"And the problem with the church ? Well, it's not us. It's modernism, or it's sacerdotalism, or it's materialism, or the bishops, or Marx, or Freud. It is always conveniently out there away from us. Daniel says that it is "we who have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled. We have turned away from your commandments and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets" (9:5&6). What is the difference between ourselves and the other people of our town ? Are we less wicked ? No. It is just that we have seen our sin for what it is. We have acknowledged our behaviour as reprehensible. We have put it before God and we have not attempted to cover it. The Lord's congregations are the only bodies in the whole world who admit and confess their sin. "
Daniel has lived all his life in Babylon. The return to Jerusalem during the long years of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar seemed an increasingly impossible fancy. Yet the Scriptures said that in 70 years the exile would end. What lies in store for God's people ? The return to Jerusalem. Certainly that. But no lasting peace in this world. Hope lay not in the land but in the Lord from heaven. Let Daniel and all God's people look to him. Gabriel summarises the six Messianic accomplishments of this period of seventy sevens (9:24):
1] Transgression will be finished. Caused by men, sin and guilt have lived on as an ugly reality. But the Messiah will effectively put transgression away with a shout of triumph, "It is finished !" God's alienation from us will be ended.
2] Sin will be put to an end. This reality of the termination of the guilt, dominion and condemnation of sin is repeated.
3] Wickedness will be atoned for. It will be by the sacrifice of the Messiah that the end of sin will be achieved.
4] Everlasting righteousness will be brought in. This righteousness was first outside this world but it will be brought in from God through the Messiah and it replaces the sin which has been atoned for.
5] The vision and prophecy will be sealed up and completed. In the Old Testament dispensation the prophet represented God who made himself known by visions to his servants. That entire prophetic institution was preparatory for the coming and words of the Son of God when the end of that anticipatory period would be sealed.
6] The most holy will be anointed. This phrase appears to refer to the enduing of the Messiah with the Spirit of God.