Monday, January 12, 2009

Lord Have Mercy

Tonight I've had a thought bouncing around in my head, but every time I try to put the thought into words it snowballs into another topic, so hopefully I wont muck this up too badly.

Tonight I was at our churches "Monday Night College Thing" (the name has been changed to protect the innocent) and we were reading in Daniel 2. What struck me wasn't the dream Mr Nezzar had or his actions, nor was it the foretelling of the messiah. What struck me most was Daniels prayer.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter,
18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

I love how Daniel prays that God would show compassion on him and give him the ability to interpret Nezzars dream. It wasn't God that ordered all the wise men in Babylon to be killed, yet David doesn't pray for God to fix Nezzar in any way. If I was in Daniels place my prayer might have gone something like this.

"Dear God, I don't wanna die right now. Could you please make Nezzar change his mind, could you fix whatever is wrong with him that makes him want to kill me."

I think too often we pray to God as if we were equals, as if he were a parent that was there to fix our mistakes, and kiss our owies better. Yet here Daniel prays to a God that is the master of all things. It's God that chooses whether he lives or dies, and he is not telling God, "I don't want to die, please fix this." Instead he is asking God for mercy. He's saying God I'm not worthy, but please save me anyway. The best part is when God delivers him by showing Daniel the dream he doesn't say a quick thank you and run off to save his hide. Instead he blesses God, because the master of all things deigned to show him mercy by giving him wisdom.

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