Pastor James Park’s sermon from Shiloh's Lord’s Day Service on May 19, 2019
Summary of Daniel’s life
Daniel was taken into Babylonian captivity during the first deportation in the year 605 BC as a young youth around the age of 17, which puts his birth around 622 BC. The prophet Daniel was active until the first year of Cyrus the king in the year 538 BC at the age of 84 (Dan 1:21). In our main passage today, it was the 3rd year of Cyrus the king in the year 536 BC when Daniel was around 86 years of age (Dan 10:1-4). Therefore, we have two records highlighting Daniel’s active service and a summary of his entire life. Furthermore, the year 622 BC is the 18th year of King Josiah who reigned from 640 BC to 609 BC. In Josiah’s 18th year as king, he was 26 years old and performed a major reformation (2 Kgs 22:3-22:23). Therefore, Daniel was born in this great spiritual awakening and revival when idols were being torn down and worship was being restored in which he received the transmission of faith during his first 17 years of life prior to captivity and became a man of prayer and prayed three times a day (Dan 6:10). Daniel was a man of the Word and he habitually read the Bible daily and lived a life of consecration and did not compromise his faith and had victory even while living in a foreign land (Dan 9:1-6).
Daniel’s three-week prayer
After fasting and praying and mourning for a period of three weeks; on the very next day the first month the 24th day on the Sabbath day, Daniel received a revelation (Dan 10:4). Three weeks prior, Daniel began his prayer in the 3rd year of Cyrus the King on the first month and 3rd day, which is also a Sabbath day. Thus, he began his prayer on the 3rd day of the 1st month and prays for 21 days ending on the 23rd day which is Friday and receives revelation on the next day on the Sabbath. And because Daniel kept the Sabbath, God blessed him especially on those days. The Apostle John was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day, and like Daniel, he received a revelation on the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10). When we keep the Lord’s Day and cease from doing our own pleasure God will give us victory and “raise us above the nations,” and will give to us the “heritage of Jacob” (Isa 58:13-14). Our forefather Jacob was incredibly blessed with riches and received the transmission of faith; thus the heritage of Jacob is both physical and spiritual. After praying for 23 days, in 536 BC he receives a revelation from that day all the way up to the end times. Everything that Daniel prophesied and understood is still happening now until the end time. Daniel received revelation on how the world would go in the course of history and this understanding came about through prayer.
How did Daniel pray?
When a person mourns, it is a time of great distress, grief, and great sorrow. Daniel prayed with mourning, fasting, and sorrow in his old age (Dan 10:2). In the first year of Cyrus, Cyrus gives a decree for the people to go back home (Ezra 1:1-4). The first return took place in 537 BC. The very next year in 536 BC, the people were coming back, but the temple was still in ruins and not being restored. Therefore Daniel prayed for the nation and took upon himself all the sins of his people and mourned and grieved and was in distress. This same mourning, grief, and distress are the same that Jacob felt when he heard the news that his son Joseph had died (Gen 37:34). When we see our church in ruins, do we fast and pray like Daniel? Even though he was far away in Babylon Daniel still prayed for his nation. This is the life of faith that we need to have in being concerned for each other, praying and interceding for the people with a heart of brokenness, mourning and fasting for God is near to the brokenhearted (Psa 34:18). If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us; therefore, we must be humble before our God and He will meet with us (James 4:4-6).
Daniel prayed for three weeks and received revelations of the course of history from 563 BC until the end time, and understood exactly what was going to happen. Therefore, we have to understand the time of God so that we can be His co-workers and follow what He is doing. When we understand the course of history, we will be able to understand God’s time, the will of the Lord and follow in what God is doing (Eph 5:13-18; Rom 12: 1-2). Secondly, through Daniel’s prayer, the foundation and the initial start of the construction of the Zerubbabel temple was started (Ezra 3:8). This took place in the 2nd year of the return in 536 BC. Because of Daniel’s prayer and determination to receive an answer, God heard his prayer and construction on the temple was able to begin. Thirdly, Daniel was esteemed (Dan 9:23; 10:11). The word “esteem” means with "honor," "esteemed" or "acknowledged." When we keep ourselves from the pleasures of the world, God will acknowledge us and give the good things of heaven. The Word is the best thing we can ever receive that brings joy to us (Prov 4:5-9). Thus we need to embrace wisdom, keep and honor the Word, and it will raise us up and He will open up the heavens and give us both physical and spiritual blessings.
Conclusion: For the first 17 years of his life, Daniel was trained and received the transmission of faith and because of this foundation; he was able to live a life of faith even in a different country. As a result of his prayer, the temple was able to become established. Daniel was like a lamp to the nation for he was spiritually awake and spiritually sensed. Likewise, we have to be the lamp like Daniel in these end times and through the Word become holy and sanctified (Heb 12:14). If we don’t have the sanctification and peace with all men, we cannot see the Lord. Thus we must be like Daniel and equipped with the Word and prayer that we may have personal victory, victory for our church, and the church universally.