“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which were specified by the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the accomplishment of the desolations of Jerusalem, that is, seventy years. I set my face toward the Lord God to seek by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:1-3) “…indeed, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. He informed me and talked with me, and said, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.’” (Daniel 9:21-22)
Unusual pursuit of God always yields an unusual response from God. We see in this chapter there was an aspect of tradition in Daniel’s fast, in regard to his mourning for the sins of Israel with sackcloth and ashes. But it’s important to note that in no other place in the Old Testament scriptures do we see God sending an angel to minister to someone who was fasting traditionally. Notice that it was the unusual aspect of Daniel’s fast in regard to his request from God to hear about the future that provoked God’s unusual response.
It was not common, during a fast, to request something from God; but Daniel did. If we continue to read this chapter, leading in to the following chapters, we find that not only did God send the angel Gabriel (pause and think about that for a moment), not only did God answer Daniel’s questions about the future of Israel, but God was so pleased with Daniel’s self-consecration that He showed Daniel EVERYTHING that was going to happen from then unto the end of the world!
Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: “The Father, Who sees in secret, shall reward openly…” In a time prior to New Covenant benefits, we see Daniel conducting himself in a New Covenant type of fast, and receiving New Covenant reward from The Father. Psalm 84:11 declares: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” The uprightness of setting aside all else to receive what only God can provide will ALWAYS produce supernatural reward! Daniel’s unusual consecration put him into a category of men that very few have achieved, unlocking secrets “kept hidden before the foundations of the world.”
Personal Prayer Point:
“Father, make my desire to seek after you unusually. Carve out from me all indifference and complacency. Ignite my heart to pursue secrets in You that I have never known.”
Scripture to stand on:
(Proverbs 25:2 — Jeremiah 33:3 — Psalm 119:130)
Corporate Prayer Point:
“Father, don’t let a single service pass this year with this congregation remaining the same. Cause every gathering, every service, to be a catalyst for significant growth in the life of every member of this church.”
Scripture to stand on:
(1 Corinthians 14:26 — 1 Thessalonians 3:12 — 2 Thessalonians 1:3 & 12)