The presumption of the little horn leads to the cry for judgment. As the ram and the he-goat became great and then were broken (Dan. 8:4, 7-8), so the horn power exalts itself (Dan. 8:9–11). Thus, the question comes, How long will the vision be?
What specific issues are prompting the question in Daniel 8:13?
Although the question singles out a few activities of the horn, perhaps the most horrible ones, it still asks for the length of the entire vision; that is, it is asking about the events shown in the vision of Daniel 8.
In the Scriptures, the question “How long?” always asks for the present situation to be changed. It is found directed to people by God and by His prophets (Exod. 10:3, Num. 14:27, and 1 Kings 18:21). It is also directed to God by His people (Ps. 94:3, Rev. 6:10) and by the angel of Yahweh (Zech. 1:12). The angelic cry “How long?” (Dan. 8:13, 12:6) is a lament over continuous distress, a plea for change, and a call for divine judgment. Such a question expresses the expectation that God will finally triumph.
As in Zechariah 1:13, where Yahweh replied with “gracious words, comforting words” (NASB), the answer to the question in Daniel 8:13 comes right away: Restoration will be underway beginning with a period of “2,300 evenings and mornings” (vs. 14, NASB).
Once we understand the human condition and the prophetic time in which we live, we cannot remain silent. The cry “How long?” needs to go forth. As we look around at our world, how can we not plead for the Lord to come and usher in a new world “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13, NKJV)? Although God is now at work, as promised in Daniel 8:14, we want Him to end the reign of evil here and return in the glory that He has promised time and again.
In which situations have you asked God the question, “How long?” How do you maintain the assurance that God is indeed in control, however dismal your immediate prospects might seem, and no matter “how long” it is taking to resolve the things you want changed?