Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dragon Slayer

It was a sermon I heard when I was a third year student at university during 2003. This has stuck with me ever since and I often refer to it to others, but also internalise it. Something learned, I have to share.

In the book of Joshua 11 God tells this Israelites that He will lead them in a battle. He will help them destroy the armies of all the kings that inhabit the land. Joshua and his army have to plunder the cities, hamstrung their horses and burn their chariots. He had to kill everyone, including the kings.

And so Joshua did. Every battle was won since Joshua obeyed everything the Lord told him. Verse 23: So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war. This was, apart from verse 22: No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.

Was this part of the plan?

If you read the entire book you will learn that the people who lived in the hill country of Gath were giants. Where else in the Bible do we learn about giants? Yes, you guessed correctly: Golliath, the giant who joined the Philistines in battle against the Israelites many years later: 1 Samuel 17. In verse 4 you will learn that he was a decedent from Gath...

Is this not irony at its best??? Years later another giant appears, again against the Israelites, again at war. BUT, that is the whole point! Had Joshua and his army killed the giants during their time, their kids would not have to battle against them again.

What can we learn from this thousands of years later? Simply this: deal with your issues, your sins. Make an end to them before you pass them on to the next generation. Let us not allow our kids to face the same problems we face today.

Slay those giants, before they steal from you!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Abraham - Father of the faith #4 (the ultimate!)

Hebrews 11:8 - By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.


By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.


And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.


By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.


Is there anything else I should say regarding Abraham? He laid a foundation for us. There is even a childhood song regarding Father Abraham and his many sons, I am one of them and so are you...


The last part that the author writes is fascinating, though. Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. I know no man that would do such a thing. I couldn’t. how then did Abraham know that this is what was going to happen? Did he know, or was it only faith in God? Did he maybe know the Lords will that well?


I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I should trust the Lord more often, and listen to His voice, in order to ensure that I too get to a point in my walk with Him that I can KNOW.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Noah - Father of the faith #3

Hebrews 11: 6 - By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

In Genesis 5 the Bible tells us about Noah. Verse 29 - And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.

Genesis 6 verse 8 -  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

An interesting story indeed. Just think about it, Noah did something for which, I am sure, he was laughed at, joked about and pretty much everyone thought he was crazy. If you know how the story ends you would know that Noah and his family is saved from the flood and all animals were kept alive.

But how/why?

Verse 22 has the secret to that success: Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Just as we should...

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Enoch - Father of the faith #2

In verse 5 of chapter 11 of the letter to the Hebrews we get reminded of someone who lived very close to God: By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
When we have a look at the detail in the Bible regarding Enoch, there isn’t much, Genesis Chapter 5 from verse 18: When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died. When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
It raises a lot of questions, such as:
          - Did Enoch not walk faithfully with God for the first 65 years?!!!!
          - He was no more? Seriously? Or is this by way of speaking?
          - In Jude 1:14-15 Enoch is quoted, but there is no other reference to him. How did Jude know what Enoch said? (apparently there is a book of Enoch that does not form part of the Bible…)
More importantly, though, I believe, is the verse 6 after the author said that Enoch pleased God: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Is this it? 1 – I have to believe that He exists, and 2 – I should earnestly seek Him.
I believe it is that simple. Believe Him and in Him. Also, seek Him with all my heart.
You see, it is very easy to believe IN God, for most of us grow up that way. The trick comes when we have to believe Him. Those times when He gives us a word or prophecy and we just cannot see that it will ever come into fruition. Or those trying times when we feel like questioning everything. That is when we have to believe IN Him, trust Him.
Then, to seek Him is a daily, on-going, repeating event. A lifestyle, more than just separate once-off stops in our life.
If only I could be half as effective in this area as Enoch was…

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Abel - Father of the faith #1

As we saw in Hebrews chapter 11, the author refers to Abel as a father of the faith, verse 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
In Genesis chapter 4, verse 2, we see the story of Abel: Later she gave birth to his (Cain’s) brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering - fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
I always looked at this thinking that the Lord was a bit harsh, as Cain could not help that he works with soil. Was there, by that time, a specific law stating that you have bring a blood offering? I don’t think so… So what is the issue here?
You see, it’s does not lie in what we bring to the Lord, but rather in how we live our lives. We can pretend and do whatever is pleasing in other people’s eyes, but only the Lord knows our hearts. Look again at verse 7: If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Only now does it make sense to me that this story probably had nothing to do with the offering, but rather with the lives they lived. Abel lived a life of faith, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews noted, while sin was crouching at Cain’s door.
Let us not try and impress other through our lives, but rather live a life of faith.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The NOW faith

I have recently read the letter to the Hebrews a few times. It is quite an interesting letter, for a few reasons. One of them, which I enjoy a lot, is that the author knows the scripture, but does not quote the extract ones. He only refers to the fact that he knows it is written somewhere. It indicates to me that we are all human, all normal.

Another interesting part of the Hebrews is the well-known chapter 11. It tells us what faith is, and also lists the fathers of faith:
 - Abel,
 - Enoch,
 - Noah,
 - Abraham,
 - Isaac,
 - Jacob,
 - Joseph,
 - Moses,
 - Rahab, and then a whole list of others, including Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets.

We will look at them over the next while or so. True legends of faith. For now, let us have a look at faith.

It starts in verse one and catches my eye immediately: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. You see, it is about us. It is not about what will happen, or the future, or a promise, or whatever. It is about us, NOW. 

We should have a level of confidence in what we hope for. An assurance. We should be assured that whatever lies ahead is planned to perfection. It is more that just believing, it is knowing. It should be a fact to us, like knowing that the earth turns.

We have to learn to know faith

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


These days almost all animation movies are in 3D. We even went to watch a Soccer World Cup 2010 game in 3D. It seemed like we were at the game itself! With 3D it is as if you form part of the movies. Objects fly past you and people stand out from the background.

For 3D to be effective, you need to wear one of these:

How does it all work, though? For video to work, it requires 3 primary colours: red, blue and green. If all three are not present you won't find colour television. In a 3D movie the developers place two layers of video on to of each other. The one layer does not have red in it, while the other does not contain blue. 

Our are eyes are used to see, but it is actually our brains that forms the picture. By virtue of the fact that we put these ridiculous glasses on our eyes, we are able to see the image in 3D.

So, how is this relevant to us, apart from the fact that it is interesting? The same thing happens in our everyday life. Everyday there are things that happen around us that we do not see. Blessings, love, joy, sorrow, needs, other people etc. All things we neglect from time to time since we cannot see.

How do I learn to see then, since I have eyes? There is only one tool: read the Bible. Through that we will be able to see things that the Lord wants us to see. We will become who He wants us to be. And if the Bible seems like jargon, ask Him to break it open for you, cause His Spirit inspired it, His Spirit will also reveal it to you.

He is our 3D glasses to this life

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Am I rich?

Many a time have I wondered what I would do if I had to win the lottery. Not that I play or take part... Would I spend it all, would I invest it, would I start a charity? I do not know yet, but then again, guess I won't have that problem until I play!

The bigger question is if the money you have make you truely rich? Most people do not have enough money, even though in SA there is a great devide between rich and poor. How does it happen that we consider ourselves as 'not rich' when we form part of the top 10% income earners? Makes no sense...

Money can't buy happiness is the old saying, but if money does not make me rich, what does? I've heard someone saying that the things that makes us rich are those that we cannot buy with money: friends, family, love, respect, a smile, etc.

There is a song sung by Lukas Maree, an afrikaans artist that passed away not long ago. He sings about the widdow that had to fill the clay pots with oil. As she kept pouring, more and more oil came out of her small pot. Read the story in 1 Kings 17: 
11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."

12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die."

13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.'"

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

See, it is quite simple: the more you are willing to give, the more you will receive. Not to enrich yourself, but for the Glory of God. For as Lukas Maree says: for it is the things we give away that makes us rich...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Oh, hear my heart Lord

Dear Lord

I know that you love me. I know that you only want the best for me. You think of me and about me the whole day, for eternity onwards. Long be for I came to this earth did you know me inside out. You are always there for me. You are always ready to help. You are always smiling over me, even if I am not at my best.

There is nothing that I can do to impress you. I can do my level best not to be a disappointment to you, but will not always succeed. Your decision to choose me was made years ago and you do not give up on your word. You do not change your mind. You are the only constant in my life.

There are so many questions that I need to ask you. The only thing is, I already know the answer, since your plans for me are all good. There are so many times that I doubt these plans, but I know that you will never let me get tested beyond my limits. There are times in my life when I think that you will give up on me, but I know that you can’t, since you live in me.

The day I chose to live for you was the day my life turned around for ever. I wish that I can share this great love you have for me with everyone I know. I wish everyone on earth could feel it and then share it, live by it. Make me humble and grateful rather than selfish and unconcerned.

Thank you for giving me life. Help me to keep choosing life!

I praise you and love you.


Thursday, 28 February 2013


The End Times

12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise[a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”

5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.[b] When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.

8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.

13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.


11 1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)

The Kings of the South and the North

2 “Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3 Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. 4 After he has arisen, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.

5 “The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power. 6 After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power[a] will not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father[b] and the one who supported her.

7 “One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. 8 He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone. 9 Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. 10 His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress.

11 “Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. 12 When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. 13 For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.

14 “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. 15 Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. 16 The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. 17 He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans[c] will not succeed or help him. 18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. 19 After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more.

20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.

21 “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time.

25 “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.

29 “At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.

31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.

33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

The King Who Exalts Himself

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.[d]

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites[e] in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at[f] the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.


Daniel’s Vision of a Man

10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war.[a] The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.

2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man[b] touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”
When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”

20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Obviously he prayed. Way more than us, I think...

Daniel’s Prayer

9 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 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. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

The Seventy “Sevens”

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”