Daniel 9:20-27 (Part 1) – Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush & Gabriel: Tough Road Ahead But Ultimate Victory Visions

Posted: June 24, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 9:20-27 (Part 1)

Gabriel’s Message about the Anointed One

Have you ever heard a speech that was profound whose words were as prophetic as they were profound? There are many speeches just in the history of our country that have been profound and that we remember to this day (even if some of the speeches were made before we were born or were too young to remember them). History records Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech to Congress after Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor and the US Pacific forces that were stationed there. In that speech, he uttered the famous line at the beginning of the speech that “December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy!” He went on to make one of the most rousing speeches ever uttered by an American President. It galvanized a nation in sacrifices for the war effort that our nation will never be willing to undertake again. What a speech! Twenty years later in 1961, we hear President Kennedy utter the famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” in his address at his inauguration as President. Later in 1962, we hear him say, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win…” That speech galvanized a generation not only to stretch the boundaries of technology but challenged a generation to change the world not because it was easy but because change needed to happen. Fast forward to 1987, we hear President Reagan utter those famous words during a speech at the Berlin Wall in which he exhorted, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Fast forward to September 20, 2001, nine days after the terrorist attacks on our nation, President Bush gave the speech that defined his presidency as much as the other speeches defined the presidencies of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan when he spoke about America’s resolve to track down those responsible for 09/11. He uttered the now famous words, “We will not tire. We will not waiver. We will not fail!” He galvanized a nation into a resolute one for a time. He lifted us out of our fear of terrorism into a nation resolved to stop it. Rousing words by all these presidents. They were as much prophetic as they were rousing. In each speech, there were hard tasks ahead and each of these Presidents probably had no idea how they were going to actually execute their claims but they knew that they had to be done. These words are burned into the American psyche.

 

What does this have to do with Daniel 9:20-27? These American Presidents had a vision of the future in which American would be restored from being knocked to its knees temporarily or a vision of an America that was victorious over evil or oppressive empires or a vision an American that could boldly go where no man has gone before. Visions of the future. Charting the unknown future and saying that this is the way it is going to be was the characteristic of these great speeches from American presidents. It is the same, in a way, with this passage. Gabriel gives Daniel promise and hope of a brighter future. He gives Daniel a vision of the future that God has planned. These American Presidents rallied the American people to do insurmountable tasks at moments when we did not think we could do what was ahead of us. Gabriel gives us hope of the victory ahead. Daniel was down and out and had grown tired of knowing that his homeland lied in ruins. He was old and wanted to return home. He knew that his nation had been knocked to his knees and deserved it but he was weary of the exile by this time. He was begging God forgive the errors and sins of his people and let them return home. Gabriel gives him a vision of the future. Gabriel shows him that the road was not yet over, the road would be hard, but that there would be victory in the end. Let’s read what is said in this passage:

 

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

 

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

 

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

 

Gabriel gives Daniel hope in that he assures Daniel that Jerusalem will be rebuilt. He gives Daniel hope that the Anointed One, the Messiah will finally come during the time periods mentioned ahead. Gabriel doesn’t give Daniel so pie in the sky perfect world vision for the future. He is realistic with Daniel about the things to come. Jerusalem will be restored but it will be under attack again and again in the future. His people will not recognize the Messiah when He comes and ultimately Israel will be desecrated. But with the last phrase in the last sentence, “until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”, Gabriel gives Daniel a vision of the ultimate victory of the Messiah over His enemies.

 

There is much debate about the meaning of the time periods that Gabriel states in this passage and we will talk about that over the weekend but for now, the thing that is on my heart about this passage is the hope that this speech by Gabriel ultimately gives to Daniel and any believer who reads this passage. The road ahead for God’s people is going to be hard. It will get harder before it gets better. But there will be ultimate victory in the Messiah’s return to gather up his people and to pour out his judgment on evil. There is hope in that. We know the road is hard ahead in prophetic end-times terms. Jesus’ return is our victory in the end. We will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail. We will have victory through Jesus Christ in the end. Jesus will have victory and force Satan to tear down that wall that imprisons us in his world. We fight not because it is easy but because it is hard. It will take all our talents and energies as Christ followers to ensure that we survive the coming storms and to aid the Holy Spirit in gathering souls to Christ in a world gone mad and that will get madder. Ask not what we can do for ourselves but what we can do to help Jesus Christ. We are in a battle and Satan thinks he has had his day of infamy. But there is hope. The Messiah will come. We press on. We hold fast to our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord because He is coming to set things right. The battles between here and there will be fierce but Christ will come. He will come.

 

Amen and Amen.

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