God’s Word of Prayer
Daniel 9:20-27: Following up yesterday’s reading about Jeremiah’s prophecy, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel and explains that the seventy years are really seven times seventy, or 490 years, the time set by God to free the people from sin and evil. The “Awful Horror” (verse 27) probably refers to the desecration of the Jerusalem Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 167 B.C.
Gabriel Explains the Prophecy
20I went on praying, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel and pleading with the Lord my God to restore his holy Temple. 21 While I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came flying down to where I was. It was the time for the evening sacrifice to be offered. 22He explained, “Daniel, I have come here to help you understand the prophecy. 23When you began to plead with God, he answered you. He loves you, and so I have come to tell you the answer. Now pay attention while I explain the vision.
24“Seven times seventy years is the length of time God has set for freeing your people and your holy city from sin and evil. Sin will be forgiven and eternal justice established, so that the vision and the prophecy will come true, and the holy Temple will be rededicated. 25Note this and understand it: From the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until God’s chosen leader comes, seven times seven years will pass. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, and will stand for seven times sixty-two years, but this will be a time of troubles. 26And at the end of that time God’s chosen leader will be killed unjustly. The city and the Temple will be destroyed by the invading army of a powerful ruler. The end will come like a flood, bringing the war and destruction which God has prepared. 27 That ruler will have a firm agreement with many people for seven years, and when half this time is past, he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings. The Awful Horror will be placed on the highest point of the Temple and will remain there until the one who put it there meets the end which God has prepared for him.”
Today’s Key Verse: Daniel 9:20
[Daniel said:] I went on praying, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel and pleading with the LORD my God to restore his holy Temple.
Reread verse 24. What will happen after 490 years (7 times 70) have passed? What are your thoughts about the vision that is described? The “Awful Horror” probably refers to dishonoring God, whereby a foreign ruler desecrated the Temple by means of using the altar for sacrifices to foreign gods. Are there ways in which God is dishonored today?
Merciful God, you are able to look deep within my heart. Forgive the wrongs I have done and ways I may have acted that dishonor you. Restore me to a right relationship with you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Daniel 10:1—11:1: Daniel’s vision by the Tigris River