2007-09-30 - Daniel
Chapter 9: Part 3 ~ Installment 70
Verses 4-11b: Daniel starts off his prayer with a recognition of who God is, and how far His people have fallen. God is the one before whom His people must stand in awe. Daniel notes that God keeps His promises given in love, and in return, those who love Him keep His commands. Sound familiar?
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21
This is who God is. But who is Daniel? He is of the Jewish people, God's own, who have chosen a life of sin, wickedness, rebellion and rejection of His commands. As God has spoken to them through His servants, the prophets -including Daniel - they have rejected the prophetic message. Daniel's confession therefore is not general, but specific.
Daniel continues to contrast the righteousness of God and the wickedness of the people. And remember, by including himself with the nation as a whole, Daniel is acknowledging that God's judgment on the nation also falls on him. And so he speaks of the shame of the people because of their unfaithfulness. Again remember, the reason they were taken into exile and the city was to remain desolate for seventy years, was in recognition of the disobedience of the people in keeping the Law in the land. Specifically they had been involved in idolatry, Sabbath-breaking and a total disregard of the Lord's commands in general. As a result, they were carried away into exile, and Jerusalem was allowed to fall.
The sin and rebellion occurred at all levels, from the rulers to the "common" man. Though in many cases, the leaders of the nation were the ones who steered the people into disobedience. Nevertheless. all were responsible for the acts of rebellion. And if God judges a people, then even those who do strive to be obedient suffer with the corporate body. Daniel himself is the proof of this situation. But in spite of all of this wickedness, God was still a loving and merciful Lord.
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