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The Clocks of Prophecy
Daniel (16 of 18)
This is the best passage in the entire book of Daniel that has to do with the matter of prophecy. We're looking at what I'm calling "The Clocks of Prophecy." It is a fascinating passage of scripture.
Just to connect with what has gone on previously in the opening verses of the chapter, in the beginning verses of the ninth chapter of Daniel, Daniel is having his devotion. It is a time when he has been reading the Word of God; in particular, the book of Jeremiah. On the basis of what he read in the book of Jeremiah, he came to understand that the time for the captivity of the children of Israel was almost completed. God had predicted there would be 70 years of captivity. Now he's at the conclusion of this time.
So moved and so stirred is Daniel by this that he begins to pray. He prays one of the great prayers in all of the Bible. It is a great prayer of confession. Evidently, Daniel started his devotions that morning; and yet though he was a very busy man, an official position in the government, Daniel continued his prayer all day long even until the afternoon.
Notice that Daniel says that he was praying until the time of the evening oblation, verse 21. The evening oblation is a reference to 3:00 in the afternoon. It is also a reference to the Jewish religious calendar and the various ceremonies that the Jewish people conducted. Keep in mind, Daniel is in Babylon, and yet all of these years, evidently, Daniel is keeping time according to the time of his people the Jews and their religious calendar. His body was in Babylon, but his mind and heart were in Jerusalem.
The Bible tells us that is exactly the way you and I ought to live. We are living in this world, and yet the Bible says we actually belong to heaven. This world is not our home. We're just passing through. Our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. Though we are living in this world, we are always to keep our minds on another world.
Daniel is talking to the Lord. The Lord sends the angel Gabriel to Daniel and lets him know that God is getting ready to reveal to him a prophecy that has to do in particular with his own people, the nation of Israel. In this revelation that God is going to give Daniel, we have one of the great prophetic passages in all of the Bible. In fact, it has been referred to as the backbone of prophecy. It is the template that is used to help us understand what the Bible has to say about Bible prophecy. If you will focus and really get hold of what I'm going to share with you, it will give you that template that will help you understand God's prophetic plan for His own people, the children of Israel; and it will help you understand how you and I fit into the plan of God.
I. The Particulars of the Prophecy.
I'm going to talk about this prophecy of the 70 weeks. I want to begin by talking about the particulars of this prophecy. You wil ...
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