God’s Renewing Word of Prayer
Daniel 9:20-27: Following Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel approaches him to explain what the LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah (see 9:2 from yesterday’s reading). The “Awful Horror” (verse 27) is a reference to a pagan image set up in the Jerusalem Temple by foreign conquerors or to an altar used to make sacrifices to foreign gods (see Daniel 11:31 and also 1 Maccabees 1:54-64 in the Apocrypha). The powerful ruler referenced in verse 26 is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who controlled Palestine from 175–164 B.C. and tried to get the Jewish people to abandon their worship and customs and adopt the Greek lifestyle. The “Awful Horror” remained in the Temple for three and a half years until the time when the Temple was purified and rededicated (see 1 Maccabees 4:36-61).
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 9:22
[Gabriel said to Daniel:] “Daniel, I have come here to help you understand the prophecy. When 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.”
What is the angel’s message to Daniel? What verses speak of hope and restoration? What is Gabriel’s message in verses 26 and 27? Are there ways in which God is dishonored today?
God of hope and restoration, we trust in your eternal justice. Guide us each day as we seek to establish your reign here on earth. In your holy name we pray. Amen.
2 Chronicles 6:1-11: King Solomon speaks to the people.