Daniel 9:1-4a In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom – in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: …
Daniel is an excellent role-model for us today.
Firstly, he had complete confidence in the truth of what God reveals to us through the Scriptures. In spite of Jeremiah’s widespread unpopularity and rejection because he was the messenger of the LORD’s judgement on Jerusalem and the sacred Temple, faithful Daniel recognised him as the LORD’s genuine prophet, and his writings as Holy Scripture.
Secondly, Daniel recognised and acknowledged the LORD’s righteous justice in the destruction of the Temple and Zion, and that, although there was to be a limit on this and a restoration from it, there was great need for heartfelt confession and true repentance so that the same thing would not be repeated in the future.
Thirdly, Daniel was prepared to identify fully with the people’s sin and to plead for the LORD’s mercy and forgiveness on his own, as well as the people’s, behalf. As we see our world today coming more and more under God’s judgement because of its widespread rejection of him and his Written Word, does Daniel’s attitude of lamentation and repentance characterise our response, or do we tend to be judgemental and want to blame what’s happening on ‘all those wicked people out there’ instead of acknowledging how much we fall short of the holiness our holy God requires? Of course, fundamental to our attitude of lamentation and repentance is the need to take refuge in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
– Bruce Christian