Tabernacle Tuesday
~ Week Nine ~
August 4, 2020
Daniel ~ Chapter Nine
"Then I set my face toward the Lord God
to make request by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession,
and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God,
who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him,
and with those who keep His commandments,
we have sinned and committed iniquity,
we have done wickedly and rebelled,
even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments."
(Daniel 9:3-5)

Morning Meditation: Read Daniel 9:1-19

In the years of the Babylonian captivity, God had given His servant Daniel "understanding in all visions and dreams" (1:17); he was known for having "an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas" (5:12a); and he was called upon to exercise his God-given gift of interpretation on more than one occasion (2:25; 4:8, 9; 5:13, 14). During the final years of the Babylonian Empire (7:1; 8:1) and the early years of the Medo-Persian Empire (9:1; 10:1; 11:1), Daniel was the one receiving the visions, and heavenly interpreters were sent to explain the meaning of his divine dreams (7:16; 8:16; 9:21, 22). The revelations of the devastation and suffering that awaited his people in the future left Daniel deeply troubled and burdened (7:15, 28; 8:27). While Daniel did not live to see the future humiliation of the Jews at the hands of the madman, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the knowledge of this terrible tribulation caused him to turn to the scriptures for further understanding and to fervent prayer on behalf of his people.

The times were changing, the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar's great image had come off and a newly-formed government had been established. Under this new administration the captivity was coming to an end, just as Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied. "For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place" (Jeremiah 29:10; see also Jeremiah 25:11, 12). Daniel learned from reading the scroll of Jeremiah the reason for the captivity and the length of the exile. His people would be taken from their land and exiled in another for a period of seventy years, because they had failed to obey the Lord's command to give the land a sabbath rest every seven years. "When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD" (Leviticus 25:2-4a). The people were to learn, even in the work of their hands, to trust the Lord for His provision. This law of God was good for the land and for its inhabitants, for it provided a necessary rest every seven years (as well as a double portion every fiftieth year, in the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-17)), bringing restored fertility to the land and revived spiritual life to His people. "So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety...Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years" (Leviticus 25:18-19, 21). Yet instead of blessing, the people of Israel received chastisement; they were removed from the holy land which they had defiled, and the land remained desolate until it experienced its necessary rest and the people were cured of their idolatry.

"As it is written in the Law of Moses,
all this disaster has come upon us;
yet we have not made our prayer
before the LORD our God,
that we might turn from our iniquities
and understand Your truth."
(Daniel 9:13)

Daniel learned from the Scriptures that the captivity was almost over. The decree of Cyrus, permitting the Jews to return to their land to rebuild the temple and restore the nation, would happen the next year (Ezra 1:1-4). The Lord's anointed servant would fulfill God's righteous purpose for His people and free Israel out from underneath Babylon's burdensome yoke (Isaiah 45:1-4). Daniel was over eighty years old as this point and would not be joining the returning remnant in their journey back to the holy land, but his diligent study of Scripture led him to pray and intercede for his people. "Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3). It's been well-said that the Word of God and prayer are inseparable - the power of one is dependent upon the presence of the other. Daniel, who we have learned was a great man of prayer, knew this well. What he learned from the Scriptures humbled him and prepared him for his times of prayer, which the Lord would use to greatly affect the lives of the Jewish people. Daniel's disciplined lifestyle of prayer and study of the Word of God elevated his prayers, making them more God-centered rather than problem-centered. He was a worshiper who began his prayers giving glory to God first, followed by humble confession of sin. His understanding of God's truth, caused him to submit to the power and authority of it, and led him to acknowledge and confess the error of his ways and the ways of his people. "As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth" (Daniel 9:13). Daniel found confidence as he prayed, remembering the great redemptive acts of God on behalf of His people, and he prayed that the Lord would repeat them again. Daniel asked the Lord to turn His wrath away from His people and let the light of His countenance fall upon them once again. "Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord's sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate" (v. 17). Daniel's intercessory prayer provides us a pattern of prayer to follow - he worshiped, confessed sin, and asked for God's mercy on His people. And God answered his prayer. Before we turn the page and begin our next chapter of study, let us take time this week to meditate on this prayer and pray it aloud. May we take time to give God the glory for the mighty acts He has performed in the past as we seek His merciful intervention today. The Lord has given us the remedy in His Word if we will only humble ourselves as Daniel did and worship, repent and pray! "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and your people are called by Your name" (v. 19).

"If My people who are called by My name
will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
Afternoon Devotion: Read Daniel 9:20-27

While Daniel was still praying and confessing, the answer was given. The Lord has purposed that we ask in prayer for what He has prepared and stored up for us in heaven (Matthew 7:7, 8). "Oh how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!" (Psalm 31:19). Daniel's prayer was divinely interrupted by a heavenly messenger. "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24). The same angel who had explained the meaning of the vision of the ram and the goat to him in Chapter 8 had returned to reveal to the Lord's servant even greater things to come; for Gabriel, the Lord's divine messenger, is sent to make glorious announcements of the Kingdom of God and of the coming King of kings (Luke 1:11-20, 26-38). "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

"Seventy weeks are determined
for your people and for your holy city,
to finish the transgression,
to make an end of sins,
to make reconciliation for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Most Holy."
(Daniel 9:24)

Daniel, who had just read in the Scriptures that the captivity would expire in seventy years, was now given a prophetic peek into another seventy year period - seventy weeks (seven times seventy years). A new period of release and restoration awaited his people in the far distant future when they would experience perfect reconciliation with the Lord. In these 490 years, divided into three periods, the Lord would accomplish His divine purposes for the Jewish people (all fulfilled through the Messiah). The first period of 49 years would include the rebuilding of the temple and city of Jerusalem in troubled times; the second period of 434 years mark the period between the restoration and the Messiah's coming to Israel - that glorious appointed time in the history of the world when the Son of God appeared in "the fullness of time" to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself - when He would be "cut off, but not for Himself" (Daniel 9:26); and the final seven years of the prophetic calendar are the tribulation period, when the Antichrist (the "little horn" in Chapter 7:8, 24-26) makes a covenant with Israel, only to break it at the midpoint, unleashing a time of unparalleled persecution and suffering upon the world (Matthew 24:4-26; Mark 13:5-23). The signs of the changing times led Daniel to search the Scriptures, his diligent study led him to pray and ask for further understanding, and his request was answered with greater revelation. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). We are living in serious times that require the same attitude of watchfulness, diligent study of the Scriptures, and fervent worshipful, repentant prayer that Daniel had in his day. Daniel received instruction from the Lord so he could apply it and act on it. May we be found doing the same today. May we be more like Daniel, and like the sons of Issachar "who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do" (1 Chronicles 12:32). May all that we do and say and pray bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ as we await His glorious coming! "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20b).

"I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me,
You are My Son, today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations
for Your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' "
(Psalm 2:7-9)
Evening Prayer: "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." (Daniel 6:10)

Just click or tap the You Tube image below
or tap HERE.
As we travel through the Book of Daniel
we want to focus on following the example of his faith,
but as we do, let us prayerfully consider setting aside
Tuesdays as "fast" days,
as we feast upon the goodness and grace of our Lord this summer
(consider a full day fast, a partial fast, or a Daniel fast (1:12))

Scripture Meditations for the Week:

Wednesday: Isaiah 59:9-15
Thursday: 2 Chronicles 7:12-18
Friday: Jeremiah 25:1-14
Saturday: Jeremiah 29:10-14
Sunday: Isaiah 12:1-6
Monday: Matthew 24:36-44

Journal:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse for the Week:

"Seventy weeks are determined for your people
and for your holy city,
to finish the transgression,
to make an end of sins,
to make reconciliation for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Most Holy."
(Daniel 9:24)
Read about 2020 The Year of Divine Government HERE

A Proclamation of Prayer for the Pandemic
(with links to the YouTube ANOINTING prayers through the Psalms)
to provide peace and to encourage faith in times of crisis
when fear, doubt, and uncertainty try to rob us of our joy!
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"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live."
(Isaiah 55:2, 3a)
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Setting the world on fire for Christ ~ One heart at a time!
TESTIFY to the gospel of the grace of God
a 12-week devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Book of Daniel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.