When the Future Seems Unclear

Daniel 9:20-27

In Daniel’s concern about the future, the angel Gabriel provided a needed amount of clarity yet permitted some level of confusion. While the details may be debated, the vision is clear – Christ is coming at an appointed time for a specific outcome.

The only agreed-upon part of this passage is that it is one of the most difficult in all the Bible to interpret.

God Hears Our Prayers [Daniel 9:20-23]

  • God not only heard Daniel’s prayers, but He swiftly sent Gabriel to assure him regarding the coming plans (9:20-21).
  • Even though Daniel lived as an exile, he operated as if he was still home (9:21).
  • The greatest assurance we can receive in turbulent times is a reminder that we are greatly loved by God (9:22-23).

God Answers Our Prayers [Daniel 9:24-27]

  • Remember that this specific explanation is a direct response to Daniel’s prayer regarding the Jewish exile.
  • As with all things exilic, the current situation also served as a thematic concept of things to come.
  • The 70 weeks represents a complete timeline where God restores His people to be with Him.
  • Six things would be accomplished by the end (9:24):
    finish the transgression,
    put an end to sin,
    atone for iniquity,
    bring in everlasting righteousness,
    seal both vision and prophet,
    and to anoint a most holy place.
  • 1st Period – 7 “Sevens” (9:25) – God will begin the process to help restore the people to Jerusalem.
    2nd Period – 62 “Sevens” (9:25) – During this time, the people will be established but vehemently opposed.
    3rd Period – 1 “Seven” (9:26-27) – The cutting off of the Anointed One will lead to a climactic battle yet secure a dwelling place for God’s people.
  • “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15).
    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).

While there are many uncertain details, the foundational message is sure: Jesus has made a way for us to come home.