Over the past few months, the book of Daniel has captivated me. Themes like the faithfulness of Daniel, the worldliness of kings and kingdoms, the severity of punishments, the sovereignty of God, the power of God, etc have been challenging me and growing me in my understanding.
Well at the end of chapter 8 of Daniel after Daniel has just seen a vision about the future suffering and evil that would come upon his people, Daniel makes this statement: “And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days.” (8:27)
And this lead me to thinking about the expressions “I was sickened by it” or “that makes me sick to my stomach.” And I am sure that most everyone is familiar with expressions like those, with what they mean and when and why they are said.
Daniel and his people were Jews. They were God’s people. And they were in exile and had been taken captive by the Babylonians and Medes and Persians. Things were bad already for Daniel and his people. But for the first 8 chapters of Daniel, Daniel and his peers have demonstrated an incredible steadfastness and faithfulness to God in the face of the trials. So Daniels vision only adds to the difficulty. Things are going to get worse. The thought of more trials, more evil, more deaths, more truth being thrown to the ground (8:12) sounds awful to Daniel. That is because those things are awful. And when you are able to see clearly, able to see by faith, then bad things wrong things stand out and … look bad. Well, that is what happens to Daniel. And what he sees overwhelms him. In the last verse of the passage, Daniel says he is “overcome and lay sick for some days.” What he saw sickened him! What he saw made him sick to his stomach!
Does that ever happen to you?
Wednesday night as I watched ESPN footage of Penn State’s students reacting with violence and rioting, I felt like Daniel. I, Josh, was overcome and lay sick.
Now, I do not know near enough of the details concerning who did what in that stuff. But I do know that when many young boys are being sexually abused it makes me sick. And when I hear about it, there are a few different ways to react. None of them are to get in the streets and riot. None of them are talking about football.
The very thought of it is sickening. The reactions were sickening. I was sickened by it.
May we be more like Daniel… when we see and/or hear of evil and sin, we are sickened by it.
God give us sharp sensitivity to the Spirit’s conviction!