"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.Daniel 9:25(NASB)
Daniel was given vital information relating to the advent of Christ as Israel's prophesied Crown-Prince. He was appointed to save His people from their sin, to set up His kingdom of heaven on earth, and to sit on David's throne. The angel Gabriel informed Daniel that the coming Messiah would install God's promised kingdom on earth, after a period of 70 'weeks-of-years' (490 years) and the trigger to set this heavenly 'clock' in motion, would be a royal decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
There were 3 decrees issued by various Persian kings, in connection with the Temple and its restoration. However, there was also a 4th decree given by Artaxerxes Longimanus, which related to the restoration of both the city AND the Temple Sanctuary. This was the historic trigger-point which would start Daniel's '70-weeks' moving towards the anticipated advent of their King.
The decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of God was given by the Persian King Artaxerxes, as recorded in the book of Nehemiah – and we discover that although the reconstruction would take place during troubling and disruptive times, both the plaza and the city wall was to be reconstructed with its moat and many city gates.
Time ticked on towards God's appointed hour, and Messiah the Prince arrived, as promised, to set up His everlasting kingdom. He was anointed of God before the foundation of the world, and Israel were to welcome Him and enthrone Him as their King on Zion's holy hill. He was the Seed promised to Abraham, and He was to be crowned as great David's greater Son.
And Daniel's prophetic time-clock climaxed at Christ's First Coming.
It was John the Baptist whom God sent to herald Christ's arrival. John was the prophetic voice, crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord: "The Kingdom of God is near," he cried. Jesus, the Lamb of God and Shepherd of Israel had come to set up His eternal kingdom on earth BUT He was despised and rejected by those He came to save: "We will not have this Man rule over us," was Israel’s final pronouncement, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! His blood be on us and on our children!"
Precision timing on the arrival of their anointed King had been given to Israel, through Daniel. The whole nation was instructed to know and discern that from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there would be seven 'weeks' PLUS sixty-two 'weeks' followed by one final 'week' (490 years).
At the appointed time, their Messiah arrived and made Himself known to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. ALL that had been prophesied by Daniel occurred. Messiah the Prince had come to claim His rightful position on David's throne, but His own people did not receive Him. The nation of Israel rejected their anointed King, which caused God's whole redemptive programme for Israel to be postponed until His Second Coming, when they will finally repent of their sin, recognise their Saviour, and crown Him as their rightful King – on Zion's holy hill.
As we compare Scripture with Scripture, we discover that Christ's postponed kingdom will have to be preceded by one last 'week' – that final week of Daniel '70 week' prophecy, when both Israel and the godless nations on earth will be punished for the rejection of their Messiah and Saviour. That last 'week' of Daniel's great prophecy is that future 7-year period, often referred to as 'The Great Tribulation'. But God in His grace has designed this 7-year Tribulation Period to be the tool that will bring His errant nation, Israel, back into the loving arms of Jesus, the King of the Jews and God of Israel. And they will live in peace and prosperity under Jesus' protection.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have told us the end from the beginning and that despite Israel rejecting and crucifying their God and Saviour, You have not finished with that nation and Your plans and purposes will be finally and fully carried out as recorded in Holy Writ. Help me to understand all that You would have me to learn about the end times in which we live. As we draw ever closer to the final chapter in Your plan of redemption, may I be ready for the soon return of Christ to take His Church to be with Himself, forever. Thank You, Father, that the enemy is unable to thwart Your eternal redemptive plan and that Israel will one day call out to Jesus for salvation, and thank You that He will return, as foretold by Scripture, to set up His kingdom on earth. I praise You that Your unconditional promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and David, stand fast forever and that Your promises to the Body of Christ are 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
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