I was concerned about my health over a few days and eventually decided to visit my doctor of some 30 years. I explained my thoughts and fears and he gave me what I would call a “checkup from the feet to the head”. He was very happy with his physical examination saying I was very healthy for my age. However, he wanted to have the blood works (blood tests) done for eight different aspects that he could not see, hear or feel. It was the prostate, liver, kidneys, thyroid, sugar, bone marrow, stool and full blood count. All the tests returned “good” or “normal”. Yes, I was delighted and thanked the Lord.
What do you do when you feel ill or think something is wrong inside? You go to the doctor. If the doctor cannot determine what the problem is, he sends you to a surgeon or for blood tests. In the case of blood tests, the results don’t lie … they tell the truth!
Now, if you want to know something about God, Christianity, Doctrine, Prophesy, Salvation, etc. … what do you do? You may do two things …
(1) See your pastor or a mature Christian who could help you. Normally they will refer you to the Bible and what it says … or …
(2) You can go straight to the Bible and find the answers for yourself.
As we return to Daniel we find in chapter 9 that he had a problem … a problem that caused him to search the Scriptures.
1) The time frame.
Da 9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom.
We were introduced to Darius from:
Da 5:30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
(See Daily Notes back then). He was known as Darius the Great.
2) The use of Scripture. Daniel had a problem. He did what every Christian ought to do before anything else
Da 9:2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
(i) By this time the kingdom of Babylon has fallen and it was expected amongst the serious minded Jews that the captivity ought to end as well.
(ii) Daniel, being a man of God would read and search the Scriptures at his disposal. It seems as though Daniel and Jeremiah were contemporaries. If they did not know each other they knew of each other because Daniel read at a minimum, parts of the writings of Jeremiah. It was according to the Scriptures he had, which he believed was God’s Word given to the prophet Jeremiah … and most likely that the following passages are what Daniel read and studied …
Jer 25:9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The way we view the Bible as inspired, inerrant and authoritative is the way Daniel viewed the portions of the Old Testament he had. [iii] He understood a time frame. Through diligent use and study of the Word He observed or perceived what God had spoken through Jeremiah. God’s Word was important to him. He knew he needed to trust it and rely upon it. In both passages God is saying the exile will last 70 years. If the desolation of Jerusalem started in 606 BC, then now that it was Darius’s first year of reigning, then the exile or the period of desolation was almost completed. How did Daniel know this? He had studied the Word of God carefully to understand this. Right here there is an important lesson for the people of God. Far too often Christians follow so called “prophecies”, said to be from God only to realize later that these “messages” were not from God. Beloved, do not be gullible and believe things that cannot be properly substantiated from the Bible. Many people teach weird and wonderful things, using words, phrases, concepts, parts of a verse or theological concepts applied incorrectly. Never forget that using a text out of context enables the user to make that text a pretext. This means the user can superimpose their ideas onto the verse or passage and make it say what they want. That is an assassination of God’s Word. Having said this, Daniel did not superimpose his thoughts or ideas onto the Jeremiah passages. The Spirit of God gave him an understanding of what the prophet said by showing him the beginning of the exile … that would last 70 years. The time was almost! With the record of history available we know this was accurate. Our problem is when people make statements about what God is going to do based upon some twisted understanding of a Bible verse, phrase or passage. Many have predicted the end of the world on a certain date. Each time the date came and then passed. I recall a certain so called modern day prophet declaring that the City of Welkom would fall into a hole. I was the pastor of one of the churches during this so called prophecy in the late 1980’s. It is now 2022 and Welkom still exists. Be very cautious. Don’t trust just anyone. Trust men who are thoroughly Biblical, reformed and evangelical. But before you do, you need to …
(1) Believe the Word of God … that is, Genesis to Malachi and Matthew to Revelation.
(2) Trust the Word. You cannot trust the Bible because a pastor says you should. You can only trust the Bible once you use it, study it, know it and appropriate what it says.
(3) The Bible is God’s Word. It is the only Word that He will ever give you on this earth. Dare to be a Daniel … use it, believe it and trust it.
Our Father, Thank you for the Bible. It is Your road map for our lives and our eternity. Help us to use it wisely. Amen