Daniel 9:1-19 – January 21-22

Who’s really in charge of your 2017? To start us out in our right place this new year, we’re walking with Daniel this month, learning how God crafts every detail in His plan from creation of the world and history to the smallest details in our lives. He reigns over everything, and still He loves us through every moment of our lives. Join our study by following along with the reading plan then reflecting and journaling on each day’s reading to humble yourself before Him and listen. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. If you’re wondering what SOAP is…it’s a method of Bible study that focuses on applying scripture to our every days. Read more about it on our website.

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’ 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 Place.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out 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. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death 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. 27 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 at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

Instant Messaging the Old Testament Way | Jess Howell

Scripture

Daniel 9:21-22

Observation

After a passionate prayer found in the previous verses, I was holding my breath for what would come next. At first reading, I was confused. Our buddy Gabriel appears again and starts talking numbers. Was Daniel’s head spinning? There has been much discussion about the meaning of these numbers, and no one has a definitive answer. Thankfully I have an old Beth Moore study to give me some insight, and much of what she focuses on is setting the scene for the verses explaining the numbers; so let’s take a step back and just look at what happened to Daniel. Daniel is praying, pleading with God for mercy. And WHILE he was praying, an angel shows up. It doesn’t say this happens in a vision; Gabriel may have ACTUALLY appeared. Gabriel then says (out of breath probably), “Daniel, I came as fast as I could.” (I’m paraphrasing) As soon as you started praying, I left heaven to give you this answer because you’re a pretty cool guy…”  What an amazing experience Daniel had!  Unfortunately not much else is said about this encounter, and Daniel doesn’t mention having to rest for a few days after that either. But it’s definitely one that we can believe enhanced Daniel’s relationship with God and Daniel’s new BFF Gabriel.

Application

Psalm 139:4 says “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” This idea has been a LONG time struggle of mine. Why did Daniel have to pray that long prayer pleading for mercy? Why not send Gabriel in advance?  Would his prayer actually CHANGE anything?  Otherwise stated, if God knows what I’m going to  pray, why do I even have to say it? If He is sovereign and all-knowing and will do whatever it is He is going to do, why should I even pray? The answer? He desires a relationship with ME. He knows me by name, the same as when He called Daniel by name in verse 22. He also knows my voice – Verse 21 says “While I was still in prayer”. I’m not “on hold” with God when I pray; He hears me WHILE I’m praying. I could pray about getting a maid, having better hair or losing 50 pounds, but I know He’d rather hear prayers about things that REALLY matter like restoring broken relationships, mentoring others, bearing spiritual fruit, etc. He has ALL of these things stored up for me, but I can only get to them through prayer – through a relationship with the Almighty God.

Prayer

Thank you, Father, for finding an amazing message in today’s reading. I was thoroughly lost the first time I read it!  But I prayed for that ONE thing you wanted me to see, and you delivered big time. I’ve been lackadaisical about praying about some things because I thought You might give them to me anyways, but I see now that I NEED that relationship with You to receive what You have in store for me. I ask that You open the floodgates of my heart – to pray like never before God. I want to be nearer to You. Amen.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on January 21, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I love it, Jess! One Thing stuck out to me in today’s reading as a very real experience/testimony of our relationship with God — the word “Word” in verse 23. Its use by Gabriel here reminded me of Isaiah 55:10-11:

    For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

    As each one in our moms group asked God for a Word for 2017, just like Gabriel flying fast through the heavens to tell Daniel his Word, God’s Word went out and into each one of us, a different focus for each one of us. Praise God for this beautiful testimony!!! Now, what are we supposed to do with that Word? Gabriel tells Daniel to consider and understand the Word. It will not return to God empty. God will use the Word to grow us. Yes, He really loves us that much!

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  2. Wow. Just…wow.

    I had a hard time with this one. This may have been the most difficult to understand passage I’ve ever read in the Bible. And I was drawn to verse 23. My translation says, “Listen carefully and you will understand.” And for those of you keeping score, my “Listen Verse” for the year is Mark 4:24 – “Pay close attention. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given – and you will receive even more.”

    So here I am, personalizing the fact that if I just listen closely, I’ll understand. But…I’m not understanding. At all. Which obviously means that only a few weeks in, I’m already a failure. I had to step away, not because of the downward spiral of doubt and frustration I was falling into, but because life (aka, my daughter) needed me.

    In that time I spent away from my Bible, the passage, and my journal, a friend of mine sent me a very sweet text. It said something along the lines of “I felt I needed to pray for you this morning and let you know that God knows what you’re going through.” Like I said, that was very sweet. But at the time I received it, my thoughts were that I’m not really going through anything right now so it must have just been a mass text she sent to all her friends today.

    A little later, I had some time to get back to today’s reading. I heaved an exasperated sigh as I opened the Bible back up to pore over verse 23 again, and it hit me. This isn’t MY message to understand! It’s Daniel’s. God sent Gabriel to interrupt Daniel’s prayer to give *him* the message, not Marianne. It was Daniel’s job to listen closely and understand the message so he could use it for the benefit of God’s people. It doesn’t matter if I think the seventy sevens are weeks or years, or if they’re literal or figurative. It doesn’t matter if I think the anointed one is Jesus or that high priest. All that matters in this case is that I come to understand a little more about who God is and how He feels about us. And I did.

    I listened closely and I understood. I’m not a failure after all! *Phew*

    And after I completed my journaling for the morning, I returned to the text my friend sent me and realization washed over me. God had sent her to interrupt my day and warn me to listen carefully so I’ll understand. Just like He sent Gabriel to Daniel.

    And that is the first time the Bible ever came to life for me. I have been a Christian my whole life and have had several jaw-dropping occurrences in my lifetime. But never have I read the Bible and walked away from it thinking, “THAT HAPPENED TO ME TOO!!!” I know this year of learning to listen is going to be a hard one, but if the end result is always this satisfying it’s going to be so worth it! I can’t wait!

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    • Aha! You’re discovering One Thing! And I absolutely love that your Bible version says “Listen” in verse 23. Of course it does! Thank you for sharing!

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