Only a few verses for today. From Daniel’s life. A life lived almost completely in exile, far away from his native country. In Babylon. Working for kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus. Daniel, the old man, is tired. Drained and empty.
‘In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks…I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed…a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees…'(Daniel 10: 2, 8, 10). It’s here, at this point of great emotional need, that this angelic visitor draws near to Daniel and touches him. Sometimes it only takes a gentle touch, a brief note, a simple text or call. Doesn’t take much.
Then comes the word that Daniel is ‘greatly loved’. The angel calls the old man by name. I’m getting old, and I appreciate it when people care to know me personally, at least knowing my name. Get to know someone’s name. I know some of you think you’re not good at remembering names. Work at it. Try to remember someone’s name. Like what the angel did for Daniel, who was but one step from the edge. Touched and named.
Daniel is a man. Human. Made in the image of God. Fashioned by the hands of the Lord. Wonderfully made. We’re not little gods like some of the cults teach, but we are reflections of Him. Made in His very image. Not animal. Not evolved from lower organisms, apes or monkeys. No, we’re God’s creation… human. Like good old Daniel.
More than that, we are ‘greatly loved’. In all three Scriptures, Daniel is called ‘greatly loved’. The word ‘love’ in Hebrew is from the root verb that has three letters, ‘ch/m/d’. Go ahead, clear your throat! That ‘ch’ letter in Hebrew is with a hard gutteral sound.
By the way, this is the same word used in the 10 Commandments, the ones still in effect today! Consider the last commandment– the one about not coveting. That same word the angel uses to describe Daniel–he’s coveted by God. Highly desired by the Lord Almighty. Maybe he’s over the hill, but not to God. Daniel, and all who believe in the Lord, are precious, desirable and dearly loved. As the Bible says, coveted by God. He can do that. At any age, especially as we get older. More feeble, less attractive… but never to our Lord! Loved, desired and precious–‘coveted’! At any age. At your age. Could it get any better than that?
Prayer: Dear God, your love is so humbling. We don’t deserve it, but are grateful for it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.