Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, March 10, 2017
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:25–27).
When you are in distress, to whom do you turn? When you are confused, dejected, and dismayed, how do you find relief? Let me tell you how the prophet Daniel found strength through his struggle. I promise, you will never forget the story once you see it from this perspective.
Setting The Prophetic Scene
When you have an opportunity, read Daniel 9 and Jeremiah 25 in their entirety. Get the scene. God’s faithful servant is studying the scrolls of Scripture concerning the prophecies of Jeremiah. He is in distress because God’s people have been in Babylonian captivity for scores of years due to their habitual rejection of God’s counsel. He knew God promised that He would judge Babylon for their overreaching, rough treatment of His wayward people (go figure), but the fulfillment seemed to be afar off. In distress, Daniel poured out his heart in prayer and supplication.
What do you do when you are distressed? We don’t know how long Daniel labored in the Spirit with God over the plight of his brethren, but we can reasonably time His one prayer quoted in Scripture at right around four minutes. He appealed to the good name and character of God. He poured out his heart in confession for himself and for the people. He was despondent, yet had hope in the One to whom he prayed.
Amazingly, the Bible says that at the close of his prayers and appeals for mercy, the angel, Gabriel appeared to dear brother Daniel. He appeared to give Daniel insight into what he desired and much more.
Prompt Answer To Prayer
Gabriel said he was dispatched by YHWH at the beginning of Daniel’s prayer. How long did I say the prayer took? It was right around four minutes. Let’s say for the sake of argument that he prayed for four hours or even four days, though he did not. Gabriel said, “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” (Daniel 9:23).
What? YHWH sent Gabriel to tell Daniel he was greatly beloved! What a blessing from God. Do you realize you, too, are greatly beloved by God?
Gabriel left the heavenly courts, which are easily beyond Orion. Space.com reports that Orion’s stars range from 243 to more than 1,300 light years from earth. Stay with me here. Just one light year in distance is 5.85 trillion miles. Now multiply that by more than 1,300. The distance is truly astronomical (pun very much intended). If heaven is beyond Orion, Gabriel traveled more than 7,605 trillion miles in just minutes to answer a poor prophet’s prayer. And he came, principally, to tell him three things.
Wouldn’t you like to know what he said, having come all that way at impossible speeds?
First, he told him he was dearly beloved. Then, he took his time and gave him a perfect prophecy lesson. Then, he showed him a crystal clear portrait of Messiah at His best.
Gabriel traveled more than 7,605 trillion miles in record speed to tell that agonizing prophet that Jesus saves! Where did I get that? It says so right in our theme text.
Christ, The Central Message
If you are teaching or hearing the prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9 without this central message, you have not truly experienced the prophecies leading up to our days. Gabriel said Messiah would be crucified at a certain point during the 70-weeks prophecy for the benefit of the people, and would end all ceremonies and sacrifices that had formerly pointed to our Savior, once and for all.
When anyone is in distress, YHWH our God will compass impossible distances and overcome impossible odds to tell you that you are accepted in His beloved son, Jesus Christ. The message of salvation through Christ alone is central to all Bible doctrine. Moreover, it is the great equalizer when we have sunken to our lowest in life.
So when you find yourself in that state of mind, please tarry in prayer and look out for the message of God’s love through Christ Jesus to manifest in your experience.
I will say it for you: “Amen!”