I was reading the book of Daniel again this morning and I came across a verse that directly assaulted my tear ducts. I stopped and read it again. Then I read it again. After that, I decided to re-read it. Let me set the stage for you.
Daniel is the youth who was chosen to serve his Babylonian captor.
Daniel is the man who was given God’s wisdom and strength to know and interpret the dreams of kings.
Daniel is the man whose friends were sentenced to execution by fiery furnace, yet survived with no scent of smoke.
Daniel is the man who read the writing on the wall.
Daniel is the man who was fed to lions, yet wasn’t licked.
Daniel is the man who was given dreams of the last days.
Daniel is the man who heard the words that made my eyes leak.
In chapter 9 of this book, Daniel is hungry, ash-covered and in anguish as he pleaded with God for mercy on his nation. Suddenly, while he was repenting and pleading with God, he was interrupted by the swift arrival of God’s holy messenger. His name was Gabriel. This is the same angel who later arrived in Nazareth to proclaim to a young lady named Mary that she would bear Jesus, the Son of God.
After Gabriel’s speedy flight from Heaven, he tells Daniel that he has come to provide insight and understanding. Gabriel’s arrival was a direct response to the prayers of God’s child. At the very beginning of Daniel’s plea for mercy, the “word went out” and the angel Gabriel was the appointed courier. The next section is what tears me up. God’s Word reveals WHY Gabriel was sent to deliver the message of insight and understanding. “For you are greatly loved.” Oh man, even typing those words reignites the water pumps.
How would Gabriel know that Daniel was loved?! God Himself would have revealed His love for Daniel…to Gabriel. Our Father in Heaven, His Son and the Holy Spirit communicate their great love for us to the angels! The God of all eternity, the Creator of the Universe, the Savior of the World proclaims the love He has for us to the heavenly host.
If I were Daniel, I can only imagine my complete physical collapse as I absorbed the personal message of God’s unashamed love for ME. While the bulk of Gabriel’s message was a description of future events, the reason for the delivery is what hit me hard today. “For you are greatly loved.”
Thank You, Jesus.