-heart’s core
drip drip dripping
our peace away
we leave a usual harbor
push through protective barriers
to stormy wildernesses
well past survival’s need
It is very easy to become affronted by everything. Everywhere we look we see disgusting and destructive acts. It is particularly galling when these seem to be done by choice, to be intentional. It is enough to make one run away. This can occur in any number of arenas—religion, addiction, politics, and even family dynamics.
Here a Reader is encouraged to analyze one key stimulus that will motivate them and focus them so they will not be so reactive that everything is seen as an equal challenge and they find themselves fatigued rather than engaged.
The reference in the first part of the verse is found in Daniel 11:31–32; 1 Maccabees 1:41, 48, 54, 60–61; and 2 Maccabees 6:3–6. If this were updated we could translate Antiochus into Hitler and understand the attempt at genocide that hits so hard with examples such as Auschwitz.
Sabin167–68downplays the apocalyptic:
The significance of the phrase is rhetorically highlighted by its placement at the center of Jesus’ discourse. The very centrality of “the desolating sacrilege” distinguishes Jesus’ discourse, I think, from any trace of “apocalyptic” eschatology because it makes the cause of human misery neither God’s wrath nor Satanic victory but the ordinary human lust for power….
…. the linking of the present distress with the biblical images of recurring tribulation points to the other end of the cycle, which is one of hope. Jesus’ discourse in fact also concludes on a note of countering imagery.