Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 18:46-50.
Read: Daniel 9 - As you read in the ESV translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: Daniel 9 is considered to be in the top three First Testament passages lifting up the Gospel story, that Jesus is the hope for the Universe. It is on the banned lists of some groups since it points so directly to Jesus as the promised Messiah and embraces salvation by Grace. It has been nine years since Daniel received his vision of Daniel 8. He has experienced the fall of Babylon on that epic night with the writing on the wall. He has experienced the full embrace of protection by God from the lions. He has been demoted, set-aside and promoted and set-up. He is in his mid-80s waiting for the fulfillment of the prophecy from the hero of his youth, Jeremiah. Based on Jeremiah 29:10, Daniel knew that the end of the 70-year prophecy was coming to a close. He is effectively on the edge of his seat waiting to see how Jerusalem will be restored. Cyrus will encourage the Jewish exiles to return home (2 Chronicles 36:21-23) just as promised in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1. Can you imagine if you were Cyrus and after you decide to send the Jewish exiles home, someone taps you on the shoulder to let you know, that is old news. In fact, God called you by name 150 years in advance through his prophet Isaiah. If I were Daniel or any Jew at that time, this would be a moment of hope to see reality take place. But remember that Daniel still has the vision from chapter 8 lingering around “…but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.” Daniel 8:27. Combined all together, the prayer of Daniel 9 should start to make sense. Daniel knows his people have failed miserably. That they abused power and rejected God. He knows that the 2,300 years of Daniel 8 feels like eternity. Will God cancel the 70-year prophecy or change it?
Respond: Pray for understanding.
Research: The 70-year prophecy of Jeremiah; what would be a good start/end date? Why did the Jews end up in exile?