Once you did not belong to a family! This was because you were not yet born. Then your mom fell pregnant and you were born … born into a family and became part of that family. This was true with Israel. Their fore-father Abraham was not part of God’s family, yet through the new birth, salvation:
Ge 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness
God incorporated him into His forever family. This reality is true of every Christian:
1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Be it with Abraham (Israel) or you and me in Christ … God has made a name for Himself and this name endures to this very day and will until we are safely with Him in His Glory.
Da 9:15 “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day”
1) Daniel again raises the issue that caused their exile … “we have sinned, we have done wrong.” Acknowledgement and confession of sin opens the ear of God. Lacking this exposes a lack of understanding the true nature of man (Doctrine of Man) and an understanding of the sin (Doctrine of Sin) and an understanding of God’s wrath pour out upon His Son, Jesus at Calvary (Doctrine of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ).
2) Daniel pleads his case based upon his understanding of the Doctrine of God.
Da 9:16 “O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts.”
He has already acknowledged that what God does is right (righteous) and now reminds God that whatever He does is right (righteous acts). In Daniel’s mind is God’s mighty deliverance from Egypt … and if God could do that then, He is able and capable of doing the same for Israel by taking them out of the province of Babylon. Daniel knew that Israel’s faith waned in the desert, they tested God, they sinned so that God walked them through the desert for 40 years so that all the adults who left Egypt could die off in the desert … but He brought the nation safely into the Land of Promise. He knew that Israel could not conquer the nations in Canaan unless the Lord helped them. He did. Daniel’s understanding of God was such that he believed God could do the miraculous … conquering the world’s super power, Egypt. Conquering the deadly and deathly desert, even providing food (manna and quail) and water. Conquering all the nations of Canaan … if my God could do all this then my God can deliver us from Babylon! He had a high view of God and he claimed what God had done for them now. Surely nothing is impossible for God?
Lu 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Although we have considered it, Daniel used Scripture [the history of Israel with God as her creator, sustainer and Savior] as he prayed. His prayer was not for self but for the nation. He did not seek personal glory but that of God. God’s honor was at the helm of his prayer. O my beloved, before we take the next step … stop and think about how you pray and what you pray for and about. Are you using the Bible? Are you seeking God’s honor so that when He answers He is glorified? Are you praying for His kingdom people? Or do you prayers revolved largely around yourself? Prayers that God answers are those ones that use His Word as the basis for prayer, seek His glory and honor and have the Kingdom of Jesus at heart.
3) Daniel started praying in verse 4. The prayer stretches to verse 19 … and only in verse 16 does he pray for relief! He has establish his case of who God is and how wicked they as a nation have been, deserving everything God threw at them in punishment … and only now does he plead for mercy … “turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill”. This is so different to our praying. We rush in and almost immediately, without any Bible as a foundation, ask for pardon and mercy. Once again you see his selflessness by first and fore-mostly seeking deliverance for the City of God, Jerusalem. Although nothing remained on the hill (Jerusalem is built on a hill), his intent is that it be restored so that the temple can be rebuilt and God return to dwell there amongst His people. Then in seeking relief, you notice he prays that both God’s anger and wrath be diverted … away from the center of Israeli worship … God’s holy hill. Does this perhaps seem absurd? Not at all … look further into the future. It was in Jerusalem that Jesus was crucified. It was in Jerusalem that Jesus rose from the dead. It was in Jerusalem that the Spirit came at Pentecost. Where Jerusalem is not important today, other than for historical value, it was vital in Daniel’s day … in preparation for the Messiah’s arrival!
4) Daniel develops anger and wrath being diverted by praying, “Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.” Ouch! Daniel includes the present nation’s sin but also that of the fore-fathers as the instrument that caused the destruction of the Jerusalem and the temple resulting the city and the people being viewed with scorn by those around them (pagan nations). The present people and their ancestors sinned so … they caused the downfall of Jerusalem and the temple! They caused the name of their God, their city, their temple and them as a nation to be looked at with contempt. They were looked down upon, mocked, scoffed at and despised. You need to get this … it was not so much about themselves being humiliated. It was more about their God’s good name being belittled and mocked because of their sin! Their God was always seen as the God to be feared. He worked for His people, saving, delivering, protecting and providing … yet now He is view as an inferior deity, unable to care for His people and the City where His abode is in the temple. Yes it is true God Himself permitted this exile, but it was His people Israel who caused it by their rebellious nature and their rejection of their God. They brought their God and His holy name into disrepute. Before us lies a great challenge in the shape of the way in which we treat our God, His name and reputation. As soon as you confessed Jesus as Lord, you took a public stand for Him, His Word and His Cause. If you are mediocre or blatantly dishonor His Gospel and holiness, you are dishonoring Him and all He stands for.
O God, help me to walk in holiness of life so that I bring You glory and honor daily. Amen.