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.:. a heart for God

.: a reflection on Daniel 9 & 10

Fran Woods

As a result of reading Jeremiah's prophecy regarding Jerusalem, that the city must lie desolate for 70 years, Daniel turned to God. He donned sackcloth and ashes and fasted pleading with God for mercy. He confessed the sins of his people including himself as a participant in those sins (9:4-19). "O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to your servants ... O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, for your people and your city bear your name."

God sent Gabriel to give Daniel insight and understanding (9:22). Daniel continued to pray and confess his own sin and the sins of his people.

Later Daniel had been in mourning for 3 weeks, fasting by not having rich foods, meat, or wine or using fragrant oils, and he had another vision. This time he was met a most awesome man "dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a dazzling gem. From his face came flashes like lightning, and his eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice was like the roaring of a vast multitude of people" (10:6).
Daniel was so terrified his strength left him, he felt weak and grew deathly pale. When he heard the man speak he fainted. The man lifted him to his hands and knees and spoke. "O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you." (v. 10, 11)

Daniel was in great weakness before the man. He could not speak and needed a touch from him. He could hardly breathe and again needed a touch from the man. Daniel's strength returned. The man said, "Don't be afraid for you are deeply loved by God. Be at peace; take heart and be strong!" Daniel felt stronger. The man was probably Jesus; the glory and holiness of Jesus was overpowering. If Daniel was so overcome by this meeting, what would my experience have been? Probably burnt to a crisp in such a presence!

I find myself drawn to Daniel. His hunger for God and desire to live a holy life was greater by far than any desire for his own comfort and safety. I wonder if God is calling us to have a heart like Daniel's. We need to humble ourselves before God, to grieve and mourn our sins, to confess them to God and to wait for him to act.

God bless you as you ponder whatever God may want to reveal to you from Daniel's life and experience with God.

Copyright© 2005 Fran Woods

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