Daniel 9 – Unlocking the future, giving hope in the present

As this chapter starts we see the time indicator (vs1) which boiled down tells us this is thirteen years after Daniel’s last vision in chapter eight and this would also be a year after chapter five where the handwriting on the wall happened.  Daniel was studying the Scriptures (vs2), Jeremiah 25:11-12 specifically.  This study prompts a prayer (vss.4-19) and shows us that whenever we read our Bibles it too must be with thoughtful, serious, as well as prayerful. Don’t read your Bible to just “get it done”, do so so that God will get it done in you !

Let’s jump ahead to one of the key portions of prophecy in all of the Bible in vss.24-27.   Before these verses God sends Gabriel once again to aid Daniel in understanding some critical teachings of the future but note something he says to Daniel in vs.23. He says he is “greatly beloved”. The Hebrew here means “precious” – so are YOU, child of God !  Don’t let men’s opinions make you feel otherwise.  Oh, we have our flaws still, but a perfect Father has a perfect love !!

Gabriel begins the explanation, helpful to the study of New Testament prophecy too, as vs.24 begins.  His announcement is four-fold as we’ll see shortly.   So vs24 is a way he summarizes God’s people getting relief finally (what Daniel had been studying about) and deals with happenings at Jesus’ first coming in 24a where Jesus did make an “end of sins” at the cross yet he bringing in of “everlasting righteousness” is not quite here yet as the news testifies every day !

So here’s the first of four key points:  (1) The first seven “weeks” (not a seven day period but a period of seven years, so 7×7= 49 years is the meaning here).  It took basically this long to rebuild Jerusalem as history reports it.  Then (2) the next 62 “weeks”  62×7= 434 years is the time from that rebuilding to Christ’s first coming.  For Daniel this would’ve been exciting to here, for it meant not only would his beloved city be restored after seventy years of captivity as Jewish people but his Messiah was not far from coming either.  We too may have our share of woes in this life but rest assured good times are ahead !!

Then (3) Gabriel inserts what we might call a “parentheses” in vs.26 predicting the cutting off of this Messiah (Calvary), the destruction of Jerusalem, and then the last part of the verse speaks of an undetermined gap or period of time from the city’s destruction in 70 A.D. under Titus of Rome until the rapture of the Church.   The “prince that shall come” is the same person who is the “he” of vs.27 (the endtime Anti-Christ !).  So we know that Gabriel is describing a long parantheses of time which we are in now until the final “seven” occurs.  As Christians, we are “outta here” before vs27 kicks in !

So (4), the final “week” is the tribulation period.  The Anti-Christ makes a pact with Israel as this period begins but he changes course mid stream in which he ends the sacrifice in the temple, an event known as the Abomination of Desolation. This critical lapse in the covenant signals war on an unprecedented scale against Israel and all who would then be worshippers of God, kicking off what has been termed “GREAT tribulation” !    Aren’t you glad that you won’t be around for this, Christian?   It is important we be a witness when we can now to draw others not only to Christ and heaven but away from such perilous times ahead for this planet.  Do you know someone as yet unsaved? Pray for them, witness to them !

Thankfully, history won’t end at this “Seven”.  There is coming a time when all tribulation will cease for the world and those who love the Lord.  It’s all good in the end !!!

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