May 13, 2011
Daniel 9:2-3 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. “
Last night I read the streaming message on the bottom of the television screen that ninety-two year old Billy Graham suffers from pneumonia and is hospitalized in North Carolina. Always interested in his ministry and family, I prayed for all of them during this difficult time. Just this week I received his daughter, Anne’s, newsletter. I read with great interest all that goes on in AnGel Ministries. Also, the news media seems to seek out Franklin Graham more and more for political opinions. Praise God for the witness and godly example of this entire family. My family has been influenced by that family.
The Old Testament prophet, Daniel stands among the greatest of examples that God gives us when it comes to men of strong godly character in the face of overwhelming odds even in their later years. After seventy years in Babylonian exile, Daniel demonstrates how standing tall is done. The first three verses of chapter nine describe Daniel’s continuing character into old age. While studying that chapter this morning I thought immediately of a modern day Daniel…The Reverend Billy Graham.
Daniel knew his politics. Whether or not he sought out the political arena, he seemed to have been ‘thrown into it’ a number of times. I found it interesting that the news scroll that stated Mr. Graham’s physical condition, included the fact that he had met with almost every U. S. President in office during his ministry. I’m quite sure that whatever influence he had stands out in their minds, whether or not they followed any counsel he offered.
The prophet Daniel obviously knew God’s Word. He searched and knew the prophecies of Jeremiah so well that on his calendar, the time of his people’s exile was about to expire. So, what did he do? Daniel turned to the Lord God and pleaded for his people. Daniel, an old man, demonstrates the dire circumstances of a nation, and a people that need deliverance.
I cannot count the times The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seeks prayer for this nation and the nations of the world to come back to the Lord God Almighty. The overwhelming example of prayer through the years goes beyond the pale.
I am humbled and unashamed to say that the Lord God of Daniel and the Lord God of Billy Graham is my Lord and God. Will I follow their example to be a devout example and intercessor even into my old age?