"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
The Prophecy of Daniel
Lesson Number 31
AN ANGEL BATTLES HIS WAY TO EARTH WITH A UNIQUE INTERPRETATION
By Given O. Blakely
A MAN GREATLY BELOVED
“ 11a And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved . . . ” This is the second time Daniel has been addressed in this manner.
Revelation given because he was greatly beloved. The first is recorded in the previous chapter: “I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved” (9:23).
A prelude to understanding. Now, the belovedness of Daniel will be the occasion for understanding.
Peace and strength are ministered. The third time is later in this same chapter: “O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong” (10:19).
As I have said before, Daniel is the only man of whom it is said, he was “greatly beloved.” It is said of Solomon that he was “beloved of his God” (Neh 13:26), and that “the Lord loved him” (2 Sam 12:24). In his supplications, David twice refers to himself as “Thy beloved” (Psa 60:5; 108:6). Solomon does the same in Psalm 127:2. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, John four times refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20). It is said of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus” (John 11:5). On one occasion, when asked by a wealthy young man what he must do to inherit eternal life, it is written, “Jesus beholding him loved him” (Mk 10:21). His inquiry had drawn on the heartstrings of the Savior.
The church in Rome was addressed as “beloved of God” (Rom 1:7). The Thessalonian brethren were also saluted in this manner (2 Thess 2:13).
The premier “beloved” One is the Lord Jesus Himself, whom God called “My beloved Son” (Matt 3:17; 17:5).
You will not, however, find many verbalizations of such Divine love. It is an expression reserved for those who are especially tender toward the Lord.
Because I have dealt previously with this matter, there is no need to develop it any further here. It is enough to observe that those who are in Christ Jesus are to aspire to be especially loved by the Lord. That is the reason for the following admonitions.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children” (Eph 5:1).
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” (Col 1:10).
“But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (Phil 4:18).
“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ” (Heb 13:21).
As confirmed in Daniel, special and unusual benefits are ministered to those who have extended themselves to walk pleasing before the Lord. If this observation is true, mediocrity is an offensive blight that robs the soul and stunts the spiritual growth of those in its grip. Casualness and disinterest pushed those dominated by them away from God, away from blessing, and away from Divine comfort and strength.
If these words appear to be too strong, be assured that, if anything, they are too weak. The staggering investment that God has made in our salvation will not allow for any other conclusions. For the willing sacrifice of Christ, and His present beneficent rule and intercession in our behalf, to be met with erratic and meager responses is intolerable. Further, when such responses are produced by a religious system, we have before us an example of the reality and effects of “strong delusion.”
UNDERSTAND THE WORDS
“ 11b . . . understand the words that I speak unto thee . . . ” Other versions read, “carefully consider the words I am about to speak to you,” NIV “pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you,” NRSV “give heed to the words that I speak to you,” RSV “take in the sense of the words I say to you,” BBE “listen carefully to what I say to you,” NLT “mark what I say to you,” TNK and “attend to the words that I am speaking unto thee.” YLT
The objective of heavenly communication is not impression or sensation, but understanding. You can see from the various translations that different aspects of understanding are emphasized. Understanding involves the work of God and the response of men – both are required. If what is made known is to be comprehended, it must be carefully considered. It is imperative that the heart pay attention to what is being said. The will must move the individual to give heed, listen carefully, and attend to what is being declared. The sense, or implication, of the message is to be taken in, and the intellect must mark, or differentiate, the message, setting it apart from all of the wisdom and sounds of the world. If this is not done, understanding will not come.
God has always required understanding. Under the Law He said, “Understand therefore” (Deut 9:3,6). Jesus said, “Hear and understand”(Mark 15:10). Those who are converted are described as coming to “understand” (Rom 15:21). Paul wrote that men might “understand” (Eph 3:4; Phil 1:12). Paul prayed that those to whom he wrote would be given understanding from God (Eph 1:18-19; 2 Tim 2:7). A lack of understanding is always depicted as a most serious condition (Prov 28:5; Isa 6:9; 2 Pet 2:12; Jer 5:21; Mark 7:18; Rom 1:31).
It should not take us unawares, therefore, that the heavenly messenger urges Daniel to understand, comprehend, or discern, the word that is being brought to him. In order to do that, two things must happen. First, understanding must flow from heaven to Daniel. Second, he must engage all of his powers to receive that understanding. He will have to concentrate, listen attentively, and ponder what he is told, allowing the words to saturate his heart and mind. God does not administer understanding to inattentive and distracted souls. Therefore, the angel calls Daniel into a state of sobriety and alertness.%%detect_both%%
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).