- The centrality of God’s word. When people ask you questions like, Why do you worship on the
seventh day? Or Why are you so intent about rejecting the reality of the evolution of mankind?
What do you say? Have you ever given an answer similar to Daniel’s when he explained the
source of his understanding of the special time when he was living? What was his explanation?
Do you base your understanding of last-day events on “the books” God has provided? Why
aren’t people more eager than they are to learn from Scripture what is going on? Do you spend
more time now than ever before in understanding the world we live in from God’s perspective?
- An appeal to grace. The Bible contains many powerful prayers, but what gives Daniel’s prayer in
Daniel 9 a special burst of importance? Did you notice that in this prayer Daniel does most of the
talking? What does he say about sinners like you and me, lacking anything that is good, sinful
and without any merit of our own, but asking for grace we don’t deserve and for forgiveness we
haven’t earned? Is this not an example of where each one of us is—or should be—individually,
before God? Compared to the overall importance of this prayer, what is its primary purpose?
- The value of intercession. Have you ever heard a child storming that “it’s his fault” and begging
to be relieved from all responsibility? What is Daniel’s understanding of the people’s spiritual
needs? As sinful as they are and as determined as they seem to be to do things their way rather
than obey God, why does Daniel keep pleading with them to follow God? Doesn’t God know
that He doesn’t always win when he pleads with us to reject sin and follow Him? Why does God,
who is without sin, trouble Himself to plead with His disobedient people? Can you and I
understand the kind of love that God keeps giving us?
- The work of the Messiah. It wasn’t the end of a global virus epidemic, but the prophecy of our
God promising that His people will see their sins forgiven and the cleansing and anointing of the
sanctuary. Read the prophecy and think carefully about each of the circumstances that will grow
and change. Why will it take seventy weeks to accomplish this? Choose your favorite promise
from the list in your lesson book. An example: Since the fall, the human race has been unable to
live up to God‘s standards, but the Messiah will take care of our failures “to make an end to sin.”
- The prophetic calendar. The vision has 2,300 days, but how long does Daniel have to wait
before he has any idea about what those 2,300 days represent? If you have problems
understanding every detail of this vision, what should give you the courage to continue your search
for meaning until Daniel and the Word of God make it all clear to you? The crucifixion of Christ,
the martyrdom of Stephen, and the breaking open of the gospel message to the whole world.
What a display! What rejoicing! Persecution and suffering will come in the final days before
Jesus comes to take us home with Him, but when those “pearly gates” open, last-day trouble
will seem as nothing. Hold on, brother. Hold on sister. Let’s go home!