Scripture Readings: Daniel 10:10-21

“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. “

Most likely, Gabriel the angel

Still unpacking this heroic scene: Daniel on his hands and knees in and out of consciousnesses, Jesus in all his glory, and now an angel just off the scenes of angelic battle with the King of Persia, aka Satan. It doesn’t get more magnificent than this. Let’s focus on Daniel as a representation of a person we should aspire to be like. Gabriel, our appointed angel in this story, points out in verse 10:11 Daniel was ” a man greatly loved”

As Gabriel mentioned, what does it mean to “set your heart to understand”? Daniel was a man that had a deep understanding of mankind and the requirements needed to be a righteous man. He prayed three times a day, every day. He ate the right foods. He stood up to corruption. Could he do no wrong? Charles Spurgeon wrote in a sermon about this very scripture, that Daniel “had a peculiar anxiety for his own people” He wrote ” did you ever get into that state , and begin to look upon the world, and upon the country, and upon the church, and then fall into a fit of trembling? …..”Truly one might find plenty of room for weeping and lamentation.” Great men and women, past and present, have felt this overwhelming burden about the world around them. They experience an extra sensitivity for the burdens of their kinsmen and those that they “do” life with. Is this a gift? I think so, since Gabriel commends Daniel for his righteousness.

What can we learn from Daniel? First of all, Jesus taught us that “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11) Daniel was indeed exalted. Some of us need more help in this area. Maybe we just need to ask God to “feel more” for our fellow man. It is so easy to develop a hardened heart to our neighbors. We refuse to get involved. We don’t ask questions. We don’t ask God to give us an understanding. We are quick to judge. Ask God to help you to love others better. Every year I come up with a “word of the year”. I pray about it and try to listen. This year, the Lord placed upon my heart the phrase “you are deeply loved” along with a yearning to more deeply love those close to me. I think in order to love more deeply, I have to understand that I am deeply loved by Him. Maybe Daniel’s great understanding was just that simple, he understood how much God loved him, enabling him to fully love others. Ode to be more like Daniel.

Tomorrow we will get more into what Daniel saw in his vision. ” I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth”, said Gabriel. Let the history lesson begin as we gain a better understanding of the political leaders in the life of Jesus and their influence on the world around them.