In the first year of Darius (539 B.C.) Daniel was reading the scroll of Jeremiah and understood that the sentence of Israel’s captivity was 70 years. He was no doubt reading:
Jeremiah 25:11–12 (NKJV) “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation.”
Daniel was a man of wisdom and visions, but he was also a man of the Word. He read the scroll, did the math and realized that up to that point, Israel had been in captivity 66 years. So he began to pray. He set his face to seek the Lord, meaning he was focused. He fasted, wore sackcloth and ashes, confessed their sins, and made supplication. He included himself in that confession, “we have sinned,” “we have done wickedly.” They were all guilty and God had given them what He promised in His Word – innumerable warnings.
Daniel 9:11 (NKJV) “Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.”
God had clearly warned His people, if they despised His discipline it would reach this point of dispersion. We read in:
Leviticus 26:33–34 (NKJV) “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. 34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.”
This is why Israel was sentenced to precisely 70 years, for they failed to keep the Sabbath for the soil (see Leviticus 25:4-5), 70 years. We read that in:
2 Chronicles 36:20–21 (NKJV) “And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”
Daniel knew the time was drawing near…so he prayed. He prayed for God’s anger to be turned away, His fury from Jerusalem, for the glory of His name and the good of His people.
We’re not sure how long Daniel was praying, but while he was still speaking the angel Gabriel showed up, who had been sent to him to bless him beyond his wildest imagination. Not only would Israel be set free and experience restoration as a nation, Daniel was given this amazing prophecy about the first and second coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). Bible students refer to these verses as the 70-Weeks of Daniel.
70-Weeks were determined for the Jews (Daniel’s people). The word translated weeks literally means sevens. So it’s actually 70 seven-year periods to finish – everything, and to anoint and crown the most holy as king – King Jesus.
In Daniel 9:25 we have the starting point, March 14, 445 B.C when the command was given to restore and build Jerusalem, until the Messiah, Jesus comes (this is when He entered Jerusalem on a donkey presenting Himself as King) there would be 7-weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks (483 years). This totals 173,880 days and takes us to April 6, 32 A.D. – the very DAY Jesus entered into Jerusalem!
This prophecy predicted the very day, Messiah would come!
Daniel 9:26 tells us that the Messiah would be cut-off (killed) but not for Himself (wow – predicting Jesus vicarious atonement). We also see how the Romans would sack the city of Jerusalem, and that the Romans are called “people of the prince who is to come.” This is how we know the antichirst will rise from the revived Roman Empire.
Daniel 9:27 gives us the final week, the final 7-year period, which is to take place in the future. Since the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry we have been living in the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24; Romans 1:25), but God will again deal with the Jews in large numbers during the Tribulation Period. In the beginning of that 7-year period Israel will embrace the antichrist, but half-way through he will commit the abomination of desolation, enter the Temple and claim to be God, it’s then that Israel’s eyes will be opened to their Messiah (Mark 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The chart above and below gives us visuals.
In Daniel 10 he once again seeks the Lord. His 3-week fast consisted of no delicacies, neither did he anoint himself, it was time set apart for the Lord. At that time Daniel saw a certain man clothed in linen – his description is glorious. Some believe him to be the Lord Jesus Christ and that’s a strong possibility because of the fact that he does resemble the description in Revelation 1:12-16, and his touch, and words strengthen Daniel. Others believe it to be only an angel, considering the fact that this “man” needed the help of Michael the Archangel to fight off demons. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, does not need Michael’s help – unless, as in the days of His incarnation, He emptied Himself of His Divine privileges.
It’s wonderful the way God’s love for Daniel is articulated, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved…” (Daniel 10:10). I believe this is true for all of us.
The messenger was sent to give Daniel more insight into the future kingdoms of the world; Daniel 11 is given with meticulous detail, as to the future, it would be necessary to strengthen the Jews in trying times. Does it help to know that God knows the future? Does it help to know that you are victorious – that WE are victorious in Christ? I sure hope so!
John 16:33 (NKJV) “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
1 John 2:18–3:6
John warns the Christians about false teachers who deny that Jesus is the Christ, they also deny His deity. In doing so, they deny Jesus-period, they’re “anti-Christs” who don’t have the Father either (see John 5:23).
We are protected and directed by the Word of God and the Spirit of God who lives within us (that’s the anointing). God help us to abide in Him, to stick to this truth so that we’re not swept away and embarrassed when we stand before the Lord (1 John 2:28).
In 1 John 3 we’re asked to behold the Father’s love. What kind of love is this? That we should be called children of GOD! Wow, mind boggling, but true – not for everyone (1 John 3:10) but for those who have truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12).
The fact that we Christians are children of God explains a lot of the turmoil we go through on this side of time. The unsaved people of the world march to a different beat – they don’t know God, and therefore they don’t know us.
Because we’re children of God, we have His nature within us, and one day when we’re home in glory, we will experience the fulness of this wonderful reality. We don’t now know the details of heaven and all that we’ll see and be, but we do know we’ll be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. When we have this prophetic hope, it does a work of purification within us – even now.
John spends a lot of time communicating the fact that if a person continues in sin, with eyes wide open, consistent, insistent, persistent sin, then the blunt reality is such people are NOT Christians. The Greek grammar is in the present-tense and speaks of a continuous action.
The Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest translates with the grammar in mind:
1 John 3:4–6 (WUEST) Everyone who habitually commits sin, also habitually commits lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know absolutely that that One was manifested in order that He might take away our sins; and sin in Him does not exist. Everyone who in Him is constantly abiding is not habitually sinning. Everyone who is constantly sinning has not with discernment seen Him, nor has he known Him, with the result that that condition is true of him at present.”
Jesus was manifested to set us free from sin, to take away the penalty AND power of sin…so let’s make sure we understand that a faith that doesn’t change our behavior, will never change our destiny.
The Psalmist asks the question, “Where does my help come from?” But he knows what to do and where to look; he knows that we need to pray and look “up” to God, because our help comes only from Him (who also happens to be the Maker of heaven and earth)!
As I read this Psalm, I think of:
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to HELP in time of need.”
“In time of need…” For me, that’s daily, that “time” is constant, I always need help from God. I thank Him that He is willing and able to help us.
He will protect us, He will keep us, He is our shade us from the heat. He will preserve us from all evil, protecting even our souls.
Over the years I’ve had the gracious blessing, privilege, and opportunity to travel to other nations, such as Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile; to the other side of the world…places like Cambodia, Nepal, and even Israel. Whenever I journey, I take to heart a plaque we have hanging in our home that has this passage out of today’s Psalm:
Psalm 121:8 (NKJV) “The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”
Proverbs 28:27 (NKJV) “He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.”
“Being generous to the poor (“destitute, hungry,” also used in vv. 3, 6; cf. 29:7) does not mean the giver will then have to “do without.” Just the opposite is true; he will lack nothing. Generosity is rewarded (cf. 11:24–25; 14:21b, 31b; 19:17; 21:26; 22:9; Deuteronomy 15:10).” – Bible Knowledge Commentary
Proverbs 22:9 (NKJV) “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.”
Proverbs 11:24–26 (NKJV) “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. 26 The people will curse him who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.”
Kinda funny, we get “rich” – not by getting, but by giving,
But if we ignore those poor God places before us, if we pretend we didn’t see them, we will not only miss the blessing, we will experience the cursing!
Proverbs 28:28 (NKJV) “When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase.”
We saw something similar in Proverbs 28:12
Proverbs 28:12 (NKJV) “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; but when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.
Consider the contrast between Saul and David.
“When wicked men come to places of prominence and rule, it is bad for the community. Freedom and blessing to the community are much less present and in response men hide themselves.” – David Guzik