2 Kings 6; 1 Timothy 3; Daniel 10; Psalms 119:1-24
I have always liked Chapter 10 of Daniel. Apparently something of the future of his people was revealed to Daniel that caused him great distress and he went into a period of mourning for three weeks in which he fasted and prayed. Then an angel appears to him-now or the part I like: And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.-Daniel 10:11-12, ESV
What always strikes me about these words is first that Daniel is a man greatly loved by God. God greatly loves His children-we know that because of the great price Jesus paid for our lives, but there is just something about seeing it in writing. And the angel repeats that phrase again in verse 19. And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage."
What strikes me next is that Daniel's words had been heard, and that the angel was sent by God to give Daniel understanding in answer to his prayer. God hears us when we pray-that should give us great encouragement to endeavor to do so. Yet God does more than hear Daniel's prayer, He answers. There have been times when I felt that God was pretty slow to answer my prayers, when I wondered whether He was even listening to me. I guess the first qualification we see here is that Daniel "set his heart to understand." From Daniel's perspective I imagine that word and vision he had that had distressed him so must have seemed pretty awful-the future must have looked pretty bad, but Daniel sought to understand from God's perspective, I am more likely to try to get God to see things from mine. The next thing we are told about Daniel's prayer is that he humbled himself before God. Ah, humility, not something that comes naturally to most of us but is the one repose that makes sense when I come before God-who am I that God even takes notice, much less delivered me from the sentence of death I deserved-who am I that He calls me His own beloved child? Humility recognizes my place in the precious relationship and acknowledges God's supreme authority over all. Oh, how many times have I prayed, "Not my will, but Thine be done" all the while hoping that my will would be done?
Grace, peace, and mercy,