The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that in the last days, as calamities fall, God will call away a remnant to be shut up with Him. One of the prophets, Daniel, understood God’s divine time clock for his day because he had studied the prophets of the past. “I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:2-3).
By studying the prophecies of Jeremiah, Daniel discovered that the seventy years of exile for Israel were about over. Jeremiah 29:10-11 says, “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. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (NKJV).
Why wasn’t Daniel rejoicing? Why didn’t he grab the promise by faith and just rest? Why did he start weeping, praying and fasting, and sitting in sackcloth? Because he found that there was also a condition for all this goodness happening. Yes, God promised to deliver, to do them good, but there stood verses 12-14 in the same chapter: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.”
Sin, or being disinterested, can thwart God’s promises. Daniel discovered from Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy that Israel would be scattered because of sin but he also noted the promise that she could be delivered. “But if from [captivity] thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).