“I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.” Daniel 9:20-23
Daniel had insight into the depravity of man and as well the merciful nature of God. He based his plea for Restoration, not on the past righteousness or the future righteousness of Israel, but on God’s great mercies. For the problem of sin, there is only one answer, turn to God in repentance and commitment. Daniel knew this and this was the focus of his prayer for Israel. The stage is now set for Gabriel to reveal to Daniel God’s purposes for Israel, culminating in Christ’s second coming to establish His kingdom on the earth.
Gabriel stated that the purpose of his coming was to give Daniel “insight and understanding.” Daniel’s prayer was not specifically directed to his own need of understanding God’s dealings with Israel, but this was the underlying assumption of his entire prayer. God wanted to assure Daniel of His unswerving purpose to fulfill all His commitments to Israel, including their ultimate restoration. The commandment to Gabriel to go apparently came from God Himself, although conceivably he might have been sent by Michael the Archangel. Because of the magnitude of the revelation that follows, however, it is better to ascribe it to God Himself. Gabriel had come to show Daniel what was necessary to understand the entire matter of Israel’s program, and specifically, to consider the vision of the seventy weeks described in the verses that follow. Gabriel also spoke of Daniel’s special relationship to the Lord as one who was “greatly loved.” The long preamble of twenty-three verses leading up to the great revelation of the seventy weeks is, in itself, a testimony to the importance of this revelation. The stage is now set for Gabriel to reveal to Daniel God’s purposes for Israel, culminating in Christ’s second coming to establish His kingdom on the earth