Thought for the Week - 5th July

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Daniel 9: 1-3

“1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—

2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”

Daniel was a captive slave to the Babylonia​ns but was still aware of his heritage as an Israelite, he talks here about his understanding of the word of God as revealed to him through the words of the prophet Jeramiah. Daniel did not read these as just words from a book, but as though God was speaking to him as man, understanding what God is saying to him personally. It is implied that at one time Daniel did not receive the word in this way but then comes into a new place in which he knows the voice of God and receives His word directly into his heart. For us there are times when we read the bible and take little from it, but there are also times the word becomes more as it speaks directly to us.

For Daniel, receiving this word knowing it to be real and spoken to him by God through the words of Jeramiah, commanded a reaction in him of concern for God’s glory and disregard for self. Knowing and understanding the word in this way brought him into a new dimension in his life in God.

In the book of Daniel, we read of the changes in his life, the fervency of his actions, from a place of self into concern for Christ, praying three times a day with focus, vision and direction. In knowing God’s word in his heart, he was transformed.

Ae you praying and seeking God, asking Him to transform your understanding into a way that can be blessed by Him? Do you know what He is saying to you?

Accounts of God’s transformation of lives can be read throughout the bible, Esther was one of these lives. Esther, a young Jewish woman saved a whole nation from genocide by allowing God to transform her.

Esther 4:13-16

“13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther became a queen of Persia, and unbeknown to the king, was a Jew. Esther received word that her people were to be killed. She was not permitted to approach the king without invitation, which was punishable by death, yet in plea for the lives of her people, and through prayer, petition and fasting, she approached the king, pleaded her case, and not only was her life spared, but the lives of her people were saved.

‘’If I perish I perish’’… Is that not the mark of a transformed life? A life full of self would not have done this. Esther would have had to put away all fear for her own life, all doubt and mistrust in God, and put her focus on what God had set out for her to do.

Would you allow yourself to be transformed by God? Would you seek to understand your usefulness in Christ? Would you seek to understand your purpose in Christ? You were no accident; you were made by God for a purpose and He wants you to be the vessel that you were meant to be. Daniel was born for his time in history, Esther born “for such a time as this’’ as was in her time, but what about you and I in 2020? We too are born with purpose in God’s plan for us in this time.


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