Reading in Daniel this morning. And, to be honest, not sure I’m that focused on picking up the pieces of prophecy being laid down. Instead, I’m a bit distracted by who’s delivering the vision and how he refers to Daniel.
I think Daniel has an encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ in Daniel 10. He’s already connected with Gabriel, a mighty and awesome angel, but here I’m thinking Daniel is visited by the Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity (10:5-6). The description of Daniel’s “visitor” is remarkably similar to the description of John’s visitor on the Isle of Patmos (Rev1:12-16)–both, it would seem, having an encounter of the divine kind with the glorious Son of Man. Both doing what you do when you encounter the King of Kings, both going facedown (Dan. 10:9, Rev. 1:17).
And what’s grabbed me, and what’s distracted me, is how the awesome Christ of heaven addresses this man of dust of the earth.
And He said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when He had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. . . . And He said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage. And as He spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, Let my lord speak, for You have strengthened me.
(Daniel 10:11, 19 ESV)
Man greatly love. Twice the One who rolls back heaven’s veil and reveals His awe-invoking majesty to this mere mortal, calls His faithful servant, “Man greatly loved.”
Literally, “a man of desires.” The object of God’s delight. One precious in His sight; pleasant to know; pleasing to commune with. Just as John, the apocalyptic prophet of the New Testament, was the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” so Daniel, the apocalyptic prophet of the Old Testament, was the “man greatly loved” of the pre-incarnate Christ.
And I’m in awe that the mighty Creator would look upon anyone or anything in His fallen creation with such affection and desire. That any man or woman might be tenderly called man greatly love, or woman greatly loved, by the Almighty Ruler of the universe.
And not gonna lie, it gets personal. As I read the the words to Daniel, I hear a still, small voice whisper to me, “O man greatly loved.”
Who am I to think I might be addressed in such a way by the LORD of heaven?
And I’m reminded it’s not in any way about who I am, but solely about what He has accomplished through the cross. His desire and delight in me is in spite of what I have done, but His love is poured out because of who He is. God is love.
And I hear His voice, “O man greatly loved” and I too feel the need to go facedown. To thank Him for His amazing grace. To worship Him as He reveals His awe-invoking glory.
And then another thought comes to mind . . . Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. His face shining like the sun. His clothes as white as light. A bright cloud descending over Him and voice from the cloud thunders:
“This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”
(Matthew 17:5 ESV)
The Christ, the apple of the Creator’s eye. The Savior, the delight of the Sovereign. Jesus, O Man greatly loved by the Father.
Greatly loved, He as the Source of abundant grace, we as recipients of grace. Greatly loved, He as the Beloved Son, we, somehow, for His glory.
O come let us adore Him!
And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces . . .
(Matthew 17:6 ESV)