To say that I am amazed at the complexity and simplicity of God’s Word is to understate what I feel each time I delve into the Bible. Whether it’s Old Testament or New Testament, history or prophecy, I find something new each time I read and study. The Book is unchanging, enduring and eternal; what changes is my heart, mind and the ability to read and understand that comes from the Holy Spirit. Each time I read, I am in need of something new.
Sometimes I need to be uplifted because of some struggle in my daily life. Sometimes I need guidance to know what to do, or how to do something. Other times I simply want to deepen my relationship with the Lord … to be with Him and know Him better.
Whatever my purpose in reading and studying, I find that first I must read the Word as it is given to us in my preferred translation. Then I like to look at other translations, commentaries and supplemental materials on history, geography, and customs of the times. The Word is unchanging and constant, yet our understanding is deepened by our life and focus.
You may have read the book of Daniel ten times and then as current events unfold you reread Daniel’s prayer for his nation’s repentance, and you understand how individual repentance is one dimension of what we need in the world … and national or state repentance of a turning back to God is needed equally.
Each of us is called and accountable for our own sins. But what about the sins of our nation? Are we not also called to answer for those as well? We are saved by grace as individuals. But the covenant of a nation (be it Israel, The United States or any other) determines whether it will rise or fall, stand or be overtaken, be under God’s hedgerow of defense and protection … or not.
Read Daniel 9 and study its lesson for our country and world today.