Daniel 9

* Daniel considers the time of the captivity. (1-3) His

confession of sin, and prayer. (4-19) The revelation concerning

the coming of the Messiah. (20-27)

1-3 Daniel learned from the books of the prophets, especially

from Jeremiah, that the desolation of Jerusalem would continue

seventy years, which were drawing to a close. God's promises are

to encourage our prayers, not to make them needless; and when we

see the performance of them approaching, we should more

earnestly plead them with God.
4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the

sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and

dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions

against it. It must be our confession, the language of our

convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to

God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and

as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's

greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a

penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people

for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must

thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment

of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true

penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men

to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is

a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God

has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to

recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and

humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There

are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but

forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was

under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach

to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of

the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest

request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former

enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only,

but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and

defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the

petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord

of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon

sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers

this must be our plea, we must make mention of his

righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing

earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.
20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and it

is a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God should

send answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray with

fervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith take

the promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He is

faithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and more

glorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work out

for his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquainted

with Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The evening

offering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offer

in the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrifice

Daniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, this

glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have,

in verses #24-27|, one of the most remarkable prophecies of

Christ, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jews

are guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting another

Messiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming.

The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About the

end of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making full

atonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for

the complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, in

the crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which the

measure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles would

come upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful man

come through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once for

sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.

Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of our

entrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirms

the covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings of

salvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. How

can those escape who neglect so great salvation!
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