"O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake … " (Daniel 9:19).

O Lord” – This is prayer. We do not take our problem to everyone else but the Lord. We take our problem to the Lord.
Hear” and “listen” – There can be a very real difference between hearing and listening. Something is said in our hearing, but we’re not listening. When something is important, we say, “Are you listening?” Why do we want to make sure that the hearer is paying attention to what we’re saying? – Because it’s important to us. When we say to the Lord, “Hear”  and “listen”, we’re saying, “Lord, this is important to me.”
Forgive” and “act” – We want to break free from our past. We want to be set free for God’s future. Don’t let my past sins hinder my future blessing. Send Your blessing, Lord. That’s what we’re praying for when we say, “Lord, forgive and act.”
Do not delay for Your own sake, my God” – This is urgent prayer. Why are we to pray with urgency? Is it because we want to get blessing for ourselves? There is more than that here. There is the glory of God. The more we are learning to love God, the more we will pray that He will be glorified. Our prayers will be less about getting things for ourselves. They will be more about giving glory to God. Let the blessing come to us – but let all the glory go to the Lord.

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Christ’s Second Coming, the Coming of His Kingdom

“There before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven… His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed’ (Daniel 7:13-14).
These words point us to Christ’s description of His Second Coming, the Coming of His Kingdom: ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). In Revelation 1:7, we have another echo of Daniel’s ‘vision’: ‘Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him’. ‘Lo! He comes, with clouds descending… Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee, high on Thine eternal throne; Saviour, take the power and glory, claim the Kingdom for Thine own. O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly! Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!’(Church Hymnary, 316).

There Is Only One Kingdom Which Stands Forever – The Kingdom Of God.

Daniel 1:1-2:16
‘Daniel resolved not to defile himself’(8). Daniel was devoted to the Lord. It was not easy to live as the Lord’s faithful servant. His dedication to the Lord was put to the test – ‘Test your servants’(12). Our faith is put to the test. We ‘suffer many trials’. Why does God allow our faith to be tested by ‘all kinds of trials? – ‘The testing of your faith produces steadfastness’. ‘These have come so that your faith, which is much more precious than gold, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed’(1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-3). Knowing that ‘every trial falls from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love’, may we learn to ‘trust God fully’ and ‘find Him wholly true’(Mission Praise, 421).

Daniel 2:17-49
‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed’(44). There is only one Kingdom which stands forever – the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is eternal. Through Christ, ‘the Kingdom of God has come near to us’(Luke 10:9). Christ is the ‘King of kings’(Revelation 17:14;19:16). ‘His throne will last for ever and ever’. ‘His Kingdom will never end’. ‘He will reign for ever and ever’(Hebrews 1:8; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15). Christ is ‘triumphant… ever reigning… enthroned for ever’: ‘Sin and death and hell shall never stifle hymns of love. So, our hearts and voices raising through the ages long… this shall be our song: Yours the glory and the crown…’(Mission Praise, 77).

Some Meditations on God’s Word

Receiving Strength from the Lord (Daniel 10:1-11:13)
Daniel came to God in great weakness- ‘I am helpless… My strength is gone…’(16-17). From the Lord, Daniel received great strength- ‘The One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength… When He spoke to me, I was strengthened…’. Daniel’s strength came from the love of God and the peace of God. God assured Daniel of His love for him. He called Daniel a ‘man greatly beloved’. God spoke His Word of peace to Daniel: ‘Peace be with you’. As God revealed His love and peace to him, Daniel came to realize that there was no need to be afraid. He could ‘be strong’ in the Lord (18-19). When we are weak, let us come to God and receive His strength – ‘His grace is sufficient for us. His strength is made perfect in weakness’(2 Corinthians 12:9).

Discipline and forgiveness (Matthew 18:15-19:2).
Discipline and forgiveness are not opposites. They belong together. Discipline is to be part of our caring. If it is not carried out in a caring way, it is not the discipline of the Lord. It is the expression of human arrogance. Where there is a genuine desire to honour God and do His will, we have more than some human beings imposing their own will upon others. We have God at work, purifying His Church. The link between discipline (15-17) and forgiveness (21-35) is prayer (18-20). Without prayer, we will never achieve a true balance between discipline and forgiveness. We must avoid a harsh legalism which knows nothing of God’s love. We dare not soft-pedal the moral demands of discipleship. God is holy. God is love. We need both holiness and love – for the sake of the ‘large crowds’ who need the Saviour (2).
 
Let Lamentations 3:1-24 help you to trust in the God of loving faithfulness.
There are times when it seems nothing is going right for us: ‘I am the man who has seen affliction…’(1-3). In such times, we must remember this: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end’. When we find ourselves in circumstances of great distress, we must learn to look beyond the things that are happening to us. We must learn to look to the Lord and say, ‘Great is Your faithfulness’. It will not be easy to see God at work in our lives when everything seems to be going wrong. We must be patient as we wait for the blessing of the Lord to return to our lives. We must put all our hope in the Lord, trusting in His precious promise: ‘The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord’(22-26).
 
Let Jeremiah 33 lead you into God’s blessing.
‘I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me… Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise, and honour before all nations on earth…’(7-9). What great blessing lay ahead of God’s people! God was pointing His people to the place of blessing: Jesus Christ – ‘the righteous Branch from David’s line’(15-16). ‘In Christ’, we have ‘every spiritual blessing’: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’(Ephesians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2:9). God has so much blessing to give to us. Come to Him and receive His blessing: ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you; I will show you wonderful and marvellous things that you know nothing about’(3).
Let Psalm 103 help you to praise the Lord.
‘Praise the Lord’(1-2,20-22). Let’s praise Him for His ‘steadfast love’. He is ‘abounding in steadfast love’(8). How are we to respond to His ‘steadfast love’? Are we to say, ‘God loves me. I can do what I like’? No! We must not think like this. We’re not to say, ‘I’ll keep on sinning. God will keep on forgiving’(Romans 6:1-2). God’s Word tells us something very different. Loved by God, we learn to love Him. When God’s ‘steadfast love’ has really touched our hearts, it changes our lives. This is the great change which the Psalmist has in mind when he writes, ‘As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him… The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him’(11,17). Let’s thank God for His love – and live to please Him!
 
‘Those who trust in the Lord… cannot be moved…’ (Psalm 125:1). 
When we put our trust in the Lord, we are like the ‘wise man who built his house on the rock’. His house ‘did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’. When we do not put our trust in the Lord, we are like the ‘foolish man who built his house on sand’. His house ‘fell with a great crash’. ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’(Psalms 125:1; 127:1; Matthew 7:24-27). ‘Jesus Christ’ is the ‘sure Foundation’ upon which our faith is built. He is ‘the solid Rock’, our ‘mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment’(1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:3-4; Church Hymnary, 10,411). ‘Christ died for our sins… He was raised on the third day’. Let us rejoice in Him: ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’(Psalm 126:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
“Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 3:14).
Each of us is ‘in the valley of decision’. We must make sure that we are prepared for ‘the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord’. God has given us His promise: ‘Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved’(Joel 2:31-32; 3:14). The Lord promises great blessing to those who call upon Him. He ‘will pour out His Spirit’ upon us. He will do ‘great things’ for us. He will be our ‘Refuge’and ‘Stronghold’. He will fill us with ‘joy and gladness’. He will fill our hearts with ‘praise’(Joel 2:20-21, 23, 26, 28-29; 3:16). Make sure that you ‘call on the Name of the Lord’. Make sure that you do not miss out on the great blessings the Lord gives to those who call on His Name. Make your decision now – ‘I will call on the Name of the Lord’(1 Kings 18:24).
‘Let us go to the Lord’s House; let us worship before His throne’(Psalm 132:7).
God is calling us to worship Him. We are to gather together as His worshipping people. As we gather for worship, we remember that ‘the Lord is King’. We do not only give Him the praise of our lips. We give Him the praise of our lives. We do not only sing to Him. We live for Him. We come ‘before His throne’ with this prayer, ‘Take my heart – it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne’. God hears and answers our prayer. He gives us His strength. We rise to His challenge: ‘Rise up, O Church of God! Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings’(Church Hymnary, 36, 462, 477). The service of worship comes to an end. Let our service of living begin – and never end!

The servants of God and the Son of God

“Look, I see four men … The fourth one looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). These words of Nebuchadnezzar point beyond the servants of God – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They point to the Son of God – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Son of God saved His faithful servants. He saves all who put their trust in Him. He saved them from the fire of Nebuchadnezzar. He saves us from the fire of judgment.

He is Coming With The Clouds …

“There before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven… His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed’ (Daniel 7:13-14).
These words point us to Christ’s description of His Second Coming, the Coming of His Kingdom: ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). In Revelation 1:7, we have another echo of Daniel’s ‘vision’: ‘Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him’. ‘Lo! He comes, with clouds descending… Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee, high on Thine eternal throne; Saviour, take the power and glory, claim the Kingdom for Thine own. O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly! Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!’(Church Hymnary, 316).

Take your problem to the Lord.

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake … ” (Daniel 9:19).
O Lord” – This is prayer. We do not take our problem to everyone else but the Lord. We take our problem to the Lord.
Hear” and “listen” – There can be a very real difference between hearing and listening. Something is said in our hearing, but we’re not listening. When something is important, we say, “Are you listening?” Why do we want to make sure that the hearer is paying attention to what we’re saying? – Because it’s important to us. When we say to the Lord, “Hear”  and “listen”, we’re saying, “Lord, this is important to me.”
Forgive” and “act” – We want to break free from our past. We want to be set free for God’s future. Don’t let my past sins hinder my future blessing. Send Your blessing, Lord. That’s what we’re praying for when we say, “Lord, forgive and act.”
Do not delay for Your own sake, my God” – This is urgent prayer. Why are we to pray with urgency? Is it because we want to get blessing for ourselves? There is more than that here. There is the glory of God. The more we are learning to love God, the more we will pray that He will be glorified. Our prayers will be less about getting things for ourselves. They will be more about giving glory to God. Let the blessing come to us – but let all the glory go to the Lord.