[This is a continuation of our look at Daniel 9 for the only medical protocol that will heal our land.]
CONFESS OUR SINS
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed … “we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments. … Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets” (9:4-12).
Like Nehemiah in his great prayer for the nation, who admitted that both “I and my father’s house have sinned” (Neh. 1:6), Daniel laid the blame for the current judgment squarely where it should be.
God had graciously provided for His people, and they had rebelled against Him. It was just that simple. And our situation is exactly the same. God knows we must come to this understanding, and confession is agreement with God about His evaluation.
Read Daniel 9:4-12 carefully in your Bible. Dissect it, and you will see the way in which we are to name our sins in prayer and confess not only our personal sins, but the iniquities of our nation.
Are you confessing?
UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S JUDGMENT
“As is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice” (9:13-14).
We rarely grasp this. God is a God of perfect love, and His judgment to His people is an expression of that love. Like pain to the human body, it is His means to show us that what we are doing is harmful, and that we need to make immediate and deliberate adjustments.
His judgment is all around us, seeking to bring us to our senses, but we evaluate it differently. We don’t make the connection between what is happening and the judgment of God. If our assessment is not right, our responses will never be right.
Are you properly evaluating the current events around you and helping others to do the same?
“All this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth” (9:13).
There should be one response when we realize we have sinned: turning. This is repentance. It is a Spirit-wrought change of mind about our direction, and a Spirit-empowered turning back to the Lord and His direction.
If we recognize our sin and God’s judgment but fail to repent, it has done nothing but make us more culpable.
Are you repenting and helping others turn also?
CRY OUT FOR MERCY, FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S GLORY
“So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (9:17-19).
Only God can save us, but He can save us. He is waiting for a humble, desperate cry. He always responds to the united, repentant pleas of His children and sends the reviving we need.
We must cry out for the right purpose. We should be motivated by what our rebellion is doing to God’s impeccable name. We must cry out not merely for our own sake or comfort, but so God can be seen and worshiped for the great God that He is.
Are you crying out for revival, for God’s sake?
Look at Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter, Paul, and of course, most deeply at Jesus. What each of them did in their day is the prescription and protocol we must follow for our national disease. There is no other.
We must aggressively do the work of the church every day without fail. But if we are concerned for the larger picture of God’s kingdom, we must use the means of grace God has eternally designed, as Daniel did. We must humbly cry out … and we must do it now.