“O Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went forth, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly beloved…” Daniel 9:22-23
This “man” Gabriel was the same messenger who shocked Mary with the news that she had found favor with God. Interestingly, this special angel, consistently associated with the Incarnation, also told Daniel, “…in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him” (11:1). In his prophetic office, Daniel “catalogued” rulers and realms, emphasizing that their appearance on the stage of world history existed solely to fulfill God’s redemptive purposes. Listing the Roman Empire last, he wrote, “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people…” (2:44).
Daniel’s exemplary service to pagan rulers came with rich rewards. In his service to the King of kings he practiced humility that made for a broken heart and crushed spirit. In his pivotal prayer of confession, he personally identified himself 32 times with sinful Israel that had so consistently spurned their Covenant God’s love. As Christ’s greatly beloved, we can rightly expect supernatural support to keep us focused and fervent in our specialized calling. What if God waits for our “pivotal praying” to send His help? (Part 2 or 2)
Comment: Habakkuk foretold that the invading Chaldeans would lead to Israel’s Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah revealed that the exile would last 70 years. Cyrus the Great, king of the Persians, ended it. Astoundingly, God stirred up in this formidable heathen conqueror’s heart an acute desire to see Jerusalem rebuilt and temple worship restored. Isaiah 45:1-6 invites us to marvel at the honor and power the Holy One of Israel bestowed on him, “though you do not acknowledge me.” In other words, Cyrus didn’t know God personally, but that didn’t tie His hands. Funny, that Joshuah would come to mind also. At the pivotal historic moment where Israel is to set foot in the Promised Land, the spies dispatched to Jericho are helped by Rahab the Harlot, not Reuben the Righteous. If we’re starting to fidget at the thought of God thinking outside our political box when it comes to addressing America’s woes, we might seek comfort in the promise of Christ’s soon Second Coming. There are enough numbers in Daniel’s prophetic writings to jumpstart various predictions or projections, but if the visions rattle the finite mind, let’s not wait up at night for pivotal angelic counsel. And there it is again, the peculiar word that seems to stir up something in our heart and hints that God might be waiting for our “pivotal” confession to untie His hands. He actually prescribed it legibly enough in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “…if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Daniel 9