In the first year of [Darius’] reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
— Daniel 9:2 —
Greg White: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
When I first arrived in Ukraine, I was amazed at how much Scripture the people in the churches had put to memory. It seemed that every believer had a small lined notebook filled with hand-written verses, which they would review on the bus or as they traveled about. It demonstrated to me that these believers truly held God’s word in honor and wanted their minds to be filled with it. Our verse today introduces what is perhaps the prophet Daniel’s greatest prayer. As Daniel prays, his mind is filled with Scripture, for there are at least ten different Old Testament books referenced in this prayer. It reveals the remarkable insight that Daniel had into the nature of Scripture; it reveals just how much his heart was consumed with God’s word. This opening verse shows that Daniel’s prayer life—as ours should be—was built upon the word of God. As Daniel prays, his mind is filled with Scripture, for there are at least ten different Old Testament books referenced in this prayer. His direct reference to Jeremiah in this verse reveals that he held Jeremiah’s prophecies to be the very words of the Lord. Daniel believed in the verbal inspiration of Scripture, that it is without error in whole or in part, the very word of God. As we consider the opening of Daniel’s prayer, it drives us to ask these questions: How do we respond to God’s word? Intellectually, we believe. But in practice, how do we treat the Bible? How often and how long do we think about it? Would we find ourselves memorizing Scripture while waiting in a line or in the passenger seat of a car? Do we, like Daniel, seek to have God’s perfect word fill our hearts and minds?