We continue our study today in Daniel, chapter 9, where we see Daniel's prayer being interrupted by the angel, Gabriel, and he is told that 490 years are determined for the nation of Israel.
Verses 15-19: "And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." Notice that Daniel did not base his request on man's righteousness or goodness, but on God's mercy. Lamentations 3:22 says, "Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."
Verses 20-21: "And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Now Daniel is interrupted by an angel and the angel introduces himself as Gabriel. The Bible mentions three angels by name; Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer.
Verse 22: "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." God wants us to understand. Jesus told us that Daniel is the Key to understanding end time Scripture (Matthew 24:15).
Verse 23: "At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Oh, that we would be so set on doing God's will that He would call us "greatly beloved."
Notice, "at the beginning of your supplications the command went out," God always answers our prayers the moment we pray them. The answer is yes, no, or wait! Why? Because we are greatly beloved (cf. John 3:16). None of us should ever doubt that we are not loved. The Bible says that you are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). God loves you so much this morning that He gave His only Son to die in your place. While those verses are specifically addressed to the nation of Israel, there is no doubt in my mind that they are for us as well.
Verse 24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." Notice "seventy weeks" or seventy sevens. In our European culture we use as our smallest measure of years Decades. We think in Tens. The Jews, however, think in Sevens; or what they call heptaths.
So, here we see seventy weeks of seven, or 70 x 7, which is a total of 490 years. In other words, this entire prophecy will be fulfilled in a total 490 years. And during this time (490 years) six things will happen: 1. To finish the transgression. (Willful sin); 2. To make an end of sin (Missing the mark); 3. To make reconciliation for iniquity (Combo of both); 4. To bring in everlasting righteousness; 5. To seal up the vision and prophecy; and To anoint the Most Holy (or Holy Place).
The first three were fulfilled in Christ on the cross. The last three will be fulfilled at His second coming in Revelation 19.