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Welcome to our journey through the Book of Daniel!
Click HERE to download the 2017 Bible Reading Plan!

DAY 9

— Read: Daniel 9

 
If you could be known for one thing, what would it be?

Daniel tends to get a lot of attention for that night he spent with the lions, but we don’t see lions throughout his entire life. Long before his stint in the lion’s den, we met Daniel as a teenage boy going through Babylon’s best brainwashing program. But the program didn’t work on Daniel or his three friends.

When the king had a bad dream, Daniel didn’t rush in with an interpretation. First, he prayed. And he asked his friends to pray too. It was also Daniel’s fervent commitment to prayer that later gave the satraps a “reason” to condemn him to the lion’s den.

If Daniel was known for one thing, it’s that he was a man of prayer.

In Chapter 9, Daniel records one of the greatest prayers in the Bible. And the pronouns are telling.

Remember how King Nebuchadnezzar liked the pronouns “I” and “me” and “mine”? Well, just look at the pronouns Daniel used in his prayer. He kept saying “we” and “us” and “our”!

I admit I bristled the first time I read this prayer. Daniel was good guy. He lived a life of sincere righteousness in the paragon of paganism. And yet, when he prayed he repeatedly said, “We have sinned and done wrong.”

Wait a minute. Why was Daniel “taking the blame” for the sin of other Israelites?

In the Western world we live in, individualism reigns supreme. We maintain the idea: “To each his own.” But that’s not how the Israelites thought. They saw themselves as a nation comprised of 12 tribes, coming from one family.

Israel’s core identity could not be separated from that of a community. So David includes himself in his prayer of confession.

Notice, too, what Daniel was doing just before he started praying.

“[I]n the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:2-3)

Daniel was reading the “word of the Lord” recorded by the prophet Jeremiah. And what Daniel read in God’s Word brought him to his knees.

I want my time in the Word to bring me to my knees too.

Yeah, I know that some passages of Scripture might seem “drier” than others. But if it’s in the canon of Holy Scripture, then it’s in there for a reason. So I pray and ask God to help me learn from his Word. I pray the words of Psalm 119:18.

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

When we are faithful to pray this prayer, God is faithful to open our eyes to the wonderful things in his law. And every time that happens, it brings me to my knees.


 

— Diving Deeper —

If you could be known for one thing, what would it be?

 

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Denise J. Hughes

A lover of words and the Word. Author of #DeeperWaters and the #WordWriters Bible studies.

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