Patterns

| 20 November 2020

Hey family, this week we see Daniel confessing Israel’s sins and pleading mercy on their behalf. God responds with an unusual glimpse into the plans for his people. It’s not an easy future, it promises hard times but ultimately hope. Upon reflection, this insight would have galvanized Daniel’s confidence for the future and generally been a huge answer to his prayers because God will indeed protect his people. I think there’s a pattern here, he humbled himself and confessed, then blessings followed.

We can see similar patterns over and over again in the scriptures, people humbling themselves, asking for mercy, and receiving grace. The timeless parable of the prodigal son who humbles himself and returns to his father who lavishly accepts him. Jacob’s brothers humble themselves and sought mercy, they received land and a title. Even our own salvation story, we humble ourselves, repent, and are adopted as co-heirs with Christ.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

The ultimate expression of this pattern is in the Lord Jesus himself, he humbled himself in obedience to the Father and changed history forever with his sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. Subsequently, the Father raised him to the highest place and gave him the highest honor.

I think we, as modern Christians, can anticipate the Lord sticking to this pattern he’s established. If we humble ourselves and confess our sins, we can be assured he’ll have a role for us to play. In all likelihood, our role won’t be what we expect, like Daniel’s answer wasn’t what he expected. Even though we don’t always see what it is, we can have confidence that it will be awesome and worth whatever the cost. We serve the most excellent God who uses us in his cosmic plans. Praise the Lord!

Jonathan Duncan