December 1 – Expiation vs Propitiation?

December 1
Daniel 8:1-27
1 John 2:1-17
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:25-26 

Welcome to December! You are in the final month of the year, and it’s been an incredible time of digging into God’s Word!

Daniel 8:1 – From John Walvoord

Two important factors mark Daniel 8 as the beginning of a new section. First, beginning with this chapter, the language returns to Hebrew instead of the Aramaic used by Daniel from 2:4 through 7:28. Second, the change of language is in keeping with the change in thought introduced by this chapter. From here to the end of Daniel, the prophecy, even though it concerns the Gentiles, is occupied with human history as it relates to Israel.

Daniel 8:11-14 – What is this 2,300 days about?  The Millerites thought it meant the return of Jesus by October 22, 1844, but the teaching instead brought about the “Great Disappointment.” 

Most scholars believe this refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, the leader of the Syrian kingdom that emerged from Alexander the Great’s empire. The book of 1 Maccabees tells about Antiochus during the intertestamental period.  Walvoord discusses the 2,300 days:

The terminus ad quem of the twenty-three hundred days is taken by most expositors as 164 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes died during a military campaign in Media. This permitted the purging of the sanctuary and the return to Jewish worship. Figuring from this date backward twenty-three hundred days would fix the beginning time at 171 b.c. In that year, Onias III, the legitimate high priest, was murdered and a pseudo line of priests assumed power. This would give adequate fulfillment in time for the twenty-three hundred days to elapse at the time of the death of Antiochus.

Daniel 8:16 – I’m glad he asked Gabriel to make Daniel understand. Daniel, one of the wisest men ever, “was astonished” and “was sick certain days” as a result! (Daniel 8:27). 

1 John 2:1 – What does it mean that Jesus is our advocate? My grandfather used to host a television program, Advocates in Adversity, featuring attorneys and judges to talk about legal issues. If you’ve dealt with the legal system, attorneys are expensive. Jesus Christ is my attorney, and though I can’t afford Him, he’s representing me pro bono!

1 John 2:2 – Not just my attorney, but my propitiation! There’s a big debate in theological circles between the words propitiation (satisfying the wrath of God) and expiation (removing the guilt). If we believe God is angry at sin,  then His wrath needs to be placated. From R.C. Sproul:

Therefore, Christ’s supreme achievement on the cross is that He placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by the sacrifice of Christ. So if somebody argues against placation or the idea of Christ satisfying the wrath of God, be alert, because the gospel is at stake. This is about the essence of salvation—that as people who are covered by the atonement, we are redeemed from the supreme danger to which any person is exposed. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a holy God Who’s wrathful. But there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid. That is what salvation is all about.

1 John 2:3 – John goes back to the words of Jesus that he recorded in John 14:15. To love Jesus is to obey Him. If we obey Him then we know Him. 

1 John 2:15 – Another sign of the fake Christian:

  • Not keep his commandments (1 John 2:4)
  • Hate his brother (1 John 2:9)
  • Love the world (1 John 2:15)

Many Christians don’t realize we are in a war. There are only two sides. Either you are on the world’s side, or on Jesus’ side. Before you make your choice as to which side you’re on, remember “the world passeth away… but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:17).

Psalm 120:2 – Notice the Psalmist’s cry for deliverance from those with lying lips and a deceitful tongue. We read in 1 John 2:4 about the liars – those who claim to know God but keep not His commandments. The Psalmist is vexed not just by people who are upfront that they are against God, but those who claim to be followers of the LORD but backstab other followers.

Proverbs 28:24-25 – Contrast the trust in the LORD with trust in your own heart. Disney tells you to “follow your heart,” but God says not to trust your heart (Jeremiah 17:9). 

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