Epic Answer To Prayer

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, March 10, 2017

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.10.2017” on Spreaker.

“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?

Personal Messaging

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!”

Daniel And The Revelation of Christ

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, June 26, 2015
Based Upon Daniel 9:25

If you seek Him, you will see Him

“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.”

As the prophet Daniel tried to understand the prophecy of the seventy weeks of years, he humbly confessed his sins and the sins of his people. Like the prophet Isaiah as shown in Isaiah chapter 6, he understood fully that he was equally responsible for the iniquities committed against God, which were the cause of the Babylonian captivity.

At the beginning of his prayer, the Bible says that the angel Gabriel was dispatched from heaven to give the sorrowing prophet skill concerning the vision (Daniel 9:23). How fast was this mighty angel of God able to move from one place to another, if during a prayer he was able to leave the heavenly courts, and before the prayer was finished, he reached earth, countless light years away?

The story continues. This vision in some ways included both the seventy weeks and twenty-three hundred year prophecies since both had the same starting point in history (Daniel 8:2, 14; 9:22-23). Gabriel reveals the starting point of the vision as “from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,” Daniel 9:25. This command, which included not only the rebuilding of the temple, but the city as well, with the return of power to the Jews to rule according to their own laws, occurred in 457 B.C. by Artexerxes (Ezra 4:7-23; Ezra 7:12-26). From the year 457 B.C. to Messiah (which means anointed) the Prince, was sixty-nine prophetic weeks. In symbolic Bible prophecy, one day equals one literal year (Numbers 14:34; Luke 13:31-33). Sixty-nine prophetic weeks equal 483 literal years (sixty-nine times seven days).

Did you know that exactly 483 years later (27 A.D. including the year zero), Jesus Christ, whose name means anointed, received the anointing of the Holy Ghost at His baptism explicitly fulfilling the prophecy?

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased,” Luke 3:21, 22.

Less than two months later Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from the book of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” Luke 4:18-21. Gabriel continues by revealing the sacrificial death of Jesus that would occur three and one half years later (31 A.D.), and the rejection of Him in 34 A.D.

What is the moral of this story? At a time when one of God’s people was bewildered and seeking Him diligently, God chose to reveal the ministry and sacrifice of the Messiah. Of all the events that would occur between the time of Daniel and the end of time, God chose to give a snapshot of the gospel.

God is still revealing Himself through the gospel today. In our times of deepest need, if we persevere in prayer, He will reveal Himself in the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus is still the answer to all of our inner turmoil. Let us search for Him while He can still be found, and live in a constant attitude of prayer.