SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 READINGS...Daniel 6:1-28 & 9:1-27 & 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 &
Ezra 1:1-11 & 1 Chronicles 3:17-19a
The captives of Judah are now under the Medes and the Persians, Babylon has fallen. It did not take long for God to bring Daniel to a place of great favor with King Darius the Mede. God gave Daniel great wisdom, so much so that he was so much wiser than the other leaders. This caused jealousy, and when these leaders could find no fault in how Daniel handled the affairs of the state, they plotted to catch him with his relationship with God. They knew that Daniel was a man of prayer…three times a day, every day. These men went to Darius and used flattery to get him to make a decree that could not be changed. No one could offer a prayer, except that the prayer was offered to Darius. The men had no problem finding where Daniel was when the time came for his daily prayers, and they quickly report him to Darius. They knew that the law of the Medes and Persians would not even let the king retract a law. So, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. Darius could not sleep at all, and early in the morning he goes to the lion’s den, hoping that somehow Daniel might be alive. The Lord had shut the lion’s mouths, and Daniel was alive. Darius, realizing he had been duped, and that he could not trust his leadership who had manipulated him, had them and their families thrown into the lion’s den. They were killed by the lions before even hitting the floor.
In Daniel chapter nine we have a great prayer of Daniel for himself and for his people. He also had been reading the writings of Jeremiah that had earlier been brought to Babylon. The words of Jeremiah’s prophecy spoke of the fact that the people would be in exile for seventy years. Daniel was taken to Babylon as a young man…he had spent his whole life there. Now the time was coming for the people to be released. As Daniel was reading and praying the Lord gave him a prophetic message. He allowed him to know the appointed times for God to work through Israel. This time is broken it to three period of times in Daniels prophecy. The amount of years prophesied worked out to 490 years. From the point the command to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple (Nehemiah 1) there would be 49 years until the close of the Old Testament canon. The next period of time would work out to 434 years. This would consist of the time between the closing of the Old Testament and going into the New Testament until the time of Christ’s crucifixion. That leaves 7 years left, where do we find these years. Daniel says that this last seven years that the Lord would work through the people of Israel would begin with a covenant being established by the prince who is coming (Anti-Christ), at the half way point he would stop the sacrifices, and he would rule until he is removed by the coming of the true Christ. Where do we find these 7 years? In the book of Revelation. Later in the book of Daniel he is told to close the book of prophecy, for it is for the end of time…in the book of Revelation John is told to open the book of prophecy…I believe these are the same book.
Our reading ends with Cyrus, in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy beginning to release the captives back to Judah. Please share any thoughts you have from today’s reading. I know there are different views on what the prophecy section means. I hope you are encouraged at seeing that God is in control in all of today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Ezra 2:1:1-4:5 & 1 Chronicles 19b-24