This sermon was preached at WPC Belconnen’s Sunday evening service on November 14, 2021. The Bible passage being expounded is Daniel 9:20-27.
Daniel chapters 1-6 are encouraging accounts of how God sovereignly cared for and protected His servant Daniel in Babylon – which reminded His people that God was still on His throne a and was watching over them even while they were in exile in Babylon. But Daniel 7-12 records a series of often strange visions God gave Daniel, to show Him and the people of Israel – and us, God’s Gospel Gathering – the things to come – many of which have been fulfilled between the time of Daniel and us. And one of the most cryptic chapters in Daniel is Daniel 9. After Daniel has prayed for God to show mercy to the Jews in exile in Babylon, God sends the angel Gabriel to comfort Daniel and give him insight. Gabriel then gives Daniel an overview of the things to come for God’s people – and he describes the times of suffering and blessing to come, all in terms of multiples of seven. And so, we’re left with a strange description of many multiples of seven – whose precise meaning has divided and confused Bible scholars for the past 2000 years. So even as we wrestle with some of the strange numbers and symbols in this passage, we must keep our eyes on the message that is being taught throughout. God is in control and He is working all things together for His glory. We should not be afraid no matter what dark times may come. We just need to trust God.