It’s almost as if Daniel is praying for us today:
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:4-6 NASB1995
If God is Sovereign, if He already knows and sees all, why pray? BECAUSE He is Sovereign. We pray to adjust our thoughts and desires to HIS thoughts and desires. The greatest kings and Prophets pray for God’s will to be done, not theirs.
“So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3 NASB1995
What we are in secret when we are in prayer is who we really are. Pray out loud, humble, fervent, passionate, HONEST. Prayer is not about me or you, it is about God.
“Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing MY sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting MY supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, ….” Daniel 9:20 NASB1995
Daniel owns both his sin and the sin of his people. His prayer is full of his confession. The closer we get to God the more we realize how much we are a sinner.
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 NASB1995
In praying and acknowledging our sin, we acknowledge how much we need God. Every day, every hour, every minute.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 ESV
As Daniel continues his prayer, it strikes me how relevant his words are to us today.
“O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Daniel 9:18-19 NASB1995
He prays one prayer, that God be glorified. His answer came through the angel Gabriel. He said to Daniel:
“At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision. Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.” Daniel 9:23-24 NASB1995
Daniel knows that his people (the Israelites) have neglected following God’s command to rest every 7th day and every 7th year, when the land and animals and people are not to labor but to live on the fruits of their labor from the past 6 days and years. These are the Sabbath day and year: every 7th day, every 7th year, is to REST. These are LITERAL days and years, so he knows that the angel Gabriel is referring to that, and 70 sets of 7 means 70 years × 7 or 490 years.
“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27 NASB1995
In verse 25 is the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which refers to the decree to Nehemiah to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem that was signed March 5, 444 BC (Nehemiah 2). The 483 year period commenced, and on March 30, 33 AD it ended with the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, 490 years to the day from Daniel’s prophecy (Luke 19:28-40). This prophecy shows that God’s Word is absolutely true and accurate. All of history and the world’s leaders are under His control. His timing is predetermined, accurate, on target, impeccable, carefully calculated. Gabriel also gives us information on the end of this earth as we know it, by speaking of “the prince who is to come”, the antichrist. In verse 26, he tells the ethnicity of the antichrist. He will come from the region of the Roman empire. Right now we are in the interim period between the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the coming of the antichrist.
When God’s countdown resumes – and although we don’t know exactly when that will occur – the antichrist will enter into, or reinforce, a covenant with the Jewish people to rebuild the Temple and resume sacrifices and offerings. This will begin the Tribulation, and will last 3 1/2 years, then the antichrist will desecrate the Temple and rule the remaining 3 1/2 years until Jesus returns.
With all of this coming closer to fruition every day, it is essential to know the Messiah personally! Do you? Are you telling the people you love?
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 NASB1995
The next event on God’s calendar is the rapture!