ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?
Jesus, I fix my eyes on You today!
Read Daniel 9:20–27
The Seventy “Sevens”
20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[a] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[b] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[c]
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[d] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[e] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[f] In the middle of the ‘seven’[g] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[h] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.[i]”[j]
a Daniel 9:24 Or ‘weeks’; also in verses 25 and 26
b Daniel 9:24 Or restrain
c Daniel 9:24 Or the most holy One
d Daniel 9:25 Or an anointed one; also in verse 26
e Daniel 9:26 Or death and will have no one; or death, but not for himself
f Daniel 9:27 Or ‘week’
g Daniel 9:27 Or ‘week’
h Daniel 9:27 Septuagint and Theodotion; Hebrew wing
i Daniel 9:27 Or it
j Daniel 9:27 Or And one who causes desolation will come upon the wing of the abominable temple, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolated city
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat’s the longest journey you’ve ever been on?
The cry of God’s people through the ages is, “How long, O Lord? How long until you return to be with your people and rule the world with justice?”
The good news given to Daniel is: the days of our exile are numbered (24). The end will come, it has already been decreed (26), it is settled. However, as we’ve seen, God reveals and keeps hidden the time: exactly when is not for us to know. We are like the child in the back seat of the car, not knowing how long the journey will be, longing to arrive.
Is that impatience something you can identify with? Is there anything in your life that you wish God would hurry up and get on with?
Unfortunately, God doesn’t (normally) work to our timescale. The seventy “sevens” (24) are more about completion and perfection than a specific time period—except to tell us it will be a long time. Living faithfully in exile is not a short hop but a long haul. However, we can utterly trust God’s promise that one day the end will come.
In verse 23 Gabriel calls Daniel “greatly loved.” No matter how long the walk through the valley, God is with us, because he loves us. Close your eyes, be still, and know that God is with you and loves you.
Lord, I need to know You love me today. Show me that I belong to You.