“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” (Daniel 10:12, KJV)
Most religious people would probably consider our lead question sacrilegious. Perhaps some would even venture to consider it blasphemous. Yet, in the reality of most of our Christian lives, we have pondered that question in the face of many unanswered prayers. In offering up our prayers, we have literally stood on the Word; on promises that are supposed to be infallible, yet God seems silent in the face of overwhelming personal situations. We have had Elders of the Church anoint us with oil, cell group leaders have visited and prayed, we have fasted and done all the things we are supposed to do, but nothing seems to be happening. Is God deaf?
Being involved in the men’s prayer group in my local church, I have witnessed God’s miraculous intervention in the lives of some of our men. I have also seen and heard the disappointment of those who seem to wonder, “When will it be my turn?” In one of our many discourses on the subject of unanswered prayer, God directed me to our reference text. Daniel was troubled by his vision of a ram and a goat as recorded in Daniel 8, which dealt with the desolation of the nation of Israel as explained to him by God’s messenger, Gabriel. In Chapter 9, Daniel set his “face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (v3) as he petitioned God for his nation (v20). Noticed how he covered all the bases to ensure he was being heard? Prayer, supplication, fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. According to Chapter 10, he was in mourning for “three full weeks” (v3), and while he was sitting by a river he had another startling vision, at which time, Gabriel spoke our lead verse to him.
The most important truth of this verse lies in the words “from the first day…thy words were heard.” What music to the ears of the committed child of God who has ever pondered the question “Is God deaf?” In this particular case, and according to Chapter 12:13, demonic forces were responsible for the delay. So great was the opposition that God had to despatch another angel, Michael, to do battle with the forces of darkness for His messenger to get through. Let me hastily say that there are a lot of reasons why God may seem deaf. In Psalm 66:18, David declared a fundamental truth, “If I regard iniquity (unrighteousness) in my heart, the Lord will not hear (answer) me.” The principles of Psalm 15 are also important principles for those desiring to abide in the tabernacle of God or to dwell in His holy hill. Sometimes our not receiving an answer from God is indicative of a less than desirable relationship with Him. Unconfessed sins, unforgiveness, and such the like can sever the connection between God and us (Isaiah 59:2,3). If you find yourself in that position, you should seriously consider righting your spiritual relationship before expecting God to move consistently on your behalf.
After twenty-one days without any movement from God, can you imagine Daniel’s relief to be finally told that God had indeed heard him from the very first day? The committed child of God can take comfort in the knowledge that despite the evidence, God has heard the petitions from the very first day they were offered up to Him. God Himself stated “Before (you) call I will answer; and while (you) are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). As with Daniel, we can take comfort in the knowledge that if the enemy attempts to hold up our answers, our Heavenly Father can and will dispatch His forces to do battle on our behalf, so we can receive what He has in store for us. We can take comfort in knowing that when we called He did answer; when we cried, He did hear (Isaiah 58:9).
As human beings, most of us dislike waiting. We become restless and are liable to take things into our own hands. It is no different in our Christian walk. In waiting upon God, we often move before we receive a Word. It is the plan of the enemy to take that Word before it gets to us. His job is to steal, to kill, and destroy (John 10:10a), but since we are assured that God hears our petitions from the time we speak them, yea even while we yet think them, we need to have a heart of praise and thankfulness as we wait upon Him. Isaiah declared “I will wait upon the Lord… I will look for Him” (8:17).
Are you tired of waiting? Are you discouraged? Does it seem like God is deaf? The closing verses of Isaiah 40 are the rope to hold on to as we hang in there while trusting Him to come through for us. “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understand. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (vv 28-31). He is not deaf. From the first day you presented your case to Him, your words were heard. Though your answer seems late, it will come. Probably not when you think it should, but rest assured that God will be there right on time. Hang in there; He is working it out just for you.