“I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:2-3)
At the beginning of the stories about Daniel and his friends, we learned that they were taken captive and brought to a foreign country. This situation still continued: many Israelites lived in exile and their home country lay in ruins. But God had promised that after seventy years, He would bring them back to their country and restore it. Daniel noticed that these seventy years were almost over. Therefore he “turned his face to the Lord God”. He humbled himself on behalf of his people and pleaded for the fulfillment of God’s promises, even though they had not deserved His mercy.
Daniel studied God’s Word, he meditated on it, and he believed that God’s promises were real and trustworthy. Jeremiah’s prophecies were relevant for the future of Daniel and his people, since God would never forget what He had promised.
Understanding God’s Word is not always easy. But we should follow Daniel’s example and study it, apply it to our own situation, and humbly ask God to fulfill His promises.
Do you take God’s Word seriously, and do you base your prayers on it?