When we were last together in this series, Daniel was in captivity in Babylon. Because of his youth Daniel was not aware that the Prophet Jeremiah had sent a letter to Israel’s religious leaders who were also held in captivity. What did the letter say?
For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed…for they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord…for thus says the Lord: after seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place…Jer. 29:8-10. Why was it urgent that Jeremiah’s letter reach the captives in Babylon?
It was God who compelled Jeremiah to write this letter to warn the captives that they have been infiltrated by false prophets, who have promised them a speedy escape from their captivity. They assured the captives they would return to Israel within two years…Jer. 28:1-17.
In this letter, God warned the religious leaders not to listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. Apparently these prophets successfully convinced the people that God had given them dreams of direction, so they can be trusted. But these dreams were not from God, warns Jeremiah.
The prophets in captivity assured the people that God has shown them in dreams that they will only have to endure captivity for two years. Jeremiah said in his letter that God did not send those prophets, He did not give them the dreams they claim He gave to them, because their time in captivity in Babylon will be 70 years – not 2 years. Sadly, every generation has its false prophets who are revered and lauded up to and including the twenty-first century.
Jesus warned us about false prophets, but they always sound so knowledgeable and make their listeners confident that they have figured out God and His prophecy of scripture, even though the Prophet Peter warned us that…no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit…II Pet. 1:20-21. Nonetheless, we seem mesmerized by dreams and visions of men who say that God gave them, even if the content contradicts, or twists scripture. We are so easily deceived.
As the 70 years of punishment were drawing to a close, Daniel found and read Jeremiah’s letter revealing…after seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. Daniel finally understood why his people were in captivity, yet they had not repented of their disobedience. So he began to weep before the Lord and confess the sins of his people, saying,
Yes, all Israel has transgressed your Law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you…and He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem…as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayers before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth…Dan. 9:11-13.
As Daniel matured in his knowledge of the prophets and the law, he realized that Israel had become slaves to a pagan nation because they had ignored God’s commandment to observe the Sabbath Rest for the land for seventy years – so God took their land from them for 70 years…Lev 25:1-55. Daniel began to intercede for the future of his people, saying,
O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us…now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face too shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake…O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies…O lord, hear; O Lord forgive; O Lord hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name…Dan. 9:16-19.
Then the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel. What did he say? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question~~~