The Mayans and the Bible

Recently, a high school student emailed me with a request for information about Bible prophecy; she was writing a paper for an honors English class.

Truly, she sounds like a sharp person, but she asked me if she should concentrate more on the Mayan calendar or the Bible in her research.

The Bible.

It amazes me, the ink that the 2012 Mayan “prediction” is getting. And it seems that Christians are leading the charge. Listen to me carefully:

The Mayan prediction for 2012 is meaningless.

My world view is formed by the Bible, alone. Nowhere in the Bible will you find a calculation for 2012 as the end of the world. In fact, there is real debate as to what the now-famous Mayan tablet, uncovered in Mexico City, actually says.

There is at least a good possibility that the calendar predicts the end of an important era. Not the end of the world. Even if it does refer to the end of the world, the Mayan prediction isn’t better or worse than the predictions from the Babylonians, Nostradamus, or Jeanne Dixon.

I have to give credit to my wife, Dianna, for the following insight; it’s important:

The obsession with the Mayan Calendar and the obsession with 2012 takes focus off the Bible. More specifically, it takes focus off the fact that in an overwhelming way, our sign that we are in fact living in the last days is Israel.

This fact is so obvious, I constantly marvel that more people don’t get it. The 2012 date is an irritant, at least to me.

Forget the Mayans; their civilization is gone. Along with all others that have arisen and, as Mark Twain so eloquently put, “made a great noise.” Tom Sawyer’s alter ego also added that those civilizations “sit in twilight now.” And so they do!

But Israel is back. The Jews have re-entered history. This is a dramatic, dramatic entry by the Lord into our world, in our day.

The New Agers are having a field day with Mayan Calendar, 2012. How profoundly sad that legions of Christians are following suit.

For many years, as the obviousness of Israel’s rebirth has confirmed Scripture over and over, Christians have gone nuts over Bible codes, the Mayans, Y2K, and possibly Mickey Mouse’s view of eschatology. That last one I made up; at least I hope it’s made up.

Yet there is a yearning in every human for truth. For “true truth.” So here’s an idea: walk over to the bookshelf in your home and dust off the Bible. Read it, particularly the Old Testament, particularly the books of the prophets. Reality is in there.

The beginnings of civilization and of the universe itself are found in Genesis. Look at the Table of Nations in Genesis 10; that’s where people groups originated. Look at the trajectory of Jewish existence.

Read Ezekiel 37, for heaven’s sake. If you know just bare-bones history, you realize that the revival of Jewish civilization is the clearest indication that the “end is nigh.” It is revealed in this passage that the Jews will sit in twilight for a time, but that in the last days of human history, the Lord will bring them back to their ancestral land (the land also claimed by the Palestinians, which is perhaps alluded to in Ezekiel 36:2 — a possible reference to the “West Bank”?).

Guess what? Modern Israel was established at four o’clock in the afternoon on May 14, 1948 (Isaiah 66:8). I’ve stood in Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall, and doing so allows one to stand in the whirlwind of history.

In Isaiah 52, the Lord says that one day, He will “bring again Zion.” Marvelous!

This has happened in our day.

So I struggle to comprehend the obsession with the Mayan calendar. No, I don’t.

It is correct that putting the focus on pagan records obscures and even negates the effect of the Bible on the public. In Matthew 24: 23-27, we read that Jesus warned us not to look for signs of the end elsewhere. Jesus said He would come from the sky. Surely the Mayan fad is part of this deception of looking for signs everywhere else.

Once, we knew the Scriptures. The Puritans knew it and were, not coincidentally, pro Israel. They believed the prophecies, that Israel would be restored.

I doubt if they had known of the Mayan Calendar that they’d have been the slightest bit interested.

They would have been looking up.

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Originally published in One News Now, Prophecy Matters. November 11, 2009


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