Vol. 6, No. 5
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[Hugo McCord passed away at 8:04 a.m., May 14, 2004, in Vancouver, Washington at the home of Charles and LaVera McCord. Brother McCord was 92-years-old. He was a prolific writer and stalwart soldier of Christ, who by his own admission, had made adequate preparation and was desirous to be with God which is far better. This issue of Gospel Gazette Online is dedicated to Hugo McCord with numerous of his articles gracing its pages. Hugo's article on this page certainly fits him and his life of service to the Lord Jesus. ~ Editor]
While I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, . . . being caused to fly swiftly, . . . said, O Daniel, . . . at the beginning of your prayers a word went out, and I have come to tell you, because hamudhoth are you (Daniel 9:21-23).
In God's appraisal, Daniel was hamudhoth, which has been variously translated as "very precious," "highly esteemed," "greatly beloved" and "a favorite." In a general sense, all human beings in God's sight are precious and valuable. "Behold! Children are the heritage of Yahweh, and the fruit of the womb is his pay" (Psalm 127:3). However, some people to him are much more valuable and desirable than others, dependent on their disposition and conduct. Daniel was one of these. In like manner, if David was one of God's favorites, any human being can be if he so chooses, for God made them all, loves them all and he "is not partial" (Acts 10:34).
God's favoritism is not based on birth, race or wealth, but on a person's love for God with "all that is within" him (Psalm 103:1), with all his "heart," his "soul" and his "might" (Deuteronomy 6:5). "The heart-knowing God" (Acts 15:8) perceived Daniel's deep love for his Maker, which caused God particularly to love and to esteem Daniel. Every one of us can be just as hamudhoth in God's sight as was Daniel.
Some people have an open line to the heavenly Father. These special people have the power to put heaven into immediate action. Not at the completion, nor in the middle, but at the beginning of Daniel's prayer God commanded Gabriel to fly swiftly from heaven to Babylon so that Daniel would not be kept waiting for an answer. Similarly, God's being no respecter of persons (no "face-receiver"), the prayers of all righteous people put heaven into action. Prayers, not merely by Daniel, nor merely by miraculously endowed first-century elders (James 5:14), but by 21st century Christians are "powerful" (James 5:16).
If Daniel's petition from Babylon was "in the first year of Darius" (Daniel 9:1), then Daniel had been in Babylon 68 years (606-538 B.C.). If he were a lad, say of 16, when he has deported from Jerusalem to Babylon, then at the time of his attention-getting he was quite an old man, of 84 years. Of how much value to the empire was a weakened and fragile person? But spiritually he was the most valuable asset in all the Medo-Persian Empire.
Jeremiah commanded the Jews to pray for the city of Babylon when they were carried there (Jeremiah 29:7). Daniel had read the Book of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2), even making specific reference to Jeremiah 29:10. The prayers then of the aged Daniel for the peace of the nation had an audience in heaven. By the same principle, this writer has rejoiced in the knowledge that a Christian widow for 15 years, from age 75 to her passing at 90, never missed one day praying for his work.