The new decree (Dan 6:7-6:9)

“All the presidents

Of the kingdom,

The prefects,

The satraps,

The counselors,

The governors,

All agreed.

The king

Should establish

An ordinance.

He should enforce

An interdict.

‘Whoever prays

To anyone,

Divine,

Or human,

For thirty days,

Except to you,

O king!

Shall be cast

Into a den of lions.

Now,

O king!

Establish the interdict!

Sign the document!

Thus,

It cannot be changed,

According to the law

Of the Medes,

Of the Persians.

It cannot be revoked.’

Therefore,

King Darius signed

The document.

He signed

The interdict.”

Thus, the two other presidents of the kingdom, with the prefects, the satraps, the counselors, and the governors all agreed that the king should establish an ordinance to be enforced as an interdict. This ordinance would say that anyone who prayed to any divine or human for the next 30 days, except to the king himself, should be cast into a den of lions. Then the king established this interdict and signed the document that could not be changed, according to the laws of Medes and Persia. This is somewhat reminiscent of the story of the king in Book of Esther, chapters 3-4 and 8-9, against the Jews.

The three companions pray together (Dan 3:28-3:28)

“Then the three,

With one voice,

Praised,

Glorified,

Blessed God

In the furnace.”

After this brief description about the events in the furnace, this prayer then continued with all 3 companions together, not just Azariah. All 3 of them, Azariah, called Abednego, Shadrach who was Hananiah, and Meshach, originally Mishael, prayed together in the furnace, blessing, praising, and glorifying God.

Daniel discussed the situation with his companions (Dan 2:17-2:18)

“Then Daniel went

To his house.

He informed

His companions,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah.

He told them

To seek mercy

From the God of heaven

Concerning this mystery.

Thus,

Daniel

With his companions

Might not perish

With the rest

Of the wise men

Of Babylon.”

Daniel went home and shared his information with his 3 other companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. He told them to ask mercy from the God of heaven. Once again it is not Yahweh, but the God of heaven. He wanted help with this great mystery. He hoped and prayed that they and the other wise men of Babylon would be able to spare their lives.

The collection for Jerusalem (Bar 1:5-1:7)

“Then they wept.

They fasted.

They prayed

Before the Lord.

They collected

As much money

As each could give.

They sent it

To Jerusalem

To the high priest

Jehoiakim,

The son of Hilkiah,

The son of Shallum,

To the priests,

To all the people

Who were present

With him

In Jerusalem.”

Apparently, this gathering was with all the Judean exiles, and not any Babylonians. There, after the reading, they wept, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. After that, they took up a collection for the people who were left behind in Jerusalem. They were going to send it to the now high priest and the priests left in Jerusalem, Jehoiakim, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum. There was no indication of how this money would get there. It was a free will offering, with each one giving what they could.

Seek and you shall find (Jer 29:12-29:14)

“Then when you call

Upon me,

I will listen.

When you come,

I will see you.

When you pray to me,

I will hear you.

When you search for me,

You will find me.

When you seek me

With all your heart,

I will let you find me.’

Says Yahweh.”

In somewhat beautiful poetic terms, Yahweh, via Jeremiah’s letter, says that if they called on him, he would hear them. If they prayed to him, he would listen to them. If they searched for him, they would find him. If they sought him with their whole hearts, he would let himself be found. Yahweh was ready and willing to help them. They just had to reach out to him with calls, prayers, and sincere searching.

The making and the worship of the wooden idol (Isa 44:15-44:17)

“The carpenter also makes a god.

He worships it.

He makes this carved image.

He bows down before it.

He burns half of it in the fire.

Over this half,

He roasts meat.

He eats it.

He is satisfied.

He also warms himself.

He says.

‘O!

I am warm!

I can feel the fire!’

He makes the rest of it

Into a god,

His idol.

He bows down to it.

He worships it.

He prays to it.

He says.

‘Save me!

You are my god!’”

Second Isaiah has this carpenter carve a god out of his wood and then worship it. He takes this carved image and bows down to it. With the left over wood he starts a fire, so that he was able to cook a piece of meat that he ate with great satisfaction. This fire also kept him warm. However, the rest of this wood was used to make his idol god. After he had completed his carving, he bowed down to it, worshipped it, and prayed to it. He said that his carved idol was his god, so that he wanted this own carved idol to save him. In other words, he made a god to save him.

The reaction prayer of King Hezekiah (Isa 38:2-38:3)

“Then King Hezekiah

Turned his face to the wall.

He prayed to Yahweh.

‘Remember now!

O Yahweh!

I implore you!

How I have walked before you

In faithfulness,

With a whole heart.

I have done what is good

In your sight.’

King Hezekiah wept bitterly.”

Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 20. Since Isaiah the prophet had spoken, what else was there to do? King Hezekiah turned to the wall. Then he prayed to Yahweh to remember that he had tried to walk correctly and faithfully in the sight of God with his whole heart. Finally, he wept bitterly about his impending death.