Understood from the Books

Today's devotion from Daniel 9-10. God's hand was on Daniel in a powerful way. Kings have proclaimed the power of God to be on Daniel. Multiple people have personally witnessed the impact of Daniel's faithful walk with the Lord. Some have even lost their lives in an attempt to disparage the prophet. No one could deny that God was with Daniel in a remarkable way.

But a funny thing happened when this godly man went to God's word. As closely as he walked with God, even the great Daniel could not have been perfect. In the words of Jeremiah's message he found conviction and hope for a rebellious people; a people with whom he counted himself.

How did this man who had foretold dreams and prophecies and had stood before lions respond to the Word of God? "So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek him by prayer and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes." (Daniel 9:3, CSB)

He confessed. He begged forgiveness. He lifted up the rebellious people and cried out to God. Yet, in spite of God's obvious blessing, Daniel did not hold himself separate, but says, "While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel..." (Daniel 9:20, CSB) He realized his imperfections and his continued need for God.

When we allow the Word of God to speak into our lives, we will inevitably be brought to a place of confession. None of us have so mastered the ways of God that we can claim perfection. Daniel interpreted dreams, had visions, witnessed first-hand the blessing of God on his life, and all of this did not create a prideful arrogance, but a tender dependence.

The key to humility is to recognize that all that is good is of God, not of me. Before God we are vessels. That's it. His is the glory. His is the power. My proper place is not to revel in His power around and through me, but to continually seek Him. May we never forget how desperately we need Him. May we always rejoice when He expresses His grace and mercy in our lives. May God's word so convict, challenge, and encourage us this and every day.