Manna for Today

 

70 Weeks (Daniel 9:20-27)

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:24-27)

Learn it:  

            This is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Scripture.  How do we measure out the time of these 70 weeks and what does it mean?  I’ll give you my opinion based on my research and I hold this with open hands knowing that God is the only one who truly understands this.  With that said, in prophecy it is typical to believe that one week equals seven years.  Then the 70 weeks is broken up into three parts.  The first 7 weeks (49 years) is what it will take for Jerusalem to be restored after the exile.  From the time that Israel is permitted to go and rebuild Jerusalem and it is finished is roughly 48 years. 

The next time period is of 62 weeks (434 years).  This measures the time from when the walls are finished till the time the “anointed one shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26).  Most scholars believe that this is pointing towards the time that Jesus enters into Jerusalem and is arrested, beaten, and crucified.  Which is about 434 years from when Jerusalem is rebuilt.  This is an amazing prediction and only God could have done it. 

            The last week is the trickiest.  Does this last week happen right after Christ’s death or is there a gap and we are still waiting for these events to happen?  If we look at the description in Daniel and compare it to historical events there is nothing that lines up with what has been described.  Some people make arguments that it describes the fall of the temple in Israel in 70 AD but that event happened 37 years after Christ’s death.  So, they still have a mathematical issue.  I believe that there is an undetermined gap in this last week and it points to the time of tribulation.  There have been gaps in other prophecies so it’s not unheard of to assume a gap in time. 

            In the future there will be a time of seven years of great tribulation where the anti-christ will rule.  Jesus refers to this same seen in Matthew 24:15, 21-22.  In that passage Jesus is understanding that this prophecy in Daniel is still to come. 

Live it:

            The purpose of prophecy is to spur us on to reach lost people and be reunited with God.  He wants to spare us from His coming wrath, but we have to acknowledge Him as God, and He is the only one that can save us.  Who has God placed in your life for you to share with them the Gospel?  How can you play apart in His mission to redeem the world?   


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Prayer of Repentance (Dan. 9:1-19)

I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. (Daniel 9:4-6)

And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” (Dan. 9:15-19)

 

Learn it:
 

In Daniel’s prayer in chapter nine it was a wonderful example of how we should pray. He starts of in verse four by worshiping God. He lists out some of God’s qualities of how he is great, awesome, keeps his covenant, and is steadfast in love. These are some beautiful things about who our God is! Can I get an amen? After this he spends that next ten verses confessing his sin and the sins of Israel. He confesses how they did not follow God’s commands; they ignored His prophets and there was no excuse for what they had done. They deserve the punishment they are experiencing right now. In the midst of the confession he points out that his only hope is in God’s mercy.

He closes out his prayer with a plea for mercy to God in verses 15-19. He asks God for mercy, not because they have earned it but because God is merciful. It is in God’s nature to love His people and that is what Daniel is asking God to remember. He wants God to hear their cries just like he heard the cries when his people were in slavery in Egypt. He begs for another exodus that they might return to the promised land and worship God again.

 

Live it:

 

Do you struggle to set aside time to pray? Why? One thing that can happen is we feel it become repetitive or we do not know what to pray so we get bored. Scripture gives us help on how to pray. In this passage we have a beautiful example of how to ask for God’s forgiveness. I encourage you to take time and pray through this and make it personal. Confess how you have disobeyed God and ask for his forgiveness and guidance. He will meet you where you are. Another awesome prayer of repentance you can pray is Psalm 51. Meditate on this passages and seek God who is merciful and wants to help you.


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Trials and Deliverance (Daniel 8:19-25)

 

[Gabriel] said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.  (Daniel 8:19-25)

Learn it:

            Chapter eight Daniel has another vision of the future.  This vision is focused on two nations and has two meanings.  The first is that it predicts a time in the near future where the Jews are going to experience persecution.  Around 160-170 B.C. Antiochus IV was king of Syria and he attacked Israel.  In the assault he killed 40,000 Jews and more than 10,000 where captured.  In the vision the “little horn” represents Antiochus and the horrible things that are coming. 

            While that is one meaning for the “little horn” it is also pointing towards the anti-christ.  While Antiochus did horrible things to the Jews the anti-christ is going to do horrible things to people, including Christians, around the world.  He will also allow deceitful people to prosper and it will seem as if the world will turn upsides down.  Yet, Daniel is also told that he will be destroyed.  Not by human’s but by something divine!

Live it:

            In the Old Testament we see multiple times the Jews going through times of persecution.  Before each time prophets told the Jews that God would deliver them.  In the New Testament we are told that Christians are going to experience persecution for their faith.  Just like in the Old Testament we are also promised strength to endure it and we will also experience deliverance.  I pray that whatever you are going through today that you trust God.  Lean on Him and He will give you strength and true deliverance.  While the deliverance can come in different forms we know that God will provide for us exactly what we need. 


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God’s Victory (Daniel 7:9-14; 21-22; 25-28)

 As I looked,

“thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10       A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

 

11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:9-14)

 

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

26 “ ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’  (Daniel 7:25-27)

Learn it:

            At the end of the vision Daniel see’s the “Ancient of Days” who is God take is his throne in preparing to judge the four beasts and the “little horn”.  This is an epic scene where tens of thousands stand before God in His fiery throne and He throws them into another blazing fire.  God is handing out his perfect judgement and is then about to hand over the world to His Son.  This is depicted in verses 13-14.  This is the moment that we as believers are waiting for.  For Jesus Christ to come and reign on earth.  For His kingdom will last forever!  There is nothing else like the Kingdom of God, no one will be able defeat it and everyone who is a part of that kingdom will bow before God and worship Him.    

Live it:

            As we read this part of chapter seven it should stir us with hope and shouts of praise.  God has defeated Satan and has established his kingdom on earth!  Oh, how we long for that day to come.  Until that day we live knowing that God has the final word and we should live as victors.  Do not let this world get you done.  Keep this passage close to your heart that God is all powerful and nothing can stop the coming of His kingdom.  Until that day we keep doing His work and inviting people to be a part of this future kingdom.


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Pastor’s Corner