Hey if anybody’s down to do a little extra reading and Bible study, I highly recommend the book of Daniel! I’m here to give a brief synopsis and a little bit of context to flesh it out, but I highly recommend going to read it right after! Daniel is one of my favorite OT prophets and really has a heart for his own nation, and praying for it. We should go out and emulate him by praying for the world and our own nations as well.
Okay, now let’s jump right in to context:
Daniel is this attractive, intelligent, highly-respected, upper class Jew…during the time when Babylon takes out the kingdom of Judah. He’s then enslaved and placed into his enemy King’s service to do divination (a practice highly abhorred by the Jews) and it’s highly suggested, at least culturally, that he was physically emasculated just like the King’s chief eunuch. There are a myriad of excellent and godly things to learn from Daniel, namely that he asks respectfully for the things he needs (like eating kosher) even from his enemies, and, even when God gives him a prophecy of the downfall of the enemy king, he says “Would it be anyone but you!” to the king of the empire that destroyed many lives, emasculated him, forced Jews into service…
But even greater than these is our vision into Daniel’s relationship with God. We see Daniel’s trust in God when he expects miracles from God, and we see something amazing play out that personally spoke a lot to me. Daniel gets super sick every time he receives a vision, even to be bedridden for several days! Yet he keeps seeking God, and the prayer he prays for the nation of Israel really reveals a lot about the reality of the way we should pray for deliverance. (Daniel 9). Then, something really sad happens: “a great conflict” and Daniel mourns for three whole weeks, fasting and praying, interceding…then an angel comes to him, sent by God, saying that Daniel is greatly loved by God and that God sent the angel on the first day Daniel started to pray, but he was held up because dark angels tried to prevent him from giving Daniel the vision, but he finally got there. So it shows the backdrop of the spiritual war that God fights with his angels to answer our prayers.
But this here is my favorite part. Maybe you’re like me in that you’ve been pissed at God before for seemingly not letting up on the trials and difficulties we go through. I used to say “God, even wrestlers are allowed to tap out! Why aren’t I??” The very next day, I encountered this part in Daniel. Keep in mind that Daniel has been sick for days on end after receiving these visions, and the visions are of the end times, of horrible persecutions and the abomination that makes desolate. PTSD-worthy trauma for sure.
Daniel says “How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”
The angel says “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.”
And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
All glory be to God! We have no need to tap out, only to admit our weakness and cry out to him, and He will strengthen us!
So yeah. I wrote a brief synopsis but read it and meditate on it and pray about it to God yourself.
A closing note on Intellectual Property:
Not all of the ideas in this post are mine. Some of them come from a sermon on Daniel I heard in California. But this is the stance I hold on whether sermons and Christian teaching should be taken as “Intellectual Property.”