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December 28, 2009

Chapter-a-Day Daniel 9

Looking back. Looking foward.  "Darius, son of Ahasuerus, born a Mede, became king over the land of Babylon." Daniel 9:1 (MSG)

This is the week that 2009 winds down and we look in earnest at the coming year. It is the week we'll hear every television and radio station giving their list of the Top 10 this or that from the previous year. My wife and I have already noticed the increase in quit smoking pharmaceutical commercials on television as the drug companies try to capitalize on those new year's resolutions.

On the eve of a new year it's natural to look back and to look forward. The past year was a difficult year in many respects and I don't know what 2010 will hold. Yet, I'm reading through the book of Daniel and thinking about the mega-shifts that Daniel experienced in his life. He was torn away from his family and home as a young man and taken captive to a foreign land. He rose to prominence under the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, then survived brief reigns by Nebuchadnezzar's offspring. In today's chapter, the Medo-Persian king Darius has taken power. Nevertheless, Daniel remains secure in his position.

Daniel's life was spent focused on serving God and being obedient. As a result, he remained secure in tumultuous times. While all around him there were tremendous shifts in power and government, Daniel seems to have stood in the eye of the storm.

As I look forward to 2010, I take that image of Daniel standing in the eye of life's storms. No matter what the coming year(s) hold, my responsibility is to remain focused on being obedient and content.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and comedynose


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20-21 "While I was pouring out my heart, baring my sins and the sins of my people Israel, praying my life out before my God, interceding for the holy mountain of my God—while I was absorbed in this praying, the humanlike Gabriel, the one I had seen in an earlier vision, approached me, flying in like a bird about the time of evening worship.

Can you imagine your prayer being answered like this! Wow, that would humble us, right? Yet, are we aware when our prayers are answered or do we expect it? I know that all too often I have been in the latter category. I pray with expectation and then sit back and expect God to perform miracles. I think God wants me to communicate with him more than that. Prayer is an intensely personal time of intimate communication with God...or it can be. I will strive to make my prayers more like God would want.

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