Lord hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for Your own sake, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name. - Daniel 9:19
I was walking down by the Kelvin one evening and was struck by the sunlight on the leaves to my right. But as I was drawn in closer by the light dancing on shades of green, I realized that the sun was behind the trees and this landscape shouldn’t be experiencing daylight, but shadow. As I looked to my left, I saw that the windows from the flats across the river were reflecting the sunlight so brightly that even when the leaves couldn’t see the sun itself, they saw the brilliance and experienced the light by the reflection of the window.
When God chose Israel as a people, He gave them His covenants and testimonies, his commandments and laws. The way they lived, the way they protected the vulnerable, the way they were generous with what they had been given, the way they lived by God’s order and depended on His provision and grace was meant to be a reflection of God’s character of steadfast love, justice, compassion and power to the world around them. They were called by His name and were representatives meant, not to exclude people from relationship with God, but to show how GOOD He is and draw nations in.
A light that reflected the heart of God and guided the eyes of those around them to see a God very unlike any of their own gods.
Do you believe that God and His commands & order are good?
What commands stand in the way of you believing with your WHOLE HEART that He is good and worthy to be trusted?
Ask God to help you understand the command and what He is trying to communicate about His character or how He has created the world.
As Daniel sees that God said this would happen, that Israel would be sent away and taken captive if they turned from God’s commands and order, he also sees that God promised He would gather them up again if they turned back to Him as their God.
This prayer for rescue isn’t rooted in condemning the world around Daniel, but of repentance and praying for redemption within his own people. When God’s people live under the family name that was given to them when God chose them as a Wife, the world gets to see who God is and praise His name!
Daniel pleads with God that He would show mercy to His people because it is all about God’s name and who He reveals Himself to be as He interacts in relationship with His creation.
As yesterday’s devotional verses told us: We can’t plead for forgiveness because we are worthy of it or deserve it, we plead for forgiveness because God tells us that He will forgive if we turn back to Him in humility. So our hope hangs on His name….on Him being who He says He is. And our hope is that we might live out our calling to become more and more like Him so that others might enjoy Life in the Kingdom.
And as we see God’s redemption in our own lives and in the Church and worship Him for upholding His name amongst His people, we become a window into the heart of God, reflecting the sunlight so that by encountering one who carries the family name of God, the world might see the brilliance and experience the heart of God Himself.
Ask God where the Church is not reflecting the character and heart of God’s name.
Ask God where you are not reflecting the character and heart of God’s name.
Repent for where you and the Church have not trusted that He is good and chosen your own way instead of His.
Spend time just sitting with God and asking Him to show you His heart of steadfast love, justice, compassion and power so you can worship Him and reflect Him to the world around you.