As a student of prophecy, Daniel understood that according to Jeremiah, Israel would face 70 years of captivity. This period began in 606 B.C. when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem.

Lesson 9 - Always on Time!

God’s purposes are always on time. Although His plans, at times, might seem delayed, they will be fulfilled at the precise moment He wills. The prophecies of the Bible reveal God’s grand design. Nations rise and fall on time. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, was born on time (Galatians 4:4). As we will study in our lesson today, God’s final judgment, which decides the destiny of the entire human race, will occur on time. In the great timetable of heaven, Christ will come again on time. Although no human being knows the day or hour of Christ’s coming (see Matthew 24:36), our loving, heavenly Father knows the time of His return (see Acts 1:7), and He will come again precisely on time.

This assurance gives us confidence. History is not composed of random occurrences. God stands behind all earthly events—even those which seem to make no sense at all—guiding all history to one glorious event, the second coming of Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that God actively causes despotic, ruthless, bloodthirsty, tyrannical rulers to kill millions. Never! It does mean that in spite of their horrible actions which are motivated by Satan himself, God is still in charge. Ultimately, His purpose will be accomplished. Finally, His plans will be complete.

Our lesson today is a graphic illustration that the purposes and plans of God know no haste or delay. What He does, He does on time. He is never late. This should give us great confidence.

Never Late! Questions 1-5

Question 1

As a student of prophecy, Daniel understood that according to Jeremiah’s prophecy, Israel would face seventy years of captivity. This period began in 606 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem. In the first year of Darius (539 B.C.) the captivity was coming to an end. Daniel longed for the deliverance of his people.

Question 2

God is the keeper of the covenant—the One who is trustworthy. He fulfills His purposes.

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

You will recall that, in our previous chapter, the angel Gabriel was commissioned to make Daniel “understand the vision” (Daniel 8:16). Unfortunately, Daniel fainted before a full explanation was made (verse 27). When chapter 8 ended, Gabriel had not accomplished his God-ordained mission. The portion of the vision applying to the time of the end (verse 17) was still a mystery to Daniel. Here, in chapter 9, Gabriel returns to answer the prayer Daniel prayed in the first part of chapter 9 and to explain the unexplained portion of chapter 8—the 2,300 days applying especially to the time of the end.

The Vision of the 2,300 Days Explained: Questions 6-9

Question 6

Daniel was instructed by Gabriel to “consider the matter” and “understand the vision.” We might ask, “What matter? What vision?” The answer is obvious. Gabriel is talking about the vision of the previous chapter that Daniel didn’t understand when the chapter ended—the vision of the 2,300 years. “What matter?” The cleansing of the sanctuary in earth’s final judgment at the end of time. Gabriel’s explanation does two things:

  1. It explains the unexplained portion of the vision of chapter 8.
  2. It answers Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9.

Question 7

In the Hebrew language, the word “determined” means “cut off from.” The seventy weeks applying to Daniel’s people were “cut off from” the 2,300 days (or literal years), taking us down to the general time period known as the “time of the end.”