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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.”—Daniel 9:25 (NKJV)
This is so cool. God Himself sends Gabriel, an archangel, to Daniel in response to Daniel’s prayers. Gabriel tells Daniel that he is to know and understand something, even in troublesome times. God’s desire is for us to know and understand Him as best we can. And as we see in Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV), God desires for us is to pursue this knowledge and understanding: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
It is actually a glory of ours to search out matters concerning God. I can vouch for that, as my greatest treasure is each discovery I have of the God who loves me. And I encourage you to pursue the joy of doing likewise, for to know Him better is to love Him more.
But what does Gabriel specifically want Daniel to know and understand, even in these troublesome times? He wants Daniel, who is an Old Testament prophet living during the horrific Babylonian captivity, and who is in a nation so powerful it was unimaginable that they would ever lose power, to know and to understand the certainty of their rescue; and more importantly . . . the certainty of their Rescuer.
Gabriel provides that certainty by precisely giving the date of their rescue that was still nearly 500 years away. Based on their calendar, the math goes like this: The ancient calendar used back then consisted of 360-day years. The weeks referred to in our passage are weeks of years, or sets of seven years. So the timeline from the decree to the arrival of the Messiah was 62 sets of seven years (434 years), plus seven sets of seven years (49 years), which equals 483 years. And 360 days times 483 years gives us a prophetic timeline for Messiah’s arrival at 173,880 days after the decree from Artaxerxes to restore Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1–4). That, my friends, is the exact date of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem when He finally acknowledges that He indeed is their King (I told you this was so cool).
So certain was their rescue that God gave it an exact date. So certain was their Rescuer that God gave Him the title “Messiah”. By the way, He is your Rescuer and King, too. And your rescue is as certain as these fulfilled prophecies.
So when you’re with Jesus, you can always take heart, even in troublesome times.
DIG: Look into the prophecies in Daniel and see how accurately it describes world history.
DISCOVER: Investigate the well over 300 Old Testament prophecies of Jesus and the overwhelming odds of their fulfillment, and see the absolute mathematical certainty of the Christian claim.
DISPLAY: Show the world the smile that comes from knowing the great Rescuer of mankind personally. They will be grateful for eternity!