Imagine you’d been fasting 21 days. You had an issue you were seeking the counsel of God for.
Then you have a vision of a man. The people with you don’t see it but they suddenly become so afraid they run away.
It may be a hunger-induced hallucination. But then the man in the vision speaks.
This is not a Halloween tale or a movie script. I’m referring to the prophet Daniel’s experiences as noted in Daniel chapters ten through twelve of the Bible. I suggest you stop and read it, then my commentary will make more sense.
Here is what stood out to me:
Point 1: Words of reassurance preceded instruction. In Daniel 10:11-12, we see the first words out of the messenger’s mouth tell terrified Daniel how much he is loved by God. Then he tells him not to fear, in case the prophet thought he was about to be smitten. “And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.”
Think about that a moment. God or the angel (I’m not sure exactly who this particular messenger is) KNOWS the fragile nature of humanity. He knows his appearance is intimidating … (His body was hard and glistening as if sculpted from a precious stone, his face radiant, his eyes bright and penetrating like torches, his arms and feet glistening like polished bronze, and his voice, deep and resonant, sounded like a huge choir of voices …. The MSG). Therefore, reassurance is his first message.
Then again in chapter 10, verse 19, the messenger repeats, “Oh man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” It was important to the messenger that Daniel relax so he could comprehend the message. We can’t focus or understand when we are terrified or stressed. The communique was vital.
Point 2: Daniel’s prayers for his nation had been heard. “I have come because of your words” (Daniel 10:12). It is beneficial for us to remember that God hears our prayers for America and every nation. The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective, so don’t be moved by what you see. Be moved by God’s Word.
Point 3: There is a kairos time for the strategic plans of God. Just because God’s plans were revealed to Daniel did not mean they’d come to pass immediately. But divinity wanted to reassure humanity that there was a higher plan, the order of world events was not random (despite seeming chaos) and that it would all unfold … in due time. This gives me immense comfort in 2018.
Point 4: Holiness will define and set us apart as Christians. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10 (The MSG).
To conclude, Daniel is told about events to come at a future time. The message ends with a final admonishment: Blessed is he who waits … my paraphrase – blessed are they that still believe in God and do not deny the faith at the end of those 1,335 days (3 1/2 years). The Message version reads “patiently make it through”.
When you read this headline, did the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 come to mind? Blessed are they that mourn, blessed are the meek, etc? Now you can add one more. Blessed are they that wait ... for the return of the Lord, Jesus Christ and do not deny their faith. Come quickly, Lord Jesus … but until then, we wait expectantly and pray. Amen.
Find more devotional readings of this nature in Lion in My Garden: Devotional Activity Journal by Kathryne Leach.
Christian author and inspirational speaker of truth that makes the darkness tremble. Author of two non-fiction books.