In the Book of Daniel, we read, “And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood, and when he came, I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said unto me, Understand, oh son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision (which Daniel had just seen). Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground, but he touched me and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed, the end shall be” Daniel 8:16-19. Even though Gabriel gave Daniel the interpretation of his vision, about how the antichrist will come to power and by “peace,” he would “destroy many” (v 25), Daniel said, “And I Daniel fainted and was sick certain days. Afterward, I rose up and did the king’s business and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” Daniel 8:27. He didn’t have a full understanding of his own vision, even after Gabriel explained it to him (v 20-25), because the vision was actually for a time in the future, beyond Daniel’s lifetime. In fact, Gabriel told Daniel, “…therefore, shut up the vision, for it shall be for many days (in the future)” (v 26). Keeping this thought in mind, let’s take a look at the revelation Gabriel gave to Daniel during his next visit: At the end of the 70-year Babylonian captivity, which had been prophesied by Jeremiah, Daniel went outside to the brooks to pray for Israel. “And I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” Daniel 9:3. Daniel meant business. He didn’t just go outside for a few minutes of prayer, only to turn and go about his business for the day. Daniel put on clothes of humility, he denied himself food and he sat in ashes, a sign of complete contriteness before God. The captivity had ended, according to Jeremiah’s prophetic timeframe, and here was Daniel, in ashes before God, praying (still in Babylon) for God’s forgiveness and blessings upon his people. When we get down to business with God, the visions and angelic visitations will come, that is a fact, and they still happen today. “And I prayed unto the Lord my God and made my confession and said, O Lord the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him and to them that keep His commandments” Daniel 9:4. I have to pause here at Daniel’s acclamation, “the great and dreadful God.” This is not a well-publicized attribute of God these days. According to Joel Osteen, who heads perhaps the largest church in America, God is only full of love and there is certainly nothing dreadful about Him. If you have no fear of God, I suppose that would be one’s perspective. Nevertheless, the Word of God tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Psalms 111:10. Daniel had enough faith in God to know that He would bring Israel out of captivity, as Jeremiah prophesied, but Daniel was seeking God’s forgiveness and future blessings on a liberated Israel (by faith) and God’s sanctuary, which lay in ruins. “Yea, while I was speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain (the Temple Mount) of my God; yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me and talked with me and said, ‘Oh Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications, the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you, for you are greatly beloved, therefore, understand the matter and consider the vision” Daniel 9:20-23. Wow, isn’t that something? Daniel had one vision, which was profound, but he was confused about it, but he didn’t shake it off, or become discouraged. A while later, he went back to seeking God, repenting for himself and his people, denying himself food, putting on humble sackcloth, sitting in ashes, and he sought the Lord with all of his heart and soul. Now Gabriel is back before Daniel and it’s not even a vision this time, he is before Daniel to tell him how beloved he is and that he has now been sent by God to give Daniel skill and understanding. God said, “But if you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” Deuteronomy 4:29. That’s all the room I have for this month, so we can continue this study in November’s letter, God willing, and what a blessed study it will be. In the meantime, God bless you with the Light of the Word, as you seek Him with all of your heart and soul.