The Seventy Weeks
Daniel 9:24-27 ESV
This scripture reminds me of a story.
When I was young and I would read a passage of scripture that I totally didn’t understand (like Daniel’s story of the seventy weeks) and my dad would ask me what my first thought or impression was about that scripture. He told me to stick to the facts given and not to add anything…just state the facts. For example, state the facts outlined in Daniel 9:24-27. This is the scripture Gabriel told Daniel about the Seventy Weeks, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
The first time he asked me that question I told him I had no idea what it was about.
So he asked me what I did know?
That really confused me. So I answered, not a lot.
He reiterated the question and told me to think about what I do know. I need to add that my dad repeated reminded me to “think”. At some point I realized I wanted me dad to think for me and that’s why he kept telling me to “think”. I finally got the message.
As part of the exercise, I was told to go through the scripture line by line.
Well okay…there is a ‘thing’ about seventy weeks and the holy city.
Research shows that seventy weeks refers to ending sin and an atonement and everlasting righteousness.
There will be a seal for the vision and the prophet and an anointing of a holy place.
Then there will be a restoration and an anointed one who is a prince (and there will be seven weeks).
Then for sixty two weeks the anointed one will be cut off and have nothing.
The prince of the people will destroy the city and the sanctuary and the end will come with a flood or like a flood and then there will be a war.
There will be a covenant for one week and half of the week will sacrifice and offering will end.
On the wing of abominations someone who makes things desolate until the end is poured out on the one who is desolator.
So then I said to my dad, but it doesn’t say when.
My dad said, “that is correct.”
But, I argued…I want to know when. Will it be in my lifetime?
My dad said, “only God knows that”.
I went through the one line descriptions I wrote from the passage and asked, “what are the seventy weeks?”
My dad said, “God knows.”
I asked, how will the atonement happen, or has it happened when Jesus died on the cross?
My dad said, “God knows”.
With each line I told my dad what I do not know and with each line and he reiterated, “God knows.”
Finally I said, why did Daniel include a scripture that he didn’t understand and there weren’t really any answers for, and in the end the conclusion was that I don’t know and God knows.
At that, my dad smiled and asked me, why WOULD God give Daniel prophetic words that were not specific and clear as to the time and the place.
(Understand that when I had discussions like this with my dad I was often dead set on getting an easy answer so that I could feel like I knew something earth shattering. And, at the end of the discussion I was usually just ready to be done with it because it was hard.)
I probably said something like, I don’t know, why?
Then my da would smile and tell me to THINK.
That’s when I would start to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
My dad would remind me to look at the facts. He was an engineer, so I knew he wanted me to see the parts.
Well…after each sentence or part when I wanted to know when or how, my dad reminded me that God knows.
Why was it a deal that God knows?
He would ask me, so why IS it a deal that God knows?
Ohhhhh…because God KNOWS! I don’t have to know because God is in charge and God knows!
Bingo…God is God and I am not.
In the end God knows and God has it all covered.
Spiritual Practice: God Knows
Let God be God. Think about it and embrace that.
In God, Deborah