Summary: What will it take for you to seek the Lord?
Intro. Have you ever noticed that when things are going well, many have no desire for God. Tragedy drives us to want to pray. Burdens drive us to seek help. Daniel had a burden. Daniel had been through a trying time. He was not one that any could say he deserved it, but before the Lord showed up - Daniel was:
I. A Burdened Servant - vs. 1-3
A. He Had Seen the Rejection of the Messiah (9:26).
This revelation had to be a blow to such a faithful servant of God.
B. He was Secluded by the Return of the Jews
1. He was Burdened for the Work in Canaan.
2. He was Burdened for the Weak in Babylon.
He was now lonely in Babylon. Captivity had ended. Zerubbabel and the righteous Jews had left for Canaan. All that remained were those too feeble to travel, or those who were at ease in Babylon and wanted to stay in the land where they had been enslaved. Most had been born there.
C. He was Seeking for a Relief of His Burden. (Prayed for three weeks straight and no answer, but he was not giving up - The heavens seemed as brass). Fasting is never a prescribed ritual. It is also not a magical lever to force God to do what we want. Fasting is brought on by a Spiritual burden and a broken heart before God. HIS BURDEN OUTWEIGHED HIS DESIRE FOR ANYTHING. A burden is hard, but not always a bad thing. It drives us to seek the Lord.
When Daniel began seeking God, then after a while there was:
II. A Blessed Appearance - vs. 4-11
A. The Counselor - Not yet incarnate, but another Theophany, the appearance of Christ in the Old Testament.
1. Priestly Garments - vs. 6 Linen - Better than linen of the earthly priests.
2. Prophetic Garments - vs. 6-7 (Rev 1:13-17)
B. The Conviction - vs. 8
1. Isaiah cried Woe is me for I am undone.
2. Job - I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
3. Habakkuk - my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones.
4. Peter - Depart from me; for I am a sinful man.
5. Concerning the Apostle John - Revelation 1:17 "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead."
C. The Comfort - vs. 10-13
1. A Waiting Courier - An angel now speaks to Daniel to explain why there had been a delay. The two are revealed again in Dan 12:5-6:
Daniel 12:5 "Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?"
2. A Word of Compassion - You are greatly beloved!
3. A Wicked Conflict - vs. 12-13
III. A Beneficial Victory - vs. 12-19 Some victories we claim are mere enjoyments, but when we enjoy the presence of God - IT IS LIFE CHANGING.
A. A Touch from Heaven - Three times, Daniel is touched
1. Vs. 10 - The angel Touched Daniel and lifted Him.
2. Vs. 16 - The angel Touched Daniel’s lips and gave him boldness to speak.
Just as a seraphim did to Isaiah - Isaiah 6:7 "And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."
3. Vs. 18 - The Angel touched him and gave him strength - “ to strengthen, sustain, encourage”
B. A Trust From Heaven - vs. 19 - A new Strength!
Psalms 29:11 "The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."
Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."
Col 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;"
We do not always know His way, we cannot always see His hand, but we can always trust His love!
Concl. We are not in an age where there is an open vision - Why?
Daniel had no church to attend, no Bible to read, so God appeared as He had to Abraham - For us we can find rest in God’s Word and His promises. We can also find rest in the Provisions of God: When God has given us His Word, with all of its promises and prophecies - Why would he appear to us when we do not read and heed what He has already given?