Scripture reading for September 3rd: Daniel 7-9
Daniel was not only a distinguished man known for his character and hard work, he was also known for his ability to pray and understand God’s word. Even after Daniel had been in Babylon for nearly 70 years, he was still studying the Scriptures. (Daniel 9:1-3) Jeremiah had written a letter that went to Jerusalem to the exiles right before the fall of Jerusalem. In this letter, Jeremiah had told the exiles that God would bring them back to Jerusalem after 70 years. (Jeremiah 29:10-14) These scriptures encouraged those in captivity to call out to God for restoration!
Daniel then began to pray and call on the Lord. Obedience to God’s word when we pray is powerful. We know that God’s word is true and we can pray easily in faith. Jeremiah had given the time of captivity and also promised God’s restoration. Daniel began to confess sins and call on God for mercy. “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! Oh Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name.” (Daniel 9:17-19)
While Daniel was still praying, God sent the angel Gabriel with an answer and insight. Daniel was given the prophesy of the “70 weeks” decreeing the time line for God’s restoration program. It went beyond just rebuilding the temple, however. Gabriel told of the coming “Anointed One” and told how this “Anointed One” would be cut off. He told of bringing sin to an end and atoning for wickedness. He told how everlasting righteousness would be established. (Daniel 9:24-27)
Daniel’s word from Gabriel in answer to prayer is an amazing prophesy that has been much discussed over the years. Some of it has been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, God’s “Anointed One” and Messiah. Part of it will be fulfilled at the end of the age when Antichrist sets up the abomination in the temple. Praise God for a man who knows how to pray and study Scripture! Why not try it yourself?