2007-10-14 - Daniel
Chapter 9: Part 4 ~ Installment 72
Verses 15-16: Keeping in mind that Daniel knew the day was coming when the desolation of Jerusalem would end. Therefore, assuming there would be the opportunity for the people to return to the land, he notes that the God who brought them out of Egypt could certainly choose to end the time of judgment and restore the city. And one reason to desire this was because of the condition of the city. The nations around Jerusalem Israel because of her fall, and by implication, scorned God, as one who couldn't even protect the people who worshiped Him.
Verses 17-19: Finally Daniel appeals to the mercy of God, the very basis by which we too are saved. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)
It was the love and mercy that saved us in the midst of our sins, and it was this same mercy and forgiveness which Daniel was appealing for. Daniel pleads that God will act quickly, that is, not delay the end of the period of desolation. This was not because of the righteousness of the people, but because their condition, and the condition of God's city, were a negative reflection on God. God's mercy and love are always undeserved. Our salvation says absolutely nothing about us, but shows the greatness of our loving Father.
God is usually understood by how He is reflected in the lives of men. When someone claiming the name of God tells how he talked to a nine hundred foot Jesus, or how God would slay him if enough money doesn't come in, he not only brings ridicule on himself, but unfortunately he also brings it down on the Lord. And so in recognition of this, Daniel concludes prayer with a plea to God's mercy and an appeal to protect His name. Daniel has no illusions about the ongoing sinfulness of the Jewish people, but he also has an implicit trust in the love and mercy of the Lord.
To be continued.
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