October 3, 2021
"In the first year of Daryavesh the son of Achashverosh, a Mede by birth who was made king over the Kasdim – in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel was reading the Scriptures..."
“In the first year of Daryavesh the son of Achashverosh, a Mede by birth who was made king over the Kasdim – in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel was reading the Scriptures and thinking about the number of years which the Lord had told Jeremiah the prophet would be the period of Jerusalem’s desolation, seventy years. I turned to the Lord God to seek an answer, pleading with Him I prayer with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God, and made this confession: “Please, Lord, great and fearsome God, who keeps His covenant and extends grace to those who love Him and observe His commands! We have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled and turned away from Your commands and rulings. We have not listened to your servants, the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our leaders, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:1-6
There are many Biblical heroes whom we should seek to emulate, but aside from Jesus, Daniel, perhaps, displayed the most integrity. It is rare to see followers of Jesus who will make a public stand for Him these days, much less those who repeatedly put their lives on the line for their faith. Daniel was that kind of believer. But how did Daniel become so faithful? Today, we get a peek into the source of Daniel’s faith: Scripture.
Before Daniel’s great epiphany, his personal and corporate confession, today’s passage tells us he was reading the Scriptures. He was reading the Scriptures and thinking. That is what we call “meditating” on the Scripture. He was not simply reading it out of duty, and he was not reading it just to hurry up and get to the end. Daniel wanted to know God, personally, and he knew that nothing could give him such a relationship, except for time in God’s Word. Time spent in God’s Word is time spent with God; it is time spent with Jesus because He is, after all, the “Word made flesh.” (John 1:1-2, 14)
Daniel was reading the writings of a prophet named Jeremiah, who, years earlier, had predicted the destruction of Israel and prophesied that Jerusalem’s renewal and rebuilding would act as a catalyst for Israel’s spiritual return to the Lord. Even though the prophetic message Daniel was reading was old, Daniel understood that all Scripture is “living” hence, relevant to every generation.
“For whatever was written in earlier times, was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 5:4
Daniel found hope in Jeremiah’s rebuke, for wrapped in the indictment of sin was the gift of grace if the sinner would repent and follow the Lord! As we continue to read the Bible each day, we should seek that God would reveal the truth of His Word to us, personally, as He did to Daniel. For certain, the apostle Paul esteemed such revelation above all spiritual gifts and a thing we should seek after and share with others.
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1