An Important Key to Unlocking Daniel Chapter 9
Daniel chapter 9 is a critical chapter in understanding God's plan at the end of the age. This chapter takes place near the end of Daniel's life. In it Daniel makes intercession for the sin of Israel and asks the Lord to have mercy and restore Israel. A major key to understanding Daniel 9 is recognizing that Daniel had been reading Jeremiah's prophecieswhich served as an impetus for his intercessions. In this blog we'll take a brief look at Jeremiah 25 to get a better understanding of what Daniel may have been thinking when He prayed for Jerusalem's restoration.
Jeremiah chapter 25contains a specific prophecy about Neuchadnezzar storming Jerusalem and taking the Jews captive for 70 years. Jeremiah 25 also includes a description of the devastating events of the Day of the Lord, where the Lord comes and destroys the wicked of the earth from all nations.
Consider these words from Jeremiah 25:
Jer 25:12-14 'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylonand that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a perpetual desolation. 13 So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all the nations. 14 (For many nations and great kings shall be served by them also; and I will repay them according to their deedsand according to the works of their own hands.)' "
Jer 25:29-34 For behold, I begin to bring calamity on the city which is called by My name, and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth," says the LORD of hosts.' 30 "Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: 'The LORD will roar from on high,And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, Against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise will come to the ends of the earth--For the LORD has a controversy with the nations;He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says the LORD." 32 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, disaster shall go forth From nation to nation,And a great whirlwind shall be raised up From the farthest parts of the earth. 33 "And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground. 34 "Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes, You leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled;...
I believe the reason Daniel went into repentance when he understood that the time of Jerusalem's captivity was nearly up was because Jeremiah 25 declares that God's judgment would come after Jerusalem's captivity was finished. As a result of the impending judgment, God commanded leaders and shepherds to wail and cry in repentance (Jer 25:34).
I'm convinced Daniel assumed that God was getting ready to release destruction across the nations of the earth for what they had done to Israel. Since the end of Judah's seventy years of captivity was at hand, Daniel fervently interceded believing that devastation was about to come to the nations.
In answer to Daniel's prayer the angel Gabriel came to bring him understanding. When Gabriel comes, he gives Daniel clarity on the entirety of Jeremiah's prophecy - from the time of Judah's captivity in Babylon til the finality of the Day of the Lord. The prophecy in Jeremiah 25 vividly and fearfully describes the events of the Day of the Lord. Gabriel explains to Daniel the time frame in which these events would take place, "Beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the “consummation of what has been determined is poured out upon the desolate.” The phrase the “consummation of what has been determined” is what Jeremiah describes in Jeremiah 25:32-33, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, disaster shall go forth From nation to nation,And a great whirlwind shall be raised up From the farthest parts of the earth. 33 "And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.""
Gabriel's explanation let Daniel know that God's judgment wasn't immediate but was coming at a future time at the end of a 490 year period. The key to understanding the purpose for Daniel's prayer and the answer the angel gives is found by recognizing Daniel was seeking God in light of the judgment's decreed in Jeremiah 25.
I want encourage you that just as Daniel gave himself to fasting and prayer in view of impending judgment, we too are called to live this same way. Just like Daniel, with the spirit of Babylon all around us, we are to resist the sway of the spirit of the age and set ourselves before the Lord. Just as Daniel purposed to receive understanding, we too should seek God for revelation of the end of the age.
If you have questions about this blog, or if its unclear to you, feel free to post your questions in the comments, I'm happy to dialogue about this.