The Purpose of History
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your Holy Spirit which teaches me from Your Word. Teach me now, I pray.
Read DANIEL 9:20-27
 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-  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.  He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.  As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:  “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish 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.  “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, 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.  After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. 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.  He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did Gabriel bring this answer to Daniel (23)?
There certainly are a lot of explanations given for these verses. Almost everyone agrees that the “sevens” or “weeks” should be regarded as years (24-27). Various calculations have been made to make the numbers fit exactly with various events; however, too many assumptions need to be made for any certainty.
The prophecy does refer to the fall of Jerusalem. Jesus himself tells us so (Matt. 24:15). Like many prophecies, it has different layers of meaning. We can see partial fulfillment in the troubles of Maccabean times, in the life and death of Jesus, in the fall of Jerusalem, and in events yet to occur when Jesus comes again. Perhaps only then will we see fully what it means.
This much is clear: there is a master plan, a big picture. And that big picture centers on Jesus. He alone is the one who will finish transgression, bring an end to sin, and atone for wickedness (24). So, our task is not to try to predict the future, but to point people (our family, friends and neighbors) to the one who died, who lives and who is to come.
Thank God that the future of our planet is not ultimately in the hands of presidents and politicians.
Thank You, Sovereign Lord, that You are in control of the future and I can trust Your good purposes.