Do Not Fear, Greatly Beloved, You Are Safe

We were going through the book of Daniel out at the prison bible study. And as I was preparing for it I was struck by something in Daniel 10.

An angelic messenger has come to answer Daniel's prayer. And as is often the case in the bible when people are confronted with angelic messengers, Daniel is frightened and falls to the ground. And, in keeping with the script, the angelic messenger speaks reassurances.

These reassurances often fit a standard form, a simple "Do not fear, O highly favored/chosen one!"

But the reassurance given by the angel in Daniel 10.19 struck me as being particularly tender. Perhaps the most tender reassurance in all of the bible. Here it is from the KJV and the NRSV respectively:
O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.

“Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!”
I just love that line: "Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe."

That has my vote for one of the most tender lines in all the the bible.

I think what strikes me is the expression of love rather than favor. It's not "fear not favored one" but "fear not one who is greatly loved."

And a quick check of some online bible search engines suggests that this salutation--to one who is "greatly loved"--may be unique to Daniel (found only in Daniel 9.23; 10.11; 10:19).

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5 thoughts on “Do Not Fear, Greatly Beloved, You Are Safe”

  1. Indeed, such a beautiful affirmation. Something I must believe. I will explain.

    The picture for this post reminds me of the painting of the two small children, usually a boy and a girl, kneeling on the edge of a bridge, reaching out to pick wild flowers growing on the creek bank. Behind them is an angel, watching, protecting. My children had one on their wall. It is now on the wall of one of my grandchildren.

    The monumental challenge of those of us who have lost a child is to hang on to that image; to believe with one's entire being that God says to his little ones, "...greatly beloved, you are safe". It is a challenge that must be met to instill life and love into the days and persons who are left. It is the challenge of living love, though we do not have an acceptable answer for those who would ask, "How can you keep believing?" One thing I have learned is, love does not always have the perfect answer. And that is a rough education for one who grew up believing that true faith is having all the answers.

    For all the children who have lost their lives to guns, diseases, war and abuse, I MUST believe that the angelic whisper, " little one, my loved one, you are safe", resounds throughout eternity.

  2. Thank-you, JohninAwe.

    Anselm, echoing Augustine, asserts: Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam - I do not seek to understand in order to believe; instead I believe in order that I may understand. Thank you for reminding us so eloquently and touchingly that perhaps we must rather love if we are to bear our inability to understand.

    Blessings to you, your children and your grandchildren

  3. It occurs to me that this is exactly what Paul describes as one of the three greatest gifts in I Cor. 13. That's what it's supposed to be when Christians reflect the great, powerfu, yet loving God to Whom they give allegience through Jesus Christ the great Exemplar. Your reflection Also reminds me of the tender love song from some years back, "Nothing's going to harm you...not while I'M around." O, to be surrounded by such a love! O, to be the bearers of such a fruit of that precious gift in our own small world!

  4. that pix of an angel protecting the children on a bridge was a 'portal' of spiritual realities to me when i was a child. i saw it for the first time at my friend teresa's house. a few years later her mom commited suicide. i may have been 10 when it happened. i never saw teresa again. the pix & the family tragedy go together in my mind. it seems like a story of flannery o'connors.

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