“I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!” (Jer. 31:36 NLT)
Vv. 20-23 – Gabriel brings God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer – Gabriel is God’s messenger angel and he was also sent to Zechariah and to Mary to announce the birth of John the Baptist and, of course, the Lord Jesus. (The NIV and KJV say he flew swiftly – (angels are not omnipresent – from the third heaven to earth.) He told Daniel of how God deeply loved and esteemed him for his faithful obedience. (See John 14:21-23)
“Seventy weeks (heptads – years) have been decreed for your people (Israel) and your holy city (Jersusalem)” (V.24) – In chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel we see the prophecy for the history of the Gentile nations that oppress Israel up until the final form of the last Gentile nation (Rome) and the final form of that empire, the Revived Roman Empire ruled by Antichrist (Dan. 2:40-43; 7:19-25). Here in chapter 9 we see the prophecy regarding the history of the nation of Israel up until the end of the Tribulation (9:27 and Revelation 19-20) which ushers in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. As Daniel studied the prophecy of Jeremiah (chapters 25, 29) he saw the 70 years of captivity in Babylon ending (v. 2) but God showed him that the entire sweep of Israel’s history would be 490 years of being trampled under by Gentile nations as seen in Leviticus: “If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.” (Lev 26:21) This 490 year period does not include the years of church history which began at Pentecost and will continue until the Rapture of the church prior to the Tribulation at which time the last seven year period of God’s program for Israel will resume (the Tribulation) and conclude with the destruction of Antichrist (“until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one (Antichrist) who makes desolate.” V. 27) and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. (Dan.11:45-12:3) So this prophecy is not about Gentile nations or the church but about God’s program/plan for the nation of Israel.
[“Isn’t it amazing how Israel remains the center stage of the redemptive history of the world? No matter how society tries to find its perspectives in other places, invariably in the time in which we live, we find the focus of the world is drawn to the attention of that little nation smaller than the state of New Jersey in the middle of the Middle East, known as Israel. Why should that place be such an important place? One Bible teacher, who is well-known, was asked at a conference in Europe: Of what significance is the existence of the nation Israel in the world today? To which he replied, “It has utterly no significance at all because God is finished with Israel as of the crucifixion of their Messiah. Is that true? Is God finished with Israel? Listen to this. First Samuel 12:22, Samuel said, “For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name sake.” God will not forsake His people because His reputation is at stake. He is a God who made to them unbreakable promises. He bound Himself to Himself in the Abrahamic covenant. God is not finished with Israel.” John MacArthur http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/27-26/israels-future-part-3]
[“The rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948 was a miracle of history (Ezek. 37:1-11; Luke 21:29, 30). Never before has a nation been destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth, and then, nearly two thousand years later, re-gathered to their homeland and re-established as a nation. When Israel declared itself an independent state on May 14, 1948, still another miracle occurred. The armies of seven Arab nations marched on the newborn State, boasting that they would “push the Jews into the sea.” Outnumbered 100 to 1, Israel not only repelled the invaders but acquired more of Palestine than was granted in the UN partition plan. Yigael Yadin, Israel’s commander of operations in that war, had a terse explanation of Israel’s victory. “It was a miracle!” http://www.bible411.com/nationofmiracles/index.htm]
[“These 10 Bible prophecies were fulfilled in 1948 when Israel became an independent, united nation (the united kingdom divided in 930 BC) for the second time in history, and for the first time in 2,900 years. 1) Jacob’s descendants would regain control of Israel and that they would never be uprooted again – Amos 9:14-15; Written about 750 BC; Fulfilled: Since 1948; 2) Israel would be brought back to life – Ezekiel 37:10-14; Written between 593-571 BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 3) Isaiah spoke of Israel being reborn in one day- Isaiah 66:7-8; Written perhaps between 701-681; BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 4) Israel would be re-established as a united nation (not the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah); Ezekiel 37:21-22; Written between 593-571; BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 5) The second Israel would be more impressive than the first – Jeremiah 16:14-15; Written sometime from 626 to about 586 BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 6) Ezekiel predicted when Israel would be re-established – Ezekiel 4:3-6; Written between 593-571 BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 7) The people of Israel would return to “their own land” – Ezekiel 34:13; Written between 593-571 BC; Fulfilled: after May 14, 1948; 8) God would watch over the people of Israel – Jeremiah 31:10; Written sometime from 626 to about 586 BC; Fulfilled: 1948; 9) Israel’s army would be disproportionately powerful – Leviticus 26:3, 7-8; Written perhaps around 1400 BC; Fulfilled: 1948-49, 1967, etc.; 10) The fortunes of the people of Israel would be restored – Deuteronomy 30:3-5 – Written perhaps 1400 BC-Fulfilled: 1948.” etc. http://watchmanbiblestudy.com/Articles/1948PropheciesFulfilled.htm]
“If his (David’s) sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.” (Psalm 89:30-31) Radmacher, Earl D. ; Allen, Ronald Barclay ; House, H. Wayne: The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version. Nashville : T. Nelson Publishers, 1997, S. Ps 89:34
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, (1) to finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sin, (3) to make atonement for iniquity, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up vision and prophecy and (6) to anoint the most holy place.” (V.24) There are varying views on exactly what is meant regarding these six events. The following interpretation is found in The Bible Knowledge Commentary; Walvoord & Zuck; pp.1361, 1362. By the time these 490 years have run their course God will have completed six things for Israel. The first three have to do with sin and the second three with the Kingdom (Millennial). The basis for first three was provided in the work of Christ on the cross but all six will be realized by Israel at the Second Advent of Christ. (My comment: This refers to the remaining remnant of national Israel which turns to Christ as Savior.)
1) to finish the transgression – Israel’s sin of disobedience will be brought to an end when she repents and turns to Jesus as her Messiah and Savior (the remaining remnant of national Israel near the end of the Tribulation). (See Rom. 11:26; Isa. 59:20-21; Zech. 12:10; 13:8-9; Rev. 12:6)
2) to make an end of sin – Through Jesus Christ, her Substitute would bear the punishment due Israel (and the sins of the world) on the cross.
3) to make atonement for iniquity – This relates to God’s final atonement of Israel when she repents at Christ’s second coming, as the provision for that atonement has already been made at the cross.
4) to bring in everlasting righteousness – This refers to what will characterize the Millennial Kingdom – an age of righteousness. [“A description of the Millennial Kingdom is seen in many of the Old Testament passages (Is. 11:1-11; Jer. 31:31-34; Joel 3:17-21; Amos 9:11-15; Micah 4:1-5) but a brief summary of the nature of the kingdom and the reign of Christ is summarized by Dr. Daniel Akin: Worldwide reign of Christ with Jerusalem the capital of the world; A theocracy (Dan. 7:14; Rev. 19:15), Just, Spiritual, Long-life (death is limited to sinners), Prosperous, Righteous, Ethical, Religiously pure, Socially beneficial (animal and social conditions are transformed), Peaceful.” http://www.lensykes.com/archives/437]
5) to seal up (or complete) vision and prophecy – All that God through the prophets (prophecy) said He would do in fulfilling His covenant with Israel will be fully realized in the Millennial Kingdom.
6) to anoint the most holy place – This may refer to the dedication of the Millennial temple described in Ezekiel 41-46. These six accomplishments summarize God’s whole program for the blessings God promised the nation of Israel through His (unconditional) covenants. (Gen. 15:18-21; 2 Sam. 7:16; Jer. 31:31-34)
1. Summary of promises to Abraham: God’s promises to Abraham can be divided into three types: promises involving the land of Canaan, promises involving the descendents of Abraham and promises of blessing to God’s people.
2. Summary of promises to David: Some of these promises which God gave unconditionally to David were to be fulfilled in David’s lifetime, including his great name (2 Sam. 7:9), and rest from his enemies (2 Sam. 7:11). But the most significant promises of this covenant (2 Samuel 7:16) were designed to be realized by David’s seed, including:
A. The promise that David’s “house” or lineage would endure forever (2 Sam. 7:11, 16; cf. Psalm 89:3-4, 29, 36). The people of Israel will never be eliminated.
B. David’s kingdom will be established forever (2 Sam. 7:13, 16). This kingdom has not continually functioned but it will be established forever into eternity through the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is another strong argument for Premillennialism.
C. David’s throne will be established forever (2 Sam. 7:13, 16; cf. 2 Samuel 3:10; 1 Kings 1:37, 47). This is in reference to the ruling authority of David and will be fulfilled also by the Messiah. While there were many centuries when David’s ruling authority was inactive, it never passed away permanently. This is how Gabriel could indicate the house, kingdom and throne of David would be fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 1:32-33).
3. The New Covenant: The New Covenant is revealed initially in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and is the final covenantal expansion of the Abrahamic Covenant. While the Palestinian Covenant expanded the promise of land from ownership to possession, and the Davidic covenant expanded the promise of descendants from being numerous and a great nation to being an everlasting kingdom, the New Covenant expanded the promise of blessing from a statement of general blessing to a specific disclosure of the type of blessedness — a knowledge of God based on the forgiveness of sin. A. The Parties of the New Covenant – It is clear that God gave the New Covenant to “the house of Israel and the house of Judah” or the people of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31; Heb. 8:7-8). The people of Israel were the literal physical descendants of Abraham and we cannot spiritualize to whom the covenant was given without violating basic hermeneutical principles.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
1. What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life?
2. “The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:1-3) How have people in the past and people today failed to bless Israel and may even curse Israel?
3. “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.” (Joel 3:1-3) How does this apply to us today, both politically and personally?
4. “In a desert land he found him (a metaphor about Israel), in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple (or pupil) of his eye.” (Deut. 32:10) “Whoever touches you (Israel) touches the apple of his eye.” (Zech. 2:8) “On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move (or divide it), but they will only hurt themselves.” (Zech. 12:3) This means that if we do not pray for and work for God’s purposes for Israel/Jerusalem it is like poking God in the eye and hurting ourselves when He responds to protect His people and land. If God so cares for His purposes for Israel, how can we join in and participate in His purposes?
5. “Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD. Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.” (Isa. 62:6-7) So how are we to pray for Jerusalem/Israel?
6. What are the three unconditional covenants God promised Israel and how do they apply to our lives as believers? (Gen. 15:18-21; 2 Sam. 7:16; Jer. 31:31-34; Rom. 11:13-14)
7. Of what significance is the existence of the nation Israel in the world today?