Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median
descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans--
(Darius: Da 1:21 5:31 6:1,28 11:1)
Prayer for and God's Prophecy of Future Restoration of Israel
1. Daniel Prays According to the Word and Will of God. Daniel 9:1-19
Daniel 9:1, 2: Daniel Prompted to Prayer by Prophecy of Jeremiah
b. Daniel 9:3: Daniel Prepares His Heart for Prayer
c. Daniel 9:4-19: Daniel's Prayer of Confession and Petition
1) Daniel 9:4-14:
2) Daniel 9:15, 17, 18, 19: Petition
Answer in a Prophecy. Daniel
Daniel 9:20, 22, 23: Gabriel God's Messenger to Daniel
b. Daniel 9:24, 25, 26, 27: God's Prophetic Plan for Israel's Future
order: A prophet in the Word of God in prayer precedes the panoramic
prophecy. This great chapter teaches on prayer not by precept but by
letting us listen to a godly man praying!
prayer is a prayer regarding 70 years. The answer is an answer
regarding 70 weeks of years...The prayer is a prayer for
restoration. The answer is the answer of ultimate restoration
in the coming of Messiah. So the chapter is divided into two parts,
the prayer and its answer. And while the prayer occurred
at one point in time, one day in the life of Daniel, the answer
extends to the Kingdom of Christ...The prayer is the main thrust of
the chapter. In fact, there is twice as much attention in verse
numbers given to the prayer as there is to its answer. Prophecy is
important, but it cannot substitute for prayer. God never calls us to
be so speculative or so attached to the future that we lose sight of
the present. That’s the essence of the significance of the prayer. (John
MacArthur - Elements of True Prayer, Part 1)
The first year - Daniel 9:23
states that Daniel was given a vision in this first year, and
this vision represents the third of four visions which are summarized
#1 - Daniel 7:1 - First year of King Belshazzar (~553BC)
Vision #2 - Daniel 8:1 - Third year of King Belshazzar (~551BC)
#3 - Daniel 9:23 - First year of Darius the Mede (~538/539BC)
#4 - Daniel 10:1 - Third year of Cyrus the Persian (~535/536BC)
The first year of
Darius (note) the son of
Ahasuerus (note) of Median descent - In Da 5:30-note
we see God remove Belshazzar, the King (and kingdom) of Babylon (cf Da
then in Da 5:31-note
we observe Him establish "Darius the Mede (who) received the kingdom at about age of
sixty-two" (539BC) so that vision #3 occurs about 12 years after
vision #2 in Daniel 8. Stated another way, the vision of Daniel 9
occurred after Daniel 5 and presumably at some time during Daniel 6.
Daniel 9:2 in the first year of his reign, I,
Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was
revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for
the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely,
(Observed: Da 8:15,16 Ps 119:24,99,100 Mt 24:15 Mk 13:14 Ac
8:34 1Ti 4:13 2Ti 3:15, 16, 17 1Pe 1:10, 11, 12 2Pe 1:19, 20, 21 Rev 1:3) (to
Jeremiah: 2Ch 36:21 Jer 25:11,12 27:7 29:10 Zec 7:5) (the
desolations: Ps 74:3, 4, 5, 6, 7 79:1,2 Isa 6:11,12 24:10, 11, 12 64:10 Jer 7:34
25:18 Jer 26:6,18 La 1:1 Mic 3:12)
In the first year - 539BC
(see Da 5:30, 31-note).
Repetition of time phrase from Da 9:1.
I, Daniel - Who wrote
Daniel? This declaration could not be much clearer and yet the
so-called "higher critics" and liberal "scholars" seek to debunk
Daniel as a forgery and a fake. They do so at great peril to their
credibility and their eternal destiny for our Lord Jesus Christ
clearly affirmed that the book of Daniel was written by Daniel and
that is good enough for me! (see Mt 24:15)
Observed - It seems that
even in ancient times the skills of
Inductive Bible Study,
practiced by God's saints. How valuable and vital is the skill of
inductive Bible study
for God's saints today as we see events transpiring in
our world which suggest that
we might soon come to the end of this age, which will culminate at the
return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Second
Coming) to crush evil (which is growing at an alarming rate
in America, circa 2010) and bring truth and righteousness to
light when His glory fills the whole earth (An oft repeated prophecy -
Nu 14:21 Ps 72:19 Isa 6:3 11:9 Hab 2:14).
Daniel understood something from
reading the words of God's prophets. Prophecy is meant to be
understood - perhaps not in every detail, but certainly in its main
points...passionately as he did in Daniel 9? Daniel knew that God's
promises invite our prayers and participation; they don't exclude our
prayers and participation. "Nothing, therefore, can be better for us,
than to ask for what he has promised." (Calvin) This principle is
repeated in many passages. 2 Peter 3:12 indicates that there is a
sense in which we can hasten the Lord's coming by our holy conduct and
godly lives; we can also hasten the Lord's coming through evangelism
because Paul says that God's prophetic focus on Israel will resume
when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25). This
means that we can also hasten the Lord's coming through prayer, even
as Daniel asked for a speedy fulfillment of prophecy regarding captive
Israel (Daniel 9). We can also pray Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
(Revelation 22:20) If you want Jesus to come soon, there is something
you can do about it!
C H Spurgeon once cried out
in essence for a "generation of Daniels" declaring...
Oh! That you studied your Bibles
more! Oh! That we all did! How we could plead the promises! How often
we should prevail with God when we could hold Him to His word, and
say, 'Fulfill this Word unto Thy servant, whereon Thou hast caused me
to hope.' Oh! It is grand praying when our mouth is full of God's
Word, for there is no word that can prevail with Him like His own."
I like how Rosscup
introduces his exposition of Daniel 9 on a great prayer answered by
a great prophecy...
sensitive to his people’s need, saturated with God’s Word,
with fellow Israelites in their plight, and surrendered to God.
(Rosscup, J. E. An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible: Igniting the
Fuel to Flame Our Communication with God) (Bolding Added)
I, Daniel, observed in the books
- Not the devotionals. Not the commentaries (even the one you are
reading!). The books of God's Word, in this case
Jeremiah the prophet. Remember that Daniel was in an important
position of leadership under Darius (cf Da 6:1,2-note), but his "busyness" did not lead
to "barrenness" (spiritually speaking) for it did not prevent him from
serious Bible study and prayer (cp Da 6:10 - "three times a day"!).
Beloved, you may be the
president of a corporation or the janitor in that corporation, but in
either case you are in daily, even "desperate" need of the intake of
the pure milk of God's Truth in a world filled with deception and
lies! (cp Mt 4:4, John
8:31, 32, 36, 1Pe 2:1, 2-note
= Take care of the business of verse one so that you will have
the "infant-like" yearning and hunger of verse two!; He 5:14-note,
Job 23:12-note -Does
this have anything to do with why/how Job was able to bear up under
unspeakable tribulations and sufferings?; Joshua 1:8-note,
are the promises from God in Joshua and Psalm 1?; Jas 1:23, 24-note;
Beloved, mark it down --
If you are too busy for serious time with your Lord in His clearly
spoken, accurately recorded, everlasting, very personal Word of Truth
and Life, then simply put...
John Phillips offers a good
word of caution...
If, in our
study of the sacred page, we are so eager to get on with exploring
prophecies that we neglect such passages as this, then we are in no
spiritual condition to study prophecy at all. Prophecy is not in
the Bible just to satisfy our curiosity about the future; it's there
to help develop our spiritual capacity. (for the present)
(Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary) (Bolding and
parenthetic statement added)
word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet - This phrase clearly
teaches that God spoke to and through His servants, the prophets. What
they recorded was not "their own words" but "God's very words" in
written form. Do you realize that every time you open the Bible and
read a passage or paragraph, God is speaking directly to you? Do you
really believe that He is speaking to you? He is because He has! While
the canon of Scripture is closed, God still speaks clearly in His
Word, the Bible. What other Book can you read where the Creator of the
Universe is speaking to you? What other Book can you read where the
"Author" Himself indwells you, teaches you, enables you to understand
and then gives you the power to comply? So what's your excuse? Why are
you not on your knees daily allowing Him to speak to your wayward
heart? The amazing truth is that He the Almighty Creator even yearns
for an intimate, personal relationship with you His creation. You are
very important to Him, regardless of what messages you have heard from
misguided parents, friends and foes or the world system. God so loved
the World that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in
Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)
Have you accepted His amazing,
"life changing" invitation to believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts
16:31, Acts 4:12, Jn 8:12, 24)?
The number of years - What
does this phrase say about Daniel's approach to the interpretation of
prophecy? He does not say "the symbolism" of the "years" nor
the "spiritualization" of the "years" but the number of
years. Beloved when the plain
(literal, normative grammatical sense) of what God is saying makes
we dare not take it in some
symbolical or spiritualized sense), lest our interpretation end up
Namely seventy years - Daniel interprets the prophecy of seventy years as
literal and does not attempt to spiritualize it (See
Literal Interpretation), as so often happens when one
attempts to interpret Scripture which is of the "apocalyptic" genre
(cp attempts to spiritualize the specific number "one thousand" in Re 20:2-note,
- not once but six times!). (See related topics -
The Rise of Allegorical
Daniel was reading Jeremiah
the prophet and
this may have been the passage that he was reading...
writes that) From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king
of Judah (~627BC = Inception of Jeremiah's ministry - cp Jer 1:2),
even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has
come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not
listened. And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets
again and again (referring to true prophets, not the false prophets
rampant in Jeremiah's day - cp Je 14:14, 15, 16, Je 23:16, 17, 21, 22,
23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31ff, Je 27:14, 15), but you have not
listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, 'Turn now
everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and
dwell on the land which the LORD has given to you and your
forefathers forever and ever; 6 and do not go after other gods
to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to
anger with the work of your hands (Idolatry), and I will do you no
harm (A conditional promise).' 7 "Yet you have not listened to Me,"
declares the LORD, "in order that you might provoke Me to anger with
the work of your hands to your own harm. 8 "Therefore thus says the
LORD of hosts, 'Because you have not obeyed My words, 9 behold, I will
send and take all the families of the north (cp Je 1:14, 15, 16),
'declares the LORD,' and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon, My servant (cp Jer 27:6 - Refusal to listen to his
servants the prophets would necessitate His use of another type of
"servant" to get Israel's attention! Note that God is not the Author
of evil but in the mystery of the sovereignty of God, He is able to
use evil men and nations to bring about His desired ends. And at the
same time He is perfectly justified in punishing these evil men and
nations as described below in verse 12), and will bring them against
this land (The Land of Israel), and against its inhabitants, and
against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy
them, and make them a horror, and a hissing, and an everlasting
desolation. 10 'Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and
the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of
the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11
'And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these
nations shall serve the king of Babylon
12 'Then it will be when
are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,'
declares the LORD, 'for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans;
and I will make it (Babylon) an everlasting desolation (A prophecy
which was partially fulfilled in 539BC in Da 5:31 but which will be
fully fulfilled in Re 18:2-note,
Why did God specify seventy
years? First we must understand God's ordinance of the Sabbath
year which He specified to Moses at Mount Sinai as recorded in
Speak to the sons of Israel, and
say to them, 'When you come into the land which I shall give you, then
the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. 'Six years you shall
sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather
in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath
rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune
your vineyard. Your harvest's aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your
grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a
sabbatical year. And all of you shall have the sabbath products of the
land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your
hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with
you. (Lev 25:2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Comment: The year of Sabbath
Rest for the land also had other important associations including (1)
the remission of debts (Dt 31:10) and (2) the reading of His Word
("the law", presumably the Torah) so that they might hear God's Word
(How important is it that we today preach this same Word!)
and learn a proper reverential fear of Him (Dt 31:11, 12, 13).
Remember that "fear" of God is a good thing, not a bad thing.
many advantages associated with proper fear of Jehovah, a doctrine
found in both the Old and New Testaments!
For a profitable time of study,
read over the following passages and make a list of the spiritual
"dividends" that accrue when one fears the LORD (this would make a
simple but powerful Sunday School lesson)
- Pr 1:7 [cf Pr 15:33, Ps 111:10-note,
Pr 9:10, Ps 25:14 [Where Hebrew word for "secret" conveys the
following senses - intimate=Pr 3:32, sweet fellowship=Ps
55:14, friendship=Job 29:4, secret counsel=Am 3:7; Job
1:1, 9, 28:28 [What does fear cause Job to do which is similar to Pr 3:7,
8:13, 16:6?], Does fear of the LORD come naturally? = Ps 34:11-note
[cf. the prayer of Ps 119:38-note]; Ps 115:13-note;
; Ps 103:17-note,
What do we have to do? Pr 1:29 - Play the chorus
We Choose the Fear of the LORD;
Pr 10:27, Pr 14:26, Pr 14:27, Pr 19:23, Pr 22:4, What is fear an
"antidote" for? See Pr 23:17 and Pr 29:25; Ec 8:12, 13,
Ge 22:12, Ps 33:18-note;
Beware = Isa 29:13; Ps 2:11-note
[where "reverence" = fear]; Pr 31:30; Ps 128:1-note
[cf Pr 28:14, Ps 112:1-note,
Lk 12:4, 5; Acts 9:31; 2Cor 7:1-note;
Mal 4:2; Ec 12:13, 14, Re 11:18-note, Re 19:5-note)
Again in Leviticus (and Dt 28:1-30:20, esp Dt 30:19, 20)
God made it clear that if His people Israel
obeyed Him, He would abundantly bless them, but...
if you do
not obey (shama = listen so as to obey, used repeatedly with this
sense in Daniel 9!) Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead,
you reject (Hebrew "ma'ac" = to despise, spurn, disdain, scorn.
Woe!) My statutes, and if your soul abhors
(Heb = "qa'al" = intense aversion, detest, loath, vilely cast away!
Woe again!) My ordinances so as
not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, I, in
turn, will do this to you (Lev 26:14, 15, 16a)...
I will scatter
(you) (Hebrew = zarah = disperse as scattering seed; see
among the nations (Northern 10 Tribes were taken captive to Assyria in
722BC, the Southern 2 Tribes to Babylon, 605, 597, 586BC) and will
draw out a sword after you, as your land (Israel)
becomes desolate and your cities become waste. 'Then (When?) the
land (of Israel) will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of
the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the
land (of Israel) will rest (Hebrew = shabath) and enjoy
its sabbaths (Hebrew = shabbath). All the days of its
desolation (referring to the land of Israel) it will observe the
rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you
were living on it. (Lev 26:33, 34, 35)
In Second Chronicles we read
Israel and Jerusalem) who had escaped from the sword he
(Nebuchadnezzar) carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to
him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia,
(Always take note of "until" which specifies when something
comes to an end, in this case the Babylonian captivity) 21 to fulfill
the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah (Jer 25:11,12, Je
29:10), until (Note) the land (of Israel) had enjoyed its
sabbaths (In Le 25:4 [cf. Ex 23:10, 11] God had specified that the
land was to "rest" and lay fallow for one year - other important
events were also commanded to occur every 7 years - Dt 15:1, Ex 21:2,
Ne 10:31). All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until
were complete (70 sabbaths would be 70 x 7 years or 490 years which is
the period from about the time of Saul to the Babylonian captivity
during which they did not keep the sabbath for the land). 22 Now in
the first year of
Cyrus king of Persia -- in order to fulfill the word
of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah-- the LORD stirred up the spirit
of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his
kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 Thus says Cyrus king
of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms
of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in
Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His
people, may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!'" (2Chr
36:20, 21, 22, 23, cf Ezra 1:1, 2, 3, 4 and Isa 48:28, 45:1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7)
In punishing Israel, Jehovah used a Gentile King Nebuchadnezzar
to carry them off into Babylonian captivity for seventy years and then
used another Gentile King Cyrus of Persia (Read Isaiah's
incredible prophecy of Cyrus almost 150 years before Cyrus was even
born and about 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple
and sacked Jerusalem in 586BC - Is 44:28, Is 45:1, 2, 3, 4) to bring
them out of captivity and back to the land of Israel.
How sovereign is God in history?
Do you believe He is that sovereign in your life, beloved? We can
trust Him. He is in control even when our life seems out of control!
Merrill adds that "“The real tragedy of the exile was not the
removal of the people nor even the utter destruction of the city and
the temple. It was the departure of their God from their midst, an
absence symbolized in one of Ezekiel’s visions by the movement of the
Shekinah from the temple to the summit of the Mount of Olives (Ezek
If we take 605BC (the first
of the three deportations, followed by 597BC and 586BC) as the
inception of the 70 years, Daniel would have received this vision
in about the 67th or 68th year of the Babylonian captivity (First year
of Darius ~539/538BC) and thus he would realize that the exile would
soon "expire" (536BC).
Remember that revelation should always cause a response. And what does
this Scriptural revelation prompt this great man of God to do?
In this case
Daniel's response was to pray!
The other reason God took Judah
into exile and sent desolation on the land and His Temple is because
His people were flagrantly worshipping idols rather than the true and
living God. God states His case in second Chronicles declaring...
Because they have forsaken Me
and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me
to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore My wrath will be
poured out on this place and it shall not be quenched. (2Chr 34:25)
Comment: A W Tozer
said that "Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly
any other is more hateful to God than idolatry, for idolatry
is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes
that God is other than He is - in itself a monstrous sin - and
substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness. Always
this God will conform to the image of the one who created it and will
be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the
mind from which it emerges.
A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally
be no true likeness of the true God. ”Thou thoughtest,” said the Lord
to the wicked man in the psalm, ”that I was altogether such as one as
thyself.” Surely this must be a serious affront to the Most High God
before whom cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, ”Holy, holy,
holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.”
Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that
idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of
adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it.
The essence of idolatry is the
entertainment of thoughts
about God that are unworthy of Him.
It begins in the mind and may be
present where no overt act of worship has taken place. (Knowledge
Of The Holy) (Note also that "Idolatry"
begins with a "Big I"! Need I say more!)
In a more general sense, Israel's
failure to keep the sabbath years and her continual seeking
like a harlot after abominable idols reflected specific aspects
of her disobedience to the Mosaic Covenant ("The Ten Commandments")
and its "addendum" (Note Dt 29:1 specifically says "besides the
covenant...") which was spoken through Moses at Moab (Dt 29:1 - In the
Hebrew Bible this verse is the last verse of Dt 28 and thus may be a
concluding statement of the preceding declaration rather than an
introduction to what follows. Some refer to this as the "Palestinian
Covenant" viewing it as giving Israel the title to the land [Dt 30:5]
but MacArthur sees that the emphasis is more on the change of Israel's
heart - cf Dt 29:4 and Dt 30:6 this latter an allusion to the "New
Covenant" of Jer 31:31-34)
(The context is the "addendum"
issued at Moab) And all the nations (the Gentiles) shall say, 'Why has
the LORD done thus to this land (Israel)? Why this great outburst of
anger?' Then men shall say, 'Because they forsook the covenant of
the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when
He brought them out of the land of Egypt." (So even the heathen
recognize Israel's failure to remain faithful to her covenant promises
to Jehovah!) (Dt 29:24, 25)
Daniel 9:3 So I gave my
attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. (I set: Da 6:10
Neh 1:4-11 Ps 102:13-17 Jer 29:10-13 33:3 Ezek 36:37 Jas 5:16-18) (with
fasting: Da 10:2,3 Ezra 8:21 9:5 10:6 Neh 1:4 9:1 Es 4:1-3,16 Ps
35:13 Ps 69:10,11 Isa 22:12 Joe 1:13 2:12 Jonah 3:6-9 Lk 2:37 Ac 10:30
RESPONSE OF A
Too many people study Bible
prophecy out of curiosity, but fail to let their study impact their
spiritual life. Not so with Daniel. Daniel was undoubtedly a man
of prayer as emphasized by the fact that four of the twelve chapters
record him praying and about 125 of the 356 verses in the book deal in
some way with his prayers! (see esp Da 2:17, 18, 6:10, 11, 13, ) Is it any surprise that Daniel hat he was
highly esteemed in heaven’s throne room (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 18)?
Lord, give us more "highly
esteemed Daniels" in these dark days of decadence and decline. Amen.
Ray Pritchard notes
Our prayers never exist in a
vacuum. The prayer that touches God’s heart must be rooted in God’s
Word. As Luther said, we ought to take God’s promises and fling them
back in his face. “Lord, you said you would do this. You made a
promise. Now, Lord, do what you said you would do.” Spurgeon noted
that “God loves to be believed in.” Well, of course. We all love to be
believed in. Why should God be any different? The prayer that changes
the world begins and builds on what God has already revealed. When you
pray, stand on the promises of God. (The
Positive Power of Prayer)
So - Time in the Word of God
stimulated a need for prayer to the God of the Word! (cf Acts 6:4 for
association of Word and Prayer). In other words, because
Daniel believed in that the literal seventy years of captivity
was almost completed, his belief (faith) in this truth prompted him to direct his attention
Beloved, if your study of God's
holy Word is not impacting your prayer life (content, frequency,
fervency) then something is dreadfully wrong with your Bible study!
Too often our interest in the
prophetic Scriptures is of a curious and speculative nature, or else
we conclude that God will carry out His sovereign purpose no matter
what we do, and so we do not concern ourselves about those matters.
Saturation with Scriptures motivated Daniel to pray. In God's
sovereignty, the promise of Jeremiah 29 would indeed come to pass.
God's sovereignty is a mystery which He has chosen to balance with
man's responsibility and thus Daniel prayed for he knew God would
fulfill. He prayed because saints are commanded to pray. James says we
have not because we ask not and we do not receive when we ask
with wrong motives (Jas 4:2, 3). The implication clearly is we are to
pray and to do so in God's will which is directed by His Word. In the
present context, the shortness of time before the prophecy of Jeremiah
29 was to be fulfilled created in this highly esteemed servant an
urgency to intercede.
As you watch events transpire in
America circa 2010, do you not feel a sense of urgency, dear highly
esteemed saint (That is what you are because He calls you "Beloved" -
cf 1Th 1:4-note)?
When we contemplate that the
last words of the Bible are a prophecy of the
return of the Messiah (In Rev
He promises "Yes, I am coming quickly"), should not the saint's
supernatural response be to cry out like John...
COME, LORD JESUS.
Is this prayer not a parallel to
some of the first words that our Lord taught the disciples to pray...
The call for God's kingdom to come
is tantamount to a cry for the return of the King of that Kingdom, the
Lord Jesus Christ (cf Maranatha = "Our Lord, come!" 1Co 16:22b). As we
see the day of His return drawing nigh (not setting dates of course
but with a sense of the signs of the times undergirding the
doctrine of imminency),
how fitting to pray these great prayers without ceasing (cf 1Th 5:17-note)!
Daniel 9:2 says this is "the word of
(Note the only use of
in Daniel is Daniel 9:2, 4, 10, 13,
14, 20) and if He is communicating with us, we should be growing in
our desire to communicate with Him!
Strauss adds that...
Daniel's secret lay in his
and right use of the Scriptures.
This is the best possible prompting
to prayer. Bible reading and prayer stand or fall together. If your
prayer life is lacking, take up the Word of God and give yourself to
quiet and reflective reading. Daniel was reading his Bible and it was
that which prompted him to pray...When a man of God believes the
promises of God his faith becomes active, not passive. Faith always
tends to draw the believing one to God. (Ibid)
You might be asking, why pray
when you already know what is going to transpire? God is
sovereign, so why should I pray? The reason we are to pray for things
we know God promises will come to pass, is because God tells us to
pray. For example, Jesus commands us to...
and it shall be given to you;
and you shall find; knock,
and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he
who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. (Mt 7:7, 8)
(Note: Ask, seek and knock are all
= command to "pray without ceasing"!)
Until now you have asked for
nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be made
full. (Jn 16:24)
John MacArthur addresses the
question of "Why pray when you know what God is going to do?"...
Now, human reason would say this:
You’re reading along in Jeremiah, and you read it will be seventy
years, and God always fulfills His Word, right? So your response would
be what’s to pray for. What are you going pray for? It’s cut and
dried. Seventy years, it’s over. What are we praying for? Now, that’s
the typical response of human reason. It doesn’t make sense. But that
is not Daniel's response...when Daniel read of the plan of God, rather
than becoming fatalistic about it and slamming shut those...the book
or closing down the scroll, and saying, “Well, that’s that. Let me get
my rocker, man. It’s almost over.” He went immediately to his knees in
brokenness and penitence and cried out to God in sackcloth and ashes
on the behalf of his people....You say, “Why?” Let me tell you why.
You know why we ought to pray when we find out God’s purposes in His
Word? Not because God needs our prayers to do it, but because we need
to line up with God’s causes. Prayer is for us. It’s for us... We line
our hearts up with His causes. We see our sinfulness. We see the need
of His grace and power. And we submit ourselves to His plan. (Elements
of True Prayer)
And so Daniel prays a prayer of
faith, a prayer that claims the promise which God has said He would
perform. The prayer of faith is not based on stirring up enough
emotion so that I can lay hold of the Word of God and make it "work".
Instead, it is taking God at His Word and laying hold of God's character and God's
Seventy years was also
mentioned by Jeremiah in chapter 29 and this may have been the passage
that prompted Daniel's prayer...
are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent
from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests,
the prophets (among whom would be Daniel), and all the people
whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to
Babylon....10 For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have
been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word
to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 'For I know the plans
that I have for you,' (Remember this declaration is directed to
Israel - however the principle can of course be applied however by NT
believers) declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for
calamity to give you a future and a hope (First fulfilled with
Israel's return from Babylon, but which will be ultimately and fully
fulfilled at the
Second Coming of the
Messiah ["The Blessed Hope" Titus 2:13-note], when He establishes His Kingdom on earth and reigns His throne
in Jerusalem for
one thousand years).
you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to
you. 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with
all your heart. 'And I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and
I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations
and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the LORD,
'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into
exile.' (Jeremiah 29:1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, compare to a similar
promise in 1Ki 8:33, 34)
I gave my attention - More
literally this reads
"I set my face toward
Daniel is not just "shooting up" a
casual "arrow prayer". He is not just giving God a passing nod. Daniel
fixed his gaze on God, indicating his focus and fervency (fervent from
ferveo = to be hot, to glow. The idea is "pious ardor, animated zeal,
warmth of devotion" - Webster 1828 - "When you pray, let it be
with attention, with fervency, and with perseverance"). James says
that "The effective ("energetic" from
energeo) prayer of a righteous man
can accomplish much." (Jas 5:16b). Young's literal says "very strong
is a working supplication of a righteous man".
Would you characterize your
praying as "energetic" or "lethargic"?
Daniel's prayer was what saints of
old like C H Spurgeon and Thomas Brooks would classify as "importunate"
= Troublesomely urgent! Overly persistent in request or demand!
Thomas Brooks has some pithy
comments on fervency in prayer...
To pray in a right manner, is to
pray intensely, fervently, earnestly. So James 5:16, "The effectual
prayer of a righteous man availeth much;" or, as the Greek has it,
'the working prayer,' that is, such prayer as sets the whole man
a-work. The word signifies such a working as notes the liveliest
activity hat can be. As physic kills the body if it work not, so doeth
prayer the soul. As a painted fire is no fire, a dead man is no man,
so cold prayer is no prayer. In a painted fire, there is no heat. In a
dead man, there is no life. In a cold prayer, there is no omnipotency,
no devotion, and no blessing. Cold prayers are as arrows without
heads, swords without edges, birds without wings. They pierce not.
They cut not. They fly not up to heaven. Cold prayers do always freeze
before they get to heaven. So Jacob was earnest in his wrestling with
God: "Let me alone," says God. "I will not let Thee go except Thou
bless me," says Jacob (Ge 32:24, 25, 26, 27). Jacob, though lamed and
had laid at, will not let the Lord go without a blessing. Jacob holds
with his hands when his joints were out of joint, and so, as a prince,
prevails with God. Jacob prays and weeps, and weeps and prays, and so
prevails with God: Hosea 12:4, " Yea, he had power over the angel, and
prevailed: he wept and made supplication unto Him, etc. It is not the
labour of the lips, but the travail of the heart.
It is not the pouring forth of a
flood of words,
but the pouring out of the soul,
that makes a man a prince, a prevailer with God.
A man that would gain victory over
God in prayer, must strain every string of his heart; he must, in
beseeching God, besiege Him, and so "get the better of Him"' he must
strive in prayer even to an agony; he must be like importunate
beggars, that will not be put off with frowns, or silence, or sad
answers. Those that would be masters of their requests, must with the
importunate widow press God so far as to put him to the blush ;
they must with a holy impudence, as Basil speaks, make God ashamed to
look them in the face, if he should deny the importunity of their
souls. An importunate soul will never cease till he speed; he will
devour all discouragements; yea, he will turn discouragements into
encouragements, as the woman of Canaan did, till Christ says, ' Be
unto thee, O soul, as thou wilt.'
As a body without a soul,
much wood without fire,
a bullet in a gun without powder,
so are words in prayer
without fervency of spirit.
The hottest springs send forth
their waters by ebullitions. (The
Complete Works of Thomas Brooks - Volume 2)...
O, that Christians would chide
themselves out of their cold prayers, and chide themselves into a
better and warmer frame of spirit when they make their supplications
to the Lord. An importunate soul in prayer is like a poor beggar that
prays and knocks, that prays and waits, that prays and works, that
knocks and knits, that begs and patches, and will not stir from the
door till he hath an alms. An verily he that is good at this will not
be long a beggar in grace. God will make his heart and his cup to
overflow (Ed: As He did with Daniel!) (The
Complete Works of Thomas Brooks)
Jeremy Taylor ...
Easiness of desire is a great enemy
to the success of a good man's prayer. It must be an intense, zealous,
busy, operative prayer. For consider what a huge indecency it is that
a man should speak to God for a thing that he values not. Our prayers
upbraid our spirits when we beg tamely for those things for which we
ought to die. Things which are more precious than imperial scepters.
Richer than the spoils of the sea are the treasures of the Indian
Intercessory Prayer by D L Moody)
Related Resource -
Quotes To Motivate To Prayer. Or Prayer
Provoking Prayer Quotes
Pray Intensely, Fervently,
Earnestly (and Believingly, Assiduously, Sincerely)
Note that Daniel is praying toward
the Master, the sovereign God Who is in control and is the owner of
What a contrast Daniel presents
with the pagans who
set their face toward idols (which are really "no gods" - Dt 32:17, Ps 106:37, 38-note,
1Co 10:20, 2Chr 13:9, Je 2:11, Ac 19:26, Ga 4:8, 1Ti 4:1, Re 9:20-note)
of wood and stone!
To set our face toward Adonai is a good posture and
practice when we pray! How often I fumble through my prayers, half
asleep, sadly unaware (and/or forgetful) that I am in the "Holy of
holies", the very Throne room
of the Living God (cp Heb 4:16-note),
in His very presence during this intimate interval of time called
"prayer"! Daniel's setting his face toward God is something
akin to giving God "focused attention".
Is that the way I enter prayer?
Daniel demonstrates what it
means to pray in accordance with God’s will which provides an
excellent Old Testament illustration of John's teaching in the New
And this is the confidence which we
have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we
know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (1Jn
Clearly to pray according to God's
necessitates knowing God's
for it is there that His will is most clearly revealed. Such man
or woman, saturated with Scripture, then offers it back to God in
prayer, not wavering or doubting. (cf Jas 1:5, 6-note,
Jas 1:7, 8-note).
As an aside, praying according to God's will is another great benefit
Memorizing His Word (see
Memory Verses by Topic-consider
bookmarking to facilitate review).
You are regularly
memorizing His Word aren't you?
This is one
of the truly great models for prayer in the Bible. It may even have
set the pattern for the great prayers of Ezra (Ezra 9:6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15) and Nehemiah
(Neh 9:5-38). Its greatness is not due to eloquence or length. We are not
heard in heaven through "much speaking" or through "persuasive words
of wisdom," but through a childlike faith-response to God's
self-revelation in Scripture as we agree with His evaluation of us
(i.e., confession) and lay claim upon His precious promises (Heb.
10:19-22; James 1:6; 1 John 1:9). (Whitcomb, J. Daniel Everyman's
Daniel prayed believing that
God would answer him, for...
without faith it is
impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe
that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
John MacArthur reminds us of the
traits of this man Daniel...
we have seen him to be
uncompromising, bold, full of faith, unselfish, humble, completely
resistant to the world around him, persistent in his
commitment...,holy, incorruptible, consistent in his living style,
trustworthy, virtuous, obedient, worshipful. (Elements
of True Prayer, Part 1)
By prayer - (See related
Resources on Prayer
but be wary of the subtle "trap" of reading the resources and not
actually praying!) The Hebrew word tephillah is derived from
the verb palal (used in Da 9:4 "I prayed") and is the most
frequent word used for prayer in the OT.
Tephillah - 72x in 67v in
the OT and always rendered prayer or prayers in NAS
(Note that most uses are in the psalms) - 2 Sam 7:27; 1 Kgs 8:28f, 38,
45, 49, 54; 9:3; 2 Kgs 19:4; 20:5; 2 Chr 6:19f, 29, 35, 39f; 7:12, 15;
30:27; 33:18f; Neh 1:6, 11; 11:17; Job 16:17; Ps 4:1; 6:9; 17:1;
35:13; 39:12; 42:8; 54:2; 55:1; 61:1; 65:2; 66:19f; 69:13; 72:20;
80:4; 84:8; 86:6; 88:2, 13; 102:1, 17; 109:4, 7; 141:2, 5; 143:1; Pr
15:8, 29; 28:9; Isa 1:15; 37:4; 38:5; 56:7; Jer 7:16; 11:14; Lam 3:8,
44; Dan 9:3, 17, 21; Jonah 2:7; Hab 3:1
D L Moody...
Those who have left the deepest
impression on this sin-cursed earth have been men and women of
Lehman Strauss notes that...
There are three significant ninth
chapters in the Old Testament, all of them containing a prayer of a
similar nature: Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9. In each instance a
servant of God was on his knees before the the Word of God, earnestly
interceding for the people of God. The Old Testament prophets did not
sit in a passive state waiting for a revelation from God through a
dream, a vision, or a voice. They were "holy men of God" (2Pe 1:21-note)
who spent much time in prayer, searching for the message and meaning
of prophecy (1Pe 1:10, 11, 12-note).
When the deep things of God baffled them they followed the only true
course, that of asking God (Jas 1:5-note)
and trusting the Holy Spirit to show them (1Co 2:9, 10, 11). Prayer
and an understanding of God's Word are linked together. (The
Prophecies of Daniel)
Daniel began his prayer where we
all should - by recognizing the greatness and goodness of God.
Sometimes we approach God as a stingy person who must be persuaded to
give us something. But Daniel knew the problem was not with God. God
keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him. Daniel's prayer
is remarkable for both its understanding and earnestness. Many pray
with understanding but not earnestness; others are earnest but have no
understanding in prayer. The two together are a powerful combination.
"Oh! That our prayers could get beyond praying, till they got to
(tachanun) - Note it is plural not singular. Supplication is a
picturesque word which is related to the word "supple" meaning
that which is easily bent or pliable. To supplicate (sub- under
+ plico = fold; another source says supplicate is
derived from Latin supplicare = to beg on one’s knees)
means to beg, to entreat or to seek by earnest prayer and suggests a
posture of humility. In short, to make supplications gives the
picture of one begging on bended knee, a good posture when we are in
the Throne Room, the "Holy of holies", the very presence of the
Tachanun - 18x in 18v - 2
Chr 6:21; Job 41:3; Ps 28:2, 6; 31:22; 86:6; 116:1; 130:2; 140:6;
143:1; Pr 18:23; Jer 3:21; 31:9; Dan 9:3, 17, 18, 23; Zech 12:10. NAS
= supplication(3), supplications(15). Note then that this Hebrew word
is usually in the plural.
Daniel 9 gives rich instruction
True prayer is...
(1) in response to the Word and
grounded in God's will (Da 9:2)
(2) characterized by fervency (Da 9:3)
(3) characterized by self-denial (Da 9:4)
(4) identified unselfishly with God’s people (Da 9:5)
(5) strengthened by confession (Da 9:5-15)
(6) dependent on God’s character (Da 9:4,7,9,15)
(7) and has as its goal, God’s glory (Da 9:16, 17, 18, 19).
(Adapted from John MacArthur's Study Bible).
With Fasting (tsom)
is depriving the body of nourishment as an external act.
Pritchard quips that...
Fasting means to be so serious
about prayer that you don’t have time to eat...Does prayer make a
difference with God? Yes, prayer makes a difference with God when
prayer makes a difference with us. If you want your prayers to change
things, let them first change you—your habits, your schedule, your
priorities, your daily routine, and your inward focus. When that
happens, your prayers will be like arrows that hit their target in
Positive Power of Prayer)
In some cases the purpose of the
fast is to
(1) Optimize one's ability to
focus on God. (Devotion)
(2) A sign of sorrow or
mourning. (David when Jonathan and Saul died - 2Sa 1:12; 1Sa 1:6,
7,8 Hannah's barrenness) When Elijah
condemned Ahab for Naboth's death, he mourned in sackcloth and fasted.
God had mercy on him and delayed the punishment on his house (1Ki
(3) Before one made a critical
decision or pursued a potentially dangerous or difficult course of
action (e.g., Es 4:16, Ne 1:4).
National fasting was called
during times of extreme crisis, such a plague, a military threat, etc
(2Chr 20:1, 2, 3, 4-29).
One wonders if it would not be
appropriate for believers in America to begin to regularly (not
ritualistically!) fast and pray for our country in light of the
"plague" of evil that is overtaking our nation?
(cf. a solemn assembly in Joel 1:14, 2:15, cf Jonah 3:5) National
fasting was prescribed on certain days in Israel, the most prominent
being the Day of Atonement (cf. Lev 16:29, 31; Lev 23:32).
By NT times
fasting had become (as is too often the case with spiritual
disciplines) for many "pious" Jews an external "ritual" (Lk 18:12). It is
important to remember that fasting gains no "points" with God. We can
never do enough to merit an audience with Him.
Study Isaiah 58 for God's opinion of "external" fasting (Is 58:1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). And remember Jesus' warnings
and instructions regarding fasting (Note Jesus says not "if" you fast
but "whenever" you fast!
While it is not a command, the
implication seems clear that it is a discipline in which saints will
engage. Are you as convicted as I am? Mt 6:16, 17, 18-see
discussion of fasting).
...is to unloose the bonds of wickedness and sin
...shows that one is serious with God.
resources: John Piper's book -
Hunger for God;
Sermons on Fasting)
Tsom - 26x in 22v - 2Sa
12:16; 1Kgs 21:9, 12; 2Chr 20:3; Ezra 8:21; Neh 9:1; Es 4:3; 9:31; Ps
35:13; 69:10; 109:24; Isa 58:3, 5, 6; Jer 36:6, 9; Da 9:3; Joel 1:14;
2:12, 15; Jonah 3:5; Zech 8:19
In his commentary on Daniel
Leupold writes that...
Fasting and sackcloth
and ashes are employed as auxiliary means to aid devotion.
Fasting helps to keep the mind unencumbered and also reminds him
who practices it that he has not deserved even food from God. To
remove clothing and to substitute a coarse wrap strongly
reminds the supplicant that not even the comforts of good clothing are
his right and due reward. Ashes were put upon the head as a
token of grief since Daniel sincerely grieved over his and his
Sackcloth is the Hebrew noun
saq - 46v - Ge 37:34; 42:25, 27, 35; Lev 11:32; Josh 9:4;
2 Sam 3:31; 21:10; 1 Kgs 20:31f; 21:27; 2 Kgs 6:30; 19:1f; 1 Chr
21:16; Neh 9:1; Esth 4:1ff; Job 16:15; Ps 30:11; 35:13; 69:11; Isa
3:24; 15:3; 20:2; 22:12; 37:1f; 50:3; 58:5; Jer 4:8; 6:26; 48:37;
49:3; Lam 2:10; Ezek 7:18; 27:31; Dan 9:3; Joel 1:8, 13; Amos 8:10;
Jonah 3:5f, 8
Sackcloth and ashes - When
ancients lamented, they would put on sackcloth and ashes as external
manifestations of their sorrow and contrition ("Contrite" from
contero = to break or bruise and thus literally means worn or
bruised and hence brokenhearted over sin; deeply grieving for having
offended a holy God). These outward signs were simply a reflection of the
inward state of Daniel's broken heart.
How easy it is to turn "spiritual signs" such
as fasting, sackcloth and ashes into a deceptive charade of empty formalism and
ritualism. It is so much "easier" to put on "externals" ("sackcloth
and ashes") of "self made religion" that make us look spiritual to
others (and may even deceive us into thinking we are "spiritual" - see
Col 2:16, 17-note,
Col 2:18, 19-note,
Col 2:20, 21, 22, 23-note),
than to deal with "internals" (confession, repentance,
brokenness) that lead to true, God pleasing spirituality.
understood this important principle in his great psalm in which he
dealt with his sin ("the internal") against God, leading him to
Thou dost not delight in sacrifice,
otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite
heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:16, Ps 51:17)
Spurgeon comments that David
"was so illuminated as to see far beyond the symbolic ritual; his eye
of faith gazed with delight upon the actual atonement.
Else would I give it. He
would have been glad enough to present tens of thousands of victims if
these would have met the case. Indeed, anything which the Lord
prescribed he would cheerfully have rendered. We are ready to give up
all we have if we may but be cleared of our sins; and when sin is
pardoned our joyful gratitude is prepared for any sacrifice.
Thou delightest not in burnt
offering. He knew that no form (Ed: or ritual) of burnt
sacrifice was a satisfactory
His deep soul need made him look from the type to the antitype, from
the external rite to the inward grace.
The sacrifices of God are a
broken spirit. All sacrifices are presented to Thee in One, by the
man whose broken heart presents the Saviour's merit to Thee. When the
heart mourns for sin, Thou art better pleased than when the bullock
bleeds beneath the axe. "A broken heart" is an expression
implying deep sorrow, embittering the very life; it carries in it the
idea of all but killing anguish in that region which is so vital as to
be the very source of life (cf.
heart - kardia). So excellent is a
spirit humbled and mourning for sin, that it is not only a sacrifice,
but it has a plurality of excellences (Ed: Note "sacrifices" is
plural!), and is preeminently God's sacrifices ("of God").
A broken and a contrite heart, O
God, thou wilt not despise.
A heart crushed
is a fragrant heart.
Men contemn (despise) those who are
contemptible in their own eyes, but the Lord seeth not as man seeth
(1Sa 16:7). He despises what men esteem, and values that which they
despise (cf Lk 16:15). Never yet has God spurned a lowly, weeping
penitent, and never will he while God is love, and while Jesus is
called the man who receiveth sinners (Lk 15:2). Bullocks and rams He
desires not, but contrite hearts He seeks after; yea, but one of them
is better to Him than all the varied offerings of the old Jewish
sanctuary. (Ed: And how true this proved to be in the case of
His servant Daniel who was "highly esteemed" - Da 9:23!)
Sammy Tippit writes that...
One of the most powerful men of
prayer in the Christian church was
George Muller. He housed,
clothed, and fed thousands of orphans solely through prayer. He
provided financial support to the ministry of
J. Hudson Taylor
through the means of prayer. Mueller once stated that he believed that
God had given him more than thirty thousand souls in answer to prayer.
Mueller's principles of prayer were very specific. He wrote:
There are five conditions (of prayer) which I always endeavor to
fulfill, in observing which I have the assurance of answer to prayer:
1."I have not the least doubt because I am assured that it is the
Lord's will to save them, for He willeth that all men should be saved
and come to a knowledge of the truth" (1Tim.2:4)
2."I have never pleaded for their salvation in my own name, but in the
blessed name of my precious Lord Jesus, and on His merits alone (John
3."I always firmly believed in the willingness of God to hear my
prayers (Mark 11:24).
4."I am not conscious of having yielded to any sin, for 'if I regard
iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me' when I call
5."I have persevered in believing prayer for more than 52 years for
some, and shall continue till the answer comes: 'Shall not God avenge
his own elect which cry day and night unto him' " (Luke 18:7).
The secret to the prayer life of
Mr. Mueller shines forth as a golden ray of sunlight. He prayed from
the heart of Jesus to the glory of Jesus. His praying, from beginning
to ending, was rooted in the life of Christ. His principles of
effective praying had no seeds of self-motivation to self-glory. He
planted his prayer life in Christ alone. (Sammy
Tippit - Worthy of Worship - Chapter 9 - The Nature of Prayer that
Results in True Worship)
Rishel has some interesting
remarks on fasting noting that...
there is only one motivation that
can be the proper basis for religious fasting. That motive is simply
to humble yourself before God (Isaiah 58; Joel 2:12; Psalm 35:13;
69:10; Ezra 8:21; Daniel 9:3; Nehemiah 9:1–2). Conversely it can be
said from the multitude of scriptural examples that a true desire to
humble yourself before God ought to result in a life characterized by
prayer and fasting. This motivation to humble yourself before God
contains two aspects. First, humbling yourself involves confession and
repentance of sin. Second, the requirement that it be done before God
implies seeking God’s face to know him and to discern his will.
Humble Yourself...it should be noted how integral repentance and
humility are with the biblical accounts of fasting. The Israelites
fasted and put away false gods (1Samuel 7:6). David fasted when he
repented of his sin (2Samuel 12:16, 21, 22, 23). Ahab fasted and repented
after causing Naboth’s death (1Kings 21:27). Upon hearing God’s Word,
Israel fasted, confessing their sin (Nehemiah 9:1, 2, 3). Daniel fasted
and repented for himself and the people for not having walked in the
laws of the Lord (Daniel 9:3). Joel called for a fast because of the
Lord’s chastening (Joel 1:14; 2:12, 15). The people of Nineveh
repented in fasting (Jonah 3:5). And David humbled himself before God
in fasting (Psalm 69:10, 11,12, 13). On into the New Testament, Paul fasted in
Acts 27:9 in keeping with the fast of the Day of Atonement. And
Cornelius fasted because he humbled himself before God (Acts 10:2-30).
Samuel Miller stated
Fasting is a natural and
significant expression of our penitence for sin. .. as an
acknowledgment of our entire dependence on him for all our comforts,
and also of our utter unworthiness of them as sinners.”8
This could be referred to as the
natural ground of fasting: One who is under deep affliction,
overwhelmed with sorrow for sin, and has a strong apprehension of the
wrath of God. In short, fasting is utilized as a means to humble
yourself and avert God’s wrath.
This is exactly the language used to prescribe fasting on the Day of
Atonement: “You shall afflict your souls” (Leviticus 16:29, 30, 31;
23:27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32; Nu 27:9). And yet this is exactly what is neglected
today—humbleness of heart, repentance of sin, and confession before
God. It is this fasting of the soul, characterized by humility, that
is the first aspect of the proper motive to fast.
This is identical to the attitude
of the early church fathers toward fasting. “First of all, be on your
guard against every evil word, and every evil desire, and purify your
heart from all the vanities of this world. If you guard against these
things, your fasting will be perfect.”9 “Fasting of the body is hunger
for nourishment and the avoidance of food.. .. Fasting of the soul is
hunger and thirst for righteousness and avoiding evil deeds and
thoughts.”10 And also:
Let us not believe that the
external fast from visible food alone can possibly be sufficient for
perfection of heart and purity of body unless it is united with a fast
of the soul. For the soul also has foods, which are harmful: slander,
anger, envy, vainglory, lust. If then, with all the powers we have, we
abstain from these in a most holy fast, our observance of the bodily
fast will be both useful and profitable. For labor of the flesh, when
joined with contrition of the spirit, will produce a sacrifice that is
most acceptable to God, and a worthy shrine of holiness in the pure
and undefiled inmost chambers of the heart. But if, while fasting as
far as the body is concerned, we are entangled in the most dangerous
vices of the soul, our humiliation of the flesh will do us no good
whatever, while the most precious part of us is defiled.. .. For it is
the clean heart which is made a shrine of God and a temple of the Holy
Spirit. (St. John Cassian Institutes 5:21, “Fasting in the Writing of
the Church Fathers,” Coptic Church Review, 6:3 Fall 1985, 80.)
Not only has humility been closely
associated with the fasting of the apostles and the early church
fathers, but it was also the hallmark of fasting in American church
history. The day before the Pilgrims left the Mayflower, they held a
day of fasting and prayer. William Bradford quotes a Pilgrim father
from the early 1630s in his book, Of Plymouth Plantation: “I
proclaimed a fast that we might humble ourselves before God, and seek
of him a right way for us.” Then Bradford documents that on November
15, 1636, a law was passed which allowed the governor to “command
solemn days of humiliation by fasting, etc. and also for thanksgiving
as occasion shall be offered.”
Fasting did not stop with the Pilgrim fathers, nor did its association
with humility. The House of Burgesses of Virginia declared a day of
“fasting, humiliation, and prayer” on June 1, 1774, on occasion of the
embargo on the port of Boston. John Adams declared May 9, 1798, as a
day of “solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer” on the verge of war
with France. James Madison declared January 12, 1815, as “a day of
public humiliation, fasting and prayer.” Zachary Taylor declared
August 3, 1849, as a day of national fasting, on which occasion E. D.
First of all, doubtless, our duty
is that we call to recollection each one his own personal sins, and
with deep humiliation and confession of them before God, turn from
them, imploring him in his divine mercy to pardon us. It is also our
duty to call to remembrance and confess before God the sins of our
people and nation, and to make intercession and supplication for their
pardon at the throne of grace.
During the Civil War Abraham
Lincoln declared three fasts: August 30, 1863; the last Thursday in
September of 1863; and the first Thursday in August of 1864. Each of
these was specified as a day of “public humiliation, fasting and
prayer.”14 On the first of these fast days, Charles S. Porter preached
a sermon in Philadelphia in which he stated:
“The present National Fast implies,
that somehow things are not right with us, and that it is our duty, so
far as possible, to set them right.”
He then listed three duties imposed
by the fast: (1) Recognize God’s Lordship and our place under his
sovereignty. (2) Recognize the duty to our Country. (3) Withstand and
forestall the demoralizing influences of war. (Rev. Charles S. Porter,
Sermon: A Fast Implies a Duty Philadelphia: C. Sherman Son & Co.,
In light of the above information, Samuel Miller concludes that the
main reason such a duty is necessary is the presence of sin and the
depravity of human nature. To see sin as it really is, in all of its
horrible evil and filth, will assuredly result in penitence and
fasting.16 The depravity of human nature has not changed from the Old
Testament to the New Testament, in the early church, or throughout
history. The reason there is very little fasting today is because the
sinfulness of the human heart has been neglected or explained away.
Today there is precious little humbleness of heart, so it should come
as no surprise that very few Christians spend time fasting.
But God is calling us to a humbleness of heart that manifests
itself in fasting and prayer. If it should seem that abstaining
from food is too radical or extreme, we must be reminded that the
sinfulness of our hearts is radically heinous, deeply rooted, and
horribly deceptive. (Why
God’s People Should Fast)
9:4 I prayed to the LORD
my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome
God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him
and keep His commandments, (Confessed: Da 9:5-12 Lev
26:40, 41, 42 1Ki 8:47, 48, 49 2Ch 7:14 Ne 9:2,3 Ps 32:5 Jer 3:13 1Jn 1:8,
9, 10) (the
great: Ex 20:6 34:6,7 Nu 14:18,19 Dt 5:10 7:9 1Ki 8:23 Ne 1:5 9:32
Jer 32:17, 18, 19 Mic 7:18, 19, 20 Na 1:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Lk 1:72 Ro 8:28 Jas 1:12 Jas 2:5 1Jn
Da 9:16-19 Petition
Prayer is a response to the Word
of God! At least it should be. The most efficacious prayers are those
that pray God's Word back to Him. He is not bored, nor uninterested in
hearing His Word in intercession. It was when Daniel perceived
from the Word what God had in store for His people that he began to
commune with God. Being a Scripture saturated man,
Daniel may have been aware of the similar truths in the following
passages, all of which deal with prayer under "duress"...
confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their
unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their
acting with hostility against Me— I also was acting with
hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their
enemies—or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they
then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant
with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My
covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land (Note:
This is a reference to the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant - see
Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic). (Lev
26:40, 41, 42)
Solomon prayed) If they take thought in the land where they have been
taken captive (Eg, Daniel in Babylon), and repent and make
supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive,
saying, ‘We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted
wickedly’; if they return to You with all their heart and with
all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them
captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to
their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I
have built for Your name; then hear their prayer and their
supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause
(1 Ki 8:47, 48, 49) (Note: The fact that God heard Daniel's
prayer is an answer to Solomon's prayer).
If I shut
up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to
devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My
people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray
and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I
will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their
land. (2Chr 7:13, 14)
I prayed - Note well - he
didn't read and study about prayer, ask others to pray or contemplate
the great value of prayer. He prayed. How often I have fallen into the
subtle trap of listening to a great sermon on prayer and being deeply
moved by the speaker's words...and yet, sadly failed to put those
words (and emotions) into actions and actually pray. Prayer for me is
very hard work beloved, so this section of Daniel is very convicting!
My prayer is that the
study of Daniel's prayer in chapter 9 changes my prayer life and yours
for our good and His glory! Amen.
The Hebrew word for prayed
(palal) is most often used to describe intercessory prayer. To
intercede is derived from root words which combined give the
literal meaning of to move or pass between and thus to mediate, to act
between parties with a view to reconcile those who differ or contend.
The old Maranatha chorus below
could well reflect Daniel's heart attitude as he entered into this
sacred moment with His Lord...Hide
Me In Your Holiness
(close your eyes and ponder this beautiful chorus as you ask Him to
give you a heart for prayer like His highly esteemed servant Daniel.)
Hide me, LORD, in
Every sin I now confess
Praise to You, forgiving LORD
Hide me in Your holiness
Hide me in Your holiness.
To the LORD -
Jehovah ~ God's Covenant Keeping
This Name of God is used only in Daniel 9.
Elohim ~ Creator God
Confessed - The Hebrew
word yadah conveys the primary sense of acknowledging or
confessing sin, God's character and works, or man's character. The
first use is found in Ge 29:35 where it is actually translated "praise".
It is this latter sense that Daniel uses this "confession" -- that it
might be a offering of praise to Jehovah. This is always a good way to
begin our prayer to the "great and awesome" God!
As an aside confession of
sin is more than a mere acknowledgment of sin in the life. It is an
agreeing with God as to all the implications that enter into the fact
that one has sinned. It is looking at sin from God’s point of view,
and acting accordingly. It means the putting away of that sin. It
means the determination to be done with that sin. This man sees sin
the way God does and agrees with God. He hates sin, he is sorry for
sin, he turns and flees from known sin. When sin is pointed out in his
life he does not bristle with self-righteousness; he confesses,
Lehman Strauss makes
several excellent practical points regarding why the highly esteemed
Daniel would so readily confess sin...
This is the language of a soul
occupied with God (Da 9:4 "great and awesome God", Da 9:7
"Righteousness belongs to You"; Da 9:9 "compassion and forgiveness";
Da 9:14 "the LORD our God is righteous"): Who and what God is. Prayer
is the occupation of the soul with its needs; worship is the
occupation of the soul with God, and yet the two are inseparably
linked together. This explains, in part at least, why this purest of
men is confessing sin.
As Daniel meditated upon the
glories and perfection of Jehovah, his own heart became blacker
against the pure, spotless, white background of a holy God. No man can
have a true concept of himself until he draws near to God.
"I saw also the Lord.... Then said
I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and
I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have
seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:1, 5).
When we see God for what He is, and
our own hearts for what they are, we are uncomplaining because we know
then that whatever God's dealings with us might be, they are just.
Here is a prayer which might well
be read frequently by us all if we want God's blessing in a sinful and
O, how we need to examine our
thoughts and search our hearts as regards the cause and contents of
our prayers! (The Prophecies of Daniel)
Alas - KJV has "O".
Alas (from a = ah + las = weary) is used to express
unhappiness, pity, or concern and the 1828 Webster's entry defines
An exclamation expressive of
sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil; sometimes
followed by day or while; alas the day, like alack a day; or alas the
while, (Obs. Spenser.) expressing an unhappy time.
O Lord - Remember that in
the NAS when "LORD" is all capital letters, it signifies the Hebrew
Here the word Lord signifies Adonai (See study of
Adonai - Lord, Master),
the essence of that name being one who is the owner or the master and
thus the one who has all rights to do as he pleases. This of course is
a perfect description in the context for the perfectly righteous God
is perfectly justified in bringing desolation on Jerusalem and exile
for His chosen people because of their unfaithfulness.
in 10 verses in Daniel and all except one are found in the great
prayer of Daniel 9 -
Da 1:2, Da 9:4 9:7 9:8 9:9 9:15
9:16 9:17 9:19. Clearly Daniel desires to emphasize God's Lordship and
His sovereignty over Israel. Thus each use of this name is in essence
an acknowledgement and an appeal to God's attribute of sovereignty, to
the fact that He is in total and complete control. When we encounter
difficulty in dealing with a business, don't we all tend to say
something like "I want to speak to the owner!". Why? Because we know
he is the one who has the authority to take action. And so Daniel
addresses the "Owner" of heaven and earth, Adonai, Who alone can
answer Daniel's petitions in the latter part of the prayer.
means primarily to be afraid, to fear, and in this context to revere
preceding notes on "fear of
to revere does not picture a "shaking fear", God's
children do well to not downplay the
fact that reverence of the thrice holy God does in fact have at least
some degree of "holy shaking". And do we not see this in the Bible,
for most men who saw God had a sense of fear and were thus often on
their face! (cf. the actions of the following saints - Isaiah: Isa
Ezekiel: Eze 1:28 Job: Job 42:6 Joshua: Jos
5:13,14 Paul: Ac 9:3, 4, Ac 9:5 John: Rev 1:17-note,
Twenty four elders: Re 4:10-note,
Angels: Re 7:11-note) We dare not minimize this element of reverence, for holy
fear serves as a powerful impediment to commission of sin.
This same noun yare' is
used twice in Dt 28 where Moses warned Israel...
If you are not careful to observe
all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear
(yare') this honored and awesome (yare') name,
your God, then
will bring extraordinary plagues on
you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and
miserable and chronic sicknesses. (Dt 28:58, 59)
Although Daniel did not
have access to the passage in first John, he did understand the
This is the confidence (boldness)
which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to
His will (The key - So if it is in His Word as in Jeremiah 25), He
hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we
know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (1Jn 5:14, 15)
Comment: This conditional promise
by God is one which undergirds the oft quoted phrase "Claim the
promises of God". Notice the condition that assures
reception is prayer in accord with His Will (best identified in His
Word). We see a parallel truth in Psalm 37:4 (note)
where clearly in context "delight" in Jehovah is associated with
trusting and obeying Him. As we grow in our spiritual walk with Him,
our "desires" become (or should become) more and more in synch with
His desires (will), which is good and acceptable and perfect (Ro 12:2b-note).
As Spurgeon says in his comments on Ps 37:4...
A pleasant duty (delight yourself
in Jehovah) is here rewarded with another pleasure (desires of your
heart). Men who delight in God desire or ask for nothing but what will
please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche. Their
will is subdued to God's will, and now they may have what they will.
Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; there are
many things which nature might desire which grace would
never permit us to ask for; these deep, prayerful, asking desires are
those to which the promise is made.
The desires of God, and the
desires of the righteous, agree in one; they are of one mind in
their desires. (John Bunyan)
Who keeps His covenant and
lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments
(cf Ex 20:6, 34:6, 7, Dt 5:10, 7:9, 10) - Notice that in this context
love of God is not as much an emotion as it is an action or a behavior
(cf Jn 14:15, 21, 23, 24) This same truth about God also served
as the foundation for Nehemiah's prayer (see Neh 1:5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10,
11). And thus Daniel acknowledges that God is a covenant keeping God.
This reference is clearly to the conditional Mosaic Covenant which
included blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience. At Mount
Sinai Israel entered into this covenant with Jehovah as recorded in
Then he took the book of the
covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All
that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!"
So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said,
"Behold the blood of the covenant (speaks of the solemn, binding
nature of the covenant), which the LORD has made with you in
accordance with all these words." (Ex 24:7, 8)
Disobedience of the Chosen People
forced the perfectly just and righteous God to keep His covenant
promise to "curse" His people, which is why the 10 northern
tribes ("Israel") were taken captive into Assyria in 722BC and why the
2 southern tribes ("Judah") were now in exile in Babylon.
is found only in Daniel 1:9 and Daniel 9:5 but is found some 241 times
in the OT.
God's lovingkindness (hesed)
is offered to His people, who need redemption from sin, enemies, and
troubles. Hesed means loyal, steadfast, or faithful love and
stresses the idea of a belonging together of those involved in the
love relationship. In the OT, communion, deliverance (Ps 136:12),
enabling, enlightenment, guidance, forgiveness, hope, praise,
preservation are all based on God's hesed. A recurrent refrain
describing God's nature is "abounding in hesed" (Ex 34:6; Neh 9:17; Ps
103:8; Jonah 4:2). Thus hesed is one of the most important words in
the OT, and is often translated in the KJV as "lovingkindness" or
"mercy". Hesed indicates faithfulness to a relationship. To
show kindness or hesed is to act in a loyal, loving way to a
person. This is true of kindness in human relationships and of the
kindness God shows us. Read 2Sa 9:1-13 ("kindness" in 2Sa 9:1 =
hesed) for the beautiful example of David showing ''hesed" to crippled
Mephibosheth, the surviving son of Jonathan with whom David had a
covenant relationship (See study of
God's hesed denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness,
kindness, and mercy. Hesed is central to God's character and is
closely tied to His covenant with His Chosen people (see
Covenant: Summary Table);
in fact the covenant may be thought of as the relationship from which
the hesed flows. However, God's hesed is not bound by
the covenant itself, and though men may prove unfaithful to this
relationship, God's hesed is everlasting (Isa 54:8). In
general, one may identify three basic meanings of hesed, and
these 3 meanings always interact: "Strength," "steadfastness," and
"love." Any understanding of hesed that fails to suggest all
three inevitably loses some of its richness. "Love" by itself easily
becomes sentimentalized or universalized apart from the covenant. Yet
"strength" or "steadfastness" suggests only the fulfillment of a legal
obligation. Hesed refers primarily to mutual and reciprocal
rights and obligations between the parties of a relationship
(especially Jehovah and Israel). But hesed is not only a matter
of obligation; it is also a matter of generosity. It is not only a
matter of loyalty, but also a matter of mercy. Hesed implies
personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule
of law. "Devotion" is a single word which captures the essence of the
hesed. The RSV attempts to bring this out by its translation,
"steadfast love." Biblical usage frequently speaks of someone "doing,"
"showing," or "keeping" hesed. The concrete content of the word
is especially evident when it is used in the plural. God's "mercies,"
"kindnesses," or "faithfulnesses" are His specific,
concrete acts of redemption in fulfillment of His promise. An example
appears in Isa 55:3: "And I will make an everlasting covenant with
you, according to the faithful mercies (hesed) shown to David".
In summary, hesed reflects
God’s loyalty and faithfulness to His covenant, the devoted love
promised within a covenant, the love that is willing to commit itself
to another by making its promise a matter of solemn record. God's
hesed is everlasting (this phrase is repeated 26x in Psalm 136-note)
Spurgeon commenting on Jehovah's everlasting hesed in Ps
It is the sweetest stanza that a
man can sing. What joy that there is mercy, mercy with Jehovah,
enduring mercy, mercy enduring for ever. We are ever needing it,
trying it, praying for it, receiving it: therefore let us for ever
sing of it.
When all else is changing within
In God and His mercy no change can be found.
Hesed - 239v in the NAS - Ge
19:19; 20:13; 21:23; 24:12, 14, 27, 49; 32:10; 39:21; 40:14; 47:29;
Exod 15:13; 20:6; 34:6f; Num 14:18f; Deut 5:10; 7:9, 12; Josh 2:12,
14; Judg 1:24; 8:35; Ruth 1:8; 2:20; 3:10; 1 Sam 15:6; 20:8, 14f; 2
Sam 2:5f; 3:8; 7:15; 9:1, 3, 7; 10:2; 15:20; 16:17; 22:51; 1 Kgs 2:7;
3:6; 8:23; 20:31; 1 Chr 16:34, 41; 17:13; 19:2; 2 Chr 1:8; 5:13; 6:14,
42; 7:3, 6; 20:21; 24:22; 32:32; 35:26; Ezra 3:11; 7:28; 9:9; Neh 1:5;
9:17, 32; 13:14, 22; Esth 2:9, 17; Job 6:14; 10:12; 37:13; Ps 5:7;
6:4; 13:5; 17:7; 18:50; 21:7; 23:6; 25:6f, 10; 26:3; 31:7, 16, 21;
32:10; 33:5, 18, 22; 36:5, 7, 10; 40:10f; 42:8; 44:26; 48:9; 51:1;
52:1, 8; 57:3, 10; 59:10, 16f; 61:7; 62:12; 63:3; 66:20; 69:13, 16;
77:8; 85:7, 10; 86:5, 13, 15; 88:11; 89:1f, 14, 24, 28, 33, 49; 90:14;
92:2; 94:18; 98:3; 100:5; 101:1; 103:4, 8, 11, 17; 106:1, 7, 45;
107:1, 8, 15, 21, 31, 43; 108:4; 109:12, 16, 21, 26; 115:1; 117:2;
118:1ff, 29; 119:41, 64, 76, 88, 124, 149, 159; 130:7; 136:1ff; 138:2,
8; 141:5; 143:8, 12; 144:2; 145:8; 147:11; Prov 3:3; 11:17; 14:22;
16:6; 19:22; 20:6, 28; 21:21; 31:26; Isa 16:5; 40:6; 54:8, 10; 55:3;
57:1; 63:7; Jer 2:2; 9:24; 16:5; 31:3; 32:18; 33:11; Lam 3:22, 32; Dan
1:9; 9:4; Hos 2:19; 4:1; 6:4, 6; 10:12; 12:6; Joel 2:13; Jonah 2:8;
4:2; Mic 6:8; 7:18, 20; Zech 7:9
Hesed is translated as
follows in the NAS - Deeds of devotion(2), devotion(1), devout(1),
faithfulness(1), favor(2), good(1), kindly(7), kindness(32),
kindnesses(1), loveliness(1), lovingkindness(176),
lovingkindnesses(7), loyal deeds(1), loyalty(6), mercies(1),
merciful(2), mercy(1), righteousness(1), unchanging love(2).
9:5 we have sinned,
committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside
from Your commandments and ordinances. (have sinned: Da
9:15 1Ki 8:47, 48, 49, 50 2Ch 6:37, 38, 39 Ezr 9:6 Ne 1:6, 7, 8 9:33,34 Ps 106:6 Isa
64:5, 6, 7 Jer 3:25 14:7) (Turning from: Ps 18:21 119:102 Isa 59:13
Eze 6:9 Ho 1:2 Mal 3:7 Heb 3:12)
We (cf Da 9:20) - Daniel includes
himself as a sinner even though God considers him as one of the most
righteous men in the Old Testament, along with Noah and Job (Ezek
14:20). There is an important principle in this passage - the greater
one's knowledge of and intimacy with God, the deeper will be one's
commitment and the more overwhelmed one will be with their own sense
of sinfulness. We see this dynamic in Paul as he grew in the knowledge
of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (compare approximate date with Paul's
changing "self estimate")...
55AD -- For I am the least
of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God. (1Co 15:9)
61AD -- To me, the very
least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the
Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, (Ep 3:8)
63-66AD -- It is a
trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am
foremost of all. (1Ti 1:15)
This is a confession of we, not
they. In this sense, they prayers never really reach God; genuine we
prayers see self correctly and see our fellow saints with compassion.
Daniel's confession of sin might seem phony until we realize how
passionately and completely he is focused on God. Compared to God,
even the most righteous among us falls far short. "I firmly believe
that, the better a man's own character becomes, and the more joy in
the Lord he has in his own heart, the more capable is he of
sympathetic sorrow; and, probably, the more of it he will have. If
thou hast room in thy soul for sacred joy, thou hast equal room for
holy grief." (Spurgeon)
Daniel continues to use the pronoun "we" and "us" throughout
this section on confession of sins providing a model for any who would
seek to intercede for their country. How easy it would have been to
blame the present plight of Judah on some of the ungodly kings that
had led Judah. But he did not seek to blame, but to contrary was
willing to shoulder the blame!
I need to remember and emulate
Daniel's pattern of prayer, instead of blaming ungodly leaders
for the plight of America.
ALL MANNER OF SIN
Daniel uses 5 pictures of sinful
behavior (cf 3 pictures in 1Ki 8:47, Ps 106:6) for his desire is to fully
confess sin of every kind. He wanted to be certain that nothing
impeded his communication with God. Whether Daniel had access to the
following Scriptures is uncertain, but he definitely understood the
principle that to come to God with unconfessed sin that remains
unconfessed is to put a veritable "lid" on heaven...
Psalm 66:18 If I regard wickedness
in my heart, the Lord will not hear;
Spurgeon: If I regard
iniquity in my heart. If, having seen it to be there, I continue
to gaze upon it without aversion; if I cherish it, have a side glance
of love toward it, excuse it, and palliate it;
The Lord will not hear me. How can he? Can I desire him to
connive at my sin, and accept me while I wilfully cling to any evil
way? Nothing hinders prayer like iniquity harboured in the breast; as
with Cain, so with us, sin lieth at the door, and blocks the passage.
If thou listen to the devil, God will not listen to thee. If you
refuse to hear God's commands, he will surely refuse to hear thy
prayers. An imperfect petition God will hear for Christ's sake, but
not one which is wilfully miswritten by a traitor's hand. For God to
accept our devotions, while we are delighting in sin, would be to make
himself the God of hypocrites, which is a fitter name for Satan than
for the Holy One of Israel.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from
the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his
ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an
(in Da 9:5, 8, 11, 15) means
to miss the way or the mark. The literal sense of chata is found in Judges where we
read of the 700 choice Benjamite men who "were left-handed" and "each
one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss (chata). (Jdg 20:16)
Israel forgot GOD
Israel forgot God's LAW
Israel made up NEW gods
Israel made up NEW LAWS
The application to the modern
church in America is clear
- conveys a sense of urgency for our country) the Word (not
long stories, but His pure Word) whether it is popular or not, whether
it is convenient or not, in season and out of season (2Ti 4:2-note,
while the day is still call day for the night comes when no man can
work! (Jn 9:4)
Committed iniquity ('avah/'avon)
strictly means to bend, twist, distort and here is used in a
figurative sense of "bending" God's law. This is the verb
used by David himself in Ps 51:2a as he confesses his infidelity and
his subsequent murder of Uriah and asks God to wash him from his "iniquity".
Act wickedly (rasha'
- also in Da 9:15, 11:32, 12:10) means to be wrong, to violate.
Rasha' describes a misdeed, as when King Jehoshaphat tolerated an
alliance with evil King Ahaziah, causing God to destroy his ships as a
sign of His displeasure (2Chr 20:35, 36, 37).
Rebelled (marad -
also in Da 9:9) means to oppose or disobey one in authority or
control. Webster says that to rebel is to express open resistance
against authority. Marad was used by Joshua and Caleb as they
urged Israel to accept their report that the land of Canaan was "an
exceedingly good land" (Nu 14:7 and not to "rebel against the
LORD" (Nu 14:9). The essence of rebellion was a shrinking back in
unbelief and a denial of God’s word, preferring one's own notions of
what is right. In this use of marad in Numbers, God Israel's rebellion
by shutting them out of Canaan for the next 40 years.
Turning aside (cur/sur -
also in Da 9:11) literally means to physically turn aside (eg, Moses
Ex 3:3, 4) but here is used figuratively to describe God's people
turning away from His commandments and ordinances. In short,
Israel committed apostasy which was exemplified in Judges where we
read this summary statement...
Yet they did not listen to their
judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed
themselves down to them. They turned aside (cur/sur) quickly
from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the
commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers. (Jdg 2:17)
Warren Wiersbe makes an
interesting observation regarding the solitary prayer of Daniel (no
prayer meeting as we saw in Daniel 2 - not sure why not)...
Several times in Israel's ministry,
the intercession of one person brought about the nation's deliverance
from judgment. On two occasions, God was ready to wipe out the entire
Jewish nation, but the intercession of Moses stayed His hand (Ex
32:7-14; Nu 14:10-25). God answered Elijah's prayer and sent the rain
that was so desperately needed (1Ki 18:35, 36, 37, 38, 39, See also
James 5:17, 18, 19), and He
heard Jehoshaphat's prayer and gave Israel victory over the large
invading army of Moabites and Ammonites (2Chr 20:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17). King Hezekiah cried out to God when the
Assyrian army surrounded Jerusalem, and the Lord sent His angel to
slay 185,000 enemy soldiers (Is 37:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20; 2Ki
19:15, 16, 17, 18, 19). "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and
effective" (Jas 5:16NIV). God doesn't have to wait for the entire
nation to repent and cry out for mercy; He will start to work when He
hears the believing prayers of one faithful intercessor. (Bible
Exposition Commentary - Old Testament)
Are you that one man or one
woman who will begin to intercede for the glory of God's Name in
Ray Pritchard agrees with
Wiersbe writing that...
The good news in all this is that
the prayer of a righteous person can change a life, a home, a
marriage, a church, a school, a community, a company, a city, and an
entire nation. As Abraham discovered in Genesis 18, only ten righteous
men could have saved Sodom. A few righteous men and women who go to
their knees can change their world. (The
Positive Power of Prayer)
9:6 "Moreover, we have
not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to
our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
(We have not: Da 9:10 Jer 26:5 Zec 1:4, 5, 6 Zec 7:8, 9, 10,
11, 12 Mt 21:34-40 23:37 Lk 20:10, 11, 12 Ac
7:51,52 13:27 1Th 2:15,16) (our kings: Ezra 9:7 Ne 9:32,34)
Moreover - In the
face of Judah's many "varieties" of sin, in His great compassion, God sent His servants the prophets
who warned everyone from the king down to the pauper (2Ki 17:13, 14,
cf 2Chr 36:14, 15, 16).
All of Judah doubtless heard the words of the prophets and yet they
repeatedly refused to heed the warnings and repent.
To our kings (see King
Manasseh - 2Chr 33:10). Jeremiah records that Jerusalem would be
"removed from before" God's face...
because of all the evil of the sons
of Israel and the sons of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me to
anger-- they, their kings, their leaders, their
priests, their prophets, the men of Judah, and
the inhabitants of Jerusalem. "And
they have turned their back to
Me, and not their face;
though I taught them, teaching again and again,
they would not listen and
(Jer 32:32,33, cf Je 44:4, 5, 16)
All the people of the land
(see Is 30:10, 11). Compare Jeremiah's almost incredible record of
Judah's steadfast refusal to listen to God ...
Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the
ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and
walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls. But they said,
'We will not walk in it.'
"And I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the
trumpet!' But they said,
'We will not listen.'
18 "Therefore hear, O nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 "Hear, O earth:
behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their
they have not listened to My words,
And as for My law, they
have rejected it also.
(Jer 6:16, 17, 18, 19, cf Je 7:13, 25, 26, 25:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 29:19)
Not listened (KJV =
hearkened) is the Hebrew word shama used over 1000x in the OT
and in over 80 passages conveys the idea of hearing
with attention or intent to obey.
Shama is used 7 times in
Daniel's prayer! Four times in the confession section - Da 9:6;
Da 9:10 = "nor have we obeyed"; Da 9:11 = "not obeying"; Da 9:14
"we have not obeyed" Three times in the petition section
pleading with God to listen even though Judah refused to listen! See
Da 9:17 "listen"; Da 9:18 = "Hear"; Da 9:19 = "Hear".
In short, we have not listened
means that Judah had not
obeyed the repeated (gracious) warnings of God's servants the prophets
to turn to Him. Here is one of the more striking divine indictments
regarding not listening (note what followed "not listening"!)
Yet the LORD warned Israel and
Judah, through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from
your evil ways (Note: Another way of saying "Repent!") and keep My
commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded
your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the
prophets." However, they did not listen, but stiffened their
neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD
their God. (2Ki 17:13, 14)
Some of the most tragic (and
frightening) words in the Old Testament are found in the description
of Judah's deportation to Babylon where we read...
And the LORD, the God of their
fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers (cf His "servants
the prophets"), (Why did he keep sending them?) because He had
compassion on His people and on His dwelling place (The Temple which
functioned as His "habitation" as manifest by the Shekinah Glory) but
they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised
His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the
LORD arose against His people,
until there was no remedy.
(Remedy = Hebrew = marpe' [related to "rapha" = to heal,
Literally = medicine, cure, figuratively = deliverance, healing,
soothing. What a contrast with Ps 107:20 where "He sent His Word and
healed [rapha] them"!) (2Chr 36:15, 16, see 2Chr 36:17, 18, 19, 20,
Comment: Beloved this verse
should frighten every one of us
- God is long suffering with
sinners but there comes a time when He finally says in essence "enough
is enough" and He must act.
belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day--to
the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those
who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to
which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which
they have committed against You. (righteousness: Da
9:8,14 Dt 32:4 Ezra 9:13 Neh 9:33 Ps 51:4,14 119:137 Jer 12:1 Lk
23:40,41) (to us open shame: Ezra 9:6,7 Ps 44:15 Isa 45:16 Jer
2:26,27 3:25 Ezek 16:63 36:31 Ro 6:21) (nearby: Dt 4:27 2Ki
17:6,7 Isa 11:11 Jer 24:9 Am 9:9 Ac 2:5-11) (To which You have
driven them: Lev 26:33,34)
A SCATTERED PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY WERE
A SINFUL PEOPLE!
Righteousness - (tsedaqah)
in simple terms is "what is right" and speaks of integrity, justice,
right actions and attitudes, etc. God is perfectly, infinitely,
eternally "right", whether He is punishing or forgiving. In this verse
He was righteous and just in scattering His people because of their
unfaithfulness. His righteousness is repeated in Da 9:14 and Da 9:16.
Righteousness belongs to You
- It seems clear that Daniel wants to make absolutely certain that the
consequences suffered by Judah are in no way attributable to God (in
the sense that "it's God's fault" they had to be punished). God is
perfectly righteous in all His ways. God had not failed Israel. Israel had failed God and had failed to
seek His kingdom and His righteousness (Mt 6:33-note). And God was
perfectly righteousness in bringing shame upon His people and
scattering them for their unfaithful deeds.
It would be easy to complain to God
about Israel's problems. Daniel didn't think for a moment that God was
too hard on Israel; he knew God was completely righteous and any
failure was on Israel's side. Instead of complaining, Daniel
confessed. During times of great revival among God's people, the
Holy Spirit always brings a deep conviction and awareness of sin. When
that is responded to rightly, confession is appropriately made. J.
Edwin Orr gives a good principle to govern confession:
If you sin secretly, confess
secretly, admitting publicly that you need the victory but keeping
details to yourself. If you sin openly confess openly to remove
stumbling blocks from those whom you have hindered. If you have sinned
spiritually (prayerlessness, lovelessness, and unbelief as well as
their offspring, criticism, etc.) then confess to the church that you
have been a hindrance.
Daniel does not make the slightest
excuse for Israel's sin. The fault belongs to Israel and Israel alone.
We are prone to excuses for our sin and often even make even excuses
in our "confessions."
But - Introduces the
striking contrast. God's righteousness versus Judah's shame.
Open shame (KJV =
"confusion of faces") is literally "shame of face"! The Hebrew word
shame (bosheth) conveys the sense of humiliation, disgrace and
the accompanying feelings of guilt and embarrassment. (Ezra 9:6,7)
Bosheth - 28x in 27v -
1Sa 20:30; 2 Chr 32:21; Ezra 9:7; Job 8:22; Ps 35:26; 40:15; 44:15;
69:19; 70:3; 109:29; 132:18; Isa 30:3, 5; 54:4; 61:7; Jer 3:24f; 7:19;
11:13; 20:18; Dan 9:7f; Hos 9:10; Mic 1:11; Hab 2:10; Zeph 3:5, 19.
NAS = humiliation*(1), shame(21), shame*(2), shameful(1), shameful
Ray Pritchard writes that
"we are covered with shame” is ...
not a Politically Correct
statement, is it? After all, we live in a shameless society filled
with shameless people who do shameless deeds. The whole idea of
“shame” seems to belong to another time and place. We’re not ashamed
of anything anymore. We don’t blush because we aren’t embarrassed
because we’ve seen it all and heard it all. Even in the church some
people dislike the notion of “shame.” That’s Old Testament, they say.
In the age of grace, there is no need for shame. Or so we are told.
But that is just so much theological flapdoodle. Sin always brings
shame and always separates us from God. And when we sin deliberately
and repeatedly, we ought to be ashamed. If we are not, it is because
we have a seared conscience....
Today we use other words. We say,
“I goofed” or “I blew it” or we talk about “mistakes” and “weaknesses”
and we say “I made a boo-boo” or “My bad.” But those terms tend to
define sin downward. After all, how bad can a “boo-boo” be? It
definitely is not as bad as “acting wickedly.” He makes no excuses for
their sin. Not once does he blame the “dirty Babylonians” or the
“miserable Philistines” who led them into sin. None of that. No finger
pointing. No “Blame Game,” no self-justification of any kind. (The
Positive Power of Prayer )
Gleason Archer comments
This paragraph stresses the
humiliation of the Hebrew people in the eyes of all the heathen. Back
in the days of Moses, it was said of them: “For you are a people holy
to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the
peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured
possession” (Deut 7:6). He had promised them military success so long
as they remained faithful to him: “The Lord will grant that the
enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you” (Deut
28:7). . But now all that was reversed.
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books:
You have driven them -
God had sovereignly brought about the exile of His chosen people (to
Assyria and Babylon) to fulfill His covenant promises (see Dt 28:36,
Those who are nearby and
those who are far away - This seems to be an allusion to the
scattering (You have driven them) of both Judah and her sister
Israel, who had been taken into Assyrian captivity in 722BC.
Unfaithful - (Maal) means
to act treacherously.
Maal - 26x in 26v - Lev
5:15; 6:2; Nu 5:6, 12, 27; 31:16; Josh 7:1; 22:16, 20, 22, 31; 1 Chr
9:1; 10:13; 2 Chr 28:19; 29:19; 33:19; 36:14; Ezra 9:2, 4; 10:6; Job
21:34; Ezek 15:8; 17:20; 18:24; 39:26; Dan 9:7. NAS =
falsehood(1), treachery(2), trespass(1), trespass*(1), unfaithful(3),
unfaithful act(4), unfaithful deeds(1), unfaithfully(6),
unfaithfulness(6), very unfaithful(1).
Against You - Sin is
against God - This is repeatedly emphasized (Da 9:7b, Da 9:8b, Da
9:9b, Da 9:11b)
9:8 "Open shame belongs
to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we
have sinned against You. (to us: Da 9:6,7) (because:
Jer 14:20 La 1:7,8,18 3:42 5:16)
Open shame - Daniel repeats this
phrase (from Da 9:7) which emphasizes its importance.
John MacArthur explains
the idea of "open shame"...
"We were ashamed of ourselves. I
mean we used to be somebody. Our land was a glorious land. Our people
was a great people. We were proud, and now we are outcasts. We are
wanderers. We are refugees." The north was gone into captivity under
Assyria, never to return. The south had been carried away. The others
had fled to Egypt when Gedaliah was...was assassinated in Jeremiah.
Tells us about that. "And we're... we're all scattered, and we're
ashamed. Our treacherous sins have sent us away, and our faces are
covered with shame. Our kings are shamed. Our princes, our fathers,
because we've sinned against Thee." (Elements
of True Prayer, Part 2)
We have sinned against (chata)
note on use in v5 used in Da
9:5, 8, 11, 15)
- Not "they" but "we" as noted above. All sin is ultimately
C H Spurgeon's devotional
on Daniel 9:8...
Open shame belongs to us, O Lord,
to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned
A deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness,
punishment which it deserves,
should make us lie low before the
We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favored as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged
beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. Who is
there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian
warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past? As for
our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and
forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we
have sinned against light and against love—light which has really
penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced.
Oh, the atrocity of the sin
of a pardoned soul!
An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply
compared with the sin of one of God’s own elect ones, who has had
communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus’ bosom. Look at
David! Many will talk of his sin, but I pray you look at his
repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out
its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground,
and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his
We have erred: let us,
seek the spirit of penitence.
Look, again, at Peter! We speak
much of Peter’s denying his Master. Remember, it is written, “He
wept bitterly.” (Mt 26:75, Lk 22:62) Have we no denials of
our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before
and after conversion, would consign us to the place of
inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has
made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning.
My soul, bow down under
a sense of thy natural sinfulness,
and worship thy God.
Admire the grace which saves thee—
the mercy which spares thee—
the love which pardons thee!
9:9 "To the Lord our God
compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
(To the Lord: Da 9:7 Ex 34:6,7 Nu 14:18,19 Ne 9:17,31 Ps
62:12 86:5,15 130:4,7 Ps 145:8,9 Isa 55:7 63:7 La 3:22,23 Jon 4:2 Mic
7:18,19 Eph 1:6-8 2:4-7) (For we: Da 9:5 Ne 9:18,19,26-28 Ps
106:43-45 Jer 14:7 Ezek 20:8,9,13
In the Hebrew these plurals are
intensive, emphasizing God’s great and manifold “mercies” and his
abundant forgiveness. Even though Israel had “rebelled” (mārad)
against him, there was yet hope because the sovereign Lord is
“merciful” and “forgiving.” All persons have rebelled against God to
varying degrees and need his mercy and forgiveness to be made right
with him. (New American Commentary – Volume 18: Daniel)
From God's goodness flow God's
mercies; from his mercies, forgivenesses.
Compassion (KJV =
mercies) - The idea of compassion is a sympathetic consciousness of
others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. So Daniel is
appealing to this character of God. Note that compassion is a
prerequisite for forgiveness.
word for compassion is racham which can mean womb (when used in the singular form) or
when in the plural form describes tender mercy (the womb was
considered the seat of warm, tender emotions) which in the case of God
are rooted in His deep love and infinite grace. Racham is used
to describe Joseph's deep yearning feeling toward Benjamin in Ge 43:30
(cf the woman who "was deeply stirred over her son" in 1Ki 3:26 and
was willing to give him to the other woman who was not his mother),
but most of the OT uses refer to God's racham. Nehemiah in
reviewing Israel's history shows how God's great racham was associated
with actions (deliverance, rescue, not forsaking or making an end of
them) that were in response to Israel's crying out to Him and this
forms the "basis" for Daniel's petitions beginning in Da 9:15...
Therefore Thou didst deliver them
into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, But
when they cried to Thee in the time
of their distress, Thou
didst hear from heaven, and according to Thy great compassion
Thou didst give them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of
their oppressors. 28 "But as soon as they had rest, they did evil
again before Thee; Therefore Thou didst abandon them to the hand of
their enemies, so that they ruled over them.
When they cried again to Thee,
Thou didst hear from heaven, and many times Thou didst rescue them
according to Thy
compassion...Nevertheless, in Thy great compassion (racham)
Thou didst not make an
end of them or forsake them,
for Thou art a gracious and compassionate (rachuwm) God. (Neh 9:27,
Racham - 39x in 39v - Ge
43:14, 30; Deut 13:17 ("turn from His burning anger and show mercy");
2 Sam 24:14 ("His mercies are great"); 1 Kgs 3:26; 8:50; 1 Chr
21:13 ("His mercies are very great"); 2 Chr 30:9; Neh 1:11
(Nehemiah's prayer that God "grant him compassion before this
man"); Neh 9:19 ("Thy great compassion, Didst not forsake them in the
wilderness") Neh 9:27f, 31; Ps 25:6; 40:11; 51:1; 69:16; 77:9; 79:8;
103:4; 106:46; 119:77, 156; 145:9; Pr 12:10; Isa 47:6; 54:7; 63:7, 15;
Jer 16:5; 42:12; Lam 3:22; Dan 1:9; 9:9, 18; Hos 2:19; Amos 1:11; Zech
1:16; 7:9. NAS = compassion(30), compassions(1), deeply(1),
deeply(1), mercies(4), mercy(2)
David asks God to
remember His compassion in Ps 25:6
Remember, O LORD, Thy compassion
(racham) and Thy lovingkindnesses (hesed), for they have been from of
Spurgeon comments: We are
usually tempted in seasons of affliction to fear that our God has
forgotten us, or forgotten His usual kindness towards us; hence the
soul doth as it were put the Lord in remembrance, and beseech Him to
recollect those deeds of love which once He wrought towards it. There
is a holy boldness which ventures thus to deal with the Most High, let
us cultivate it; but there is also an unholy unbelief which suggests
our fears, let us strive against it with all our might. What gems are
those two expressions, "tender mercies and lovingkindnesses!"
They are the virgin honey of language; for sweetness no words can
excel them; but as for the gracious favors which are intended by them,
language fails to describe them.
Forgiveness - The Hebrew
Selichah is found only 3 times in the OT, here in Da 9:9 and in
the 2 passages below...
Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to
listen, and did not remember your wondrous deeds which You had
performed among them; so they became stubborn and appointed a leader
to return to their slavery in Egypt (Nu 14:4). But You are a God of
forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and
abounding in lovingkindness; and You did not forsake them.
Psalm 130:4 But there is
forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.
Spurgeon comments: Blessed
but. Free, full, sovereign pardon is in the hand of the great King: it
is his prerogative to forgive, and he delights to exercise it. Because
His nature is mercy, and because He has provided a sacrifice for sin,
therefore forgiveness is with Him for all that come to Him confessing
their sins. The power of pardon is permanently resident with God: He
has forgiveness ready to His hand at this instant.
"That thou mayest be feared."
This is the fruitful root of piety. None fear the Lord like those
who have experienced His forgiving love. Gratitude for pardon produces
far more fear and reverence of God than all the dread which is
inspired by punishment. If the Lord were to execute justice upon all,
there would be none left to fear him; if all were under apprehension
of his deserved wrath, despair would harden them against fearing him:
it is grace which leads the way to a holy regard of God, and a fear of
Thomas Adams "One would
think that punishment should procure fear, and forgiveness love; but
no man more truly loves God than he that is most fearful to offend
George Bowen: This
forgiveness, this smile of God, binds the soul to God with a beautiful
fear. Fear to lose one glance of love. Fear to lose one work of
kindness. Fear to be carried away from the heaven of his presence by
an insidious current of worldliness. Fear of slumber. Fear of error.
Fear of not enough pleasing him. Our duty, then, is to drink deep of
God's forgiving love. To be filled with it is to be filled with
purity, fervency, and faith. Our sins have to hide their diminished
heads, and slink away through crevices, when forgiveness -- when
Christ -- enters the soul.
9:10 nor have we obeyed
the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set
before us through His servants the prophets. (which: Da
9:6 2Ki 17:13 18:12 Ezra 9:10,11 Ne 9:13, 14, 15, 16, 17 Heb 1:1)
Nor have we obeyed -
Repeats the confession of Da 9:6. Hearing does not guarantee
NET Bible note...
"paid attention to the voice of,"
which is an idiomatic expression for obedience
Walk - Is used in the
figurative sense to refer to one's conduct or behavior. Their conduct
demonstrated that they had not obeyed the voice of Jehovah.
There are two ways to walk - according to God's teachings (His Word
which defines His will) or according to one's own will (which is
Teachings - Hebrew
Torah is used over 200x in the OT and most often (188x in NAS)
translated "law". Torah is derived from the verb yarah
which means to teach or instruct, and thus the Torah is a general
reference to God's instructions, providing understanding in that about
which Israel was otherwise ignorant.
Set before us - More
literally, set before our face.
9:11 "Indeed all Israel
has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so
the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is
written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned
against Him. (all: 2Ki 17:18-23 Isa 1:4-6 Jer 8:5-10
9:26 Eze 22:26-31)(the curse: Lev 26:14-46 Dt 27:15-26 28:15-68
29:20-29 30:17-19 31:17,18 Dt 32:19-42)
All Israel - "All" is the
particle "kol" which speaks of the entirety of Israel, so that there
are no exceptions. Daniel is not trying to make excuses. He is laying
out his soul before the all seeing God.
Transgressed - Hebrew
abar means to pass or go beyond as when one physically crosses over,
but is used figuratively here to mean that Israel "over stepped" God's
law (torah), going beyond what He had stipulated in the Mosaic
Turned aside - The Hebrew
(cur/sur) means literally to turn away or turn aside (eg, Moses
Ex 3:3, 4) but is used figuratively by Daniel to describe God's people
turning away from Him. The implication is that their turning away
reflects their rebellious heart.
In Proverbs we read the
effect the Law should have had on God's people...
The teaching (torah)
of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn aside (sur/cur)
from the snares of death. (Pr 13:14)
Israel had the knowledge of God's
truth which should have made them turn away from evil (cp Pr
13:19) but in a tragic paradox they chose instead to turn away
from His torah!
Not obeying Your voice -
For the third time Daniel confesses Israel's disobedience to God's
voice (first use of Hebrew word qol is God's "sound" in Ge 3:8, 10
where sin made man turn away from God).
The curse has been poured out
on us - “Curse is singular and definite in the Hebrew, indicating
that a specific curse was in view. God had promised blessing for
obedience, cursing for disobedience and He was now keeping His
But it shall come about, if
(condition - remember this is referring to the Mosaic Covenant, a
conditional covenant) you
will not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments
and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses
shall come upon you and
overtake you....45 "So all these curses shall come on you and pursue
you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not
obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes
which He commanded you....49 The LORD will bring a nation against you
from afar (A prophecy that was partially fulfilled with the invasion
of Babylon), from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a
nation whose language you shall not understand..."And it shall come
about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply
you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy
you; and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to
possess it. (Dt 28:15, 45, 49, 63-
Take a moment and read the litany
of curses in Dt 28:16-68, Lev 26:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,
23, 24, 25-39)
Poured out (natak)
can refer to literal pouring but can also have a figurative meaning.
In fact about half of the 19 uses of natak in the OT refer to God's
wrath or anger being poured out upon some aspect of sin (sinful
men, cities, countries - 2Chr 12:7, 2Chr 34:21, 25, Jer. 7:20;
42:18; 44:6; Da 9:11, Da 9:27; Nah 1:6).
Huldah the prophetess
gave the following interpretation (? prophecy) to King Josiah's
representatives stating that...
Because they (the people of Judah)
have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they
might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands (the
idols), therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place
(referring to Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile), and it shall not be
quenched." (2 Chr 34:25)
Natak - 19v: Ex9:33
2Sa21:10 2Ki22:9 2Ch12:7 34:17, 21, 25 Job3:24 10:10 Je7:20 42:18 44:6
Eze22:20-22 24:11 Da 9:11 9:27 Na 1:6
The oath (sebuwah)
refers to a solemn affirmation or declaration which is used to
validate a promise and in Biblical times was used to "seal" treaties
to assure neither party broke their promise (Ge 26:28). In a number of
OT passages, oath refers to God's promise to keep the Abrahamic
covenant (Ge 26:3, Dt 7:8, 1Chr 16:16, Ps 105:9, Jer 11:5), but
clearly in the present context the oath refers to God's promise to
keep His word to punish disobedience. This promise of punishment is
based on the oath God made in His covenant with Israel at Mt
Sinai (cf. Dt 29:12)
In Deuteronomy God made
an oath (swearing by heaven and earth) declaring...
I call heaven and earth to witness
against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the
blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may
live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by
obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life
and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the
LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give
them." (Dt 30:19, 20)
Regarding the combination of
curse and oath the Net Bible has an insightful note
the term “curse” refers here
to the judgments threatened in the Mosaic law (see Deut 28) for
rebellion. The expression “the curse and the oath” is probably
a hendiadys (cf. Nu 5:21; Neh 10:28, 29) referring to the fact
that the covenant with its threatened judgments was ratified by solemn
oath and made legally binding upon the covenant community. (Note:
Hendiadys = the expression of an idea by the use of
usually two independent words connected by and [as nice and warm]
instead of the usual combination of independent word and its modifier)
note on use in v5
used in Da 9:5, 8, 11, 15)
Daniel reiterates that it is
"our fault"! It was in the law of Moses but that is the very truth we
have not obeyed, which we have transgressed, from which we have turned
aside, thus causing us to sin against God!
Against Him - Sin is
against God (Da 9:7b, Da 9:8b, Da 9:9b, Da 9:11b)
9:12 "Thus He has
confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our
rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the
whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to
Jerusalem. (confirmed: Isa 44:26 La 2:17 Eze 13:6 Zec
1:8 Mt 5:18 Ro 15:8) (our rulers: 1Ki 3:9 Job 12:17 Ps 2:10
148:11 Pr 8:16) (under the whole heaven: La 1:12 2:13 4:6 Eze
5:9 Joe 2:2 Am 3:2 Mt 24:21 Mk 13:19 Lk 21:22)
Thus He has confirmed -
He has fulfilled is somewhat easier to understand. In other words God
kept His word, His specific promise of cursing as specified in the
Rulers who ruled us -
More literally judges who judged us.
Great Calamity - The
defeat of Judah, destruction of the holy city, Jerusalem and the
destruction of the Holy Temple.
means bad or evil, the very thing God had repeatedly exhorted his
people to turn from (Isa 1:16, Dt 13:12; 2 Ki 17:13; 2Chr 7:14; Jer
18:11, Jer 25:4, 5, Jer 35:15, Eze 33:11; Zec 1:4)! Divine,
Not been done anything like
what was done to Jerusalem - Such a horrible disaster had never
occurred to any other nation. In other words other nations had
suffered great calamities but they did not have the true and living
God. Jerusalem's fate was unique in the world history for it was
represented calamity to a nation and a city wherein dwelt the true
Jeremiah writes that...
the iniquity of the daughter of my
people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a
moment, and no hands were turned toward her. (Lam 4:6)
Ezekiel adds that...
And because of all your
abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like
of which I will never do again. (Ezekiel 5:9)
Amos explains why Judah's
punishment was even more "harsh" than one might think they deserved...
You only have I chosen among all
the families of the earth. Therefore I will punish you for all your
iniquities. (Amos 3:2)
The point is that Judah had the
spiritual light and was being held accountable for their rejection of
so great a light of revelation of the living and true God.
Archer adds that...
Had God not fulfilled his word of
judgment, little credence could be placed in his word of grace. If a
nation like Judah, instructed so perfectly in the truth of God, could
fall into idolatry and immorality and defy the Lord to punish them as
he had promised to do, why should anyone obey the Almighty or believe
in him? The Fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the
removal of the nation from their ancestral soil—all this served to
vindicate the holiness and righteousness of God and to demonstrate to
all the world the sanctity of his moral law.
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books:
9:13 "As it 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. (As it is written:
Da 9:11 Lev 26:14-46 Dt 28:15-68 Isa 42:9 La 2:15-17 John 10:35) (We
have not sought: Job 36:13 Isa 9:13 Jer 2:30 5:3 Ho 7:7,10,14) (By
turning: Dt 29:4 Ps 85:4 119:18,27,73 Isa 64:7 Jer 31:18
44:27 La 5:21 Lk 24:45 Jn 6:45 8:32 Eph 1:17,18 4:21 Jas 1:5)
As it is written in the Law
of Moses - Judah did not have to guess at what God desired of them
nor how He would punish them for flagrant disobedience. God had warned
them ( Lev 26:14-46 Dt 28:15-68). God's promises are unchangeable,
both those that are "positive" and those that bring "negative"
All this calamity has come on
us - God is not mocked. To ignore, reject or disobey God's words
of warning regarding disobedience is tantamount to mocking Him. Judah
had sown to their flesh and now they were reaping the evil fruit of
their sowing. God's punishment was just. It was not a surprise.
Yet we have not sought the
favor of the LORD our God - This is a sad "yet". This is an
amazing statement. Here the Jews were in exile, their city and Temple
destroyed, and they still had not sought God's favor!
Turning from our iniquity and
giving attention to Your truth - This is an excellent description
of genuine repentance. But sadly it was not a description of
Judah. They had still not repented despite the great calamity that God had
John Phillips offers a
scathing comment emphasizing how despite Judah's many "warnings" she
repeatedly failed to be broken and to repent, surely a reflection of a
heart as hard and cold as stone...
Did the people repent when the
Assyrians carried away the entire northern kingdom and ravaged Judah
right down to Jerusalem itself? Only until the death of godly King
Hezekiah—then Judah followed Manasseh into worse wickedness than
before. Did the people repent when Josiah found a copy of the law in
the temple after God's Word had been so completely forgotten that he
read it with astonishment and resolve? Only until his death (Ed:
The truth is they had remorse but not repentance!). Did the people
repent when the Babylonians first appeared and encamped in battle
array around Jerusalem? No. Did they repent when Jerusalem fell
in 605BC and the cream of the Judean aristocracy was taken away to
Babylon? No. Did they repent when the second Babylonian
expedition appeared before Jerusalem and Jehoiachin was deposed and
Zedekiah installed as a puppet king in his place in 597BC? No.
Did they repent when Zedekiah was summoned to Babylon in 594BC? No.
Did they repent when the Babylonians appeared in force before
Jerusalem for the final siege in 587BC? Not at all. Did they
repent when Jerusalem fell at last and was sacked in 586BC? No.
Did they repent in Babylon? No. (Exploring the Book of Daniel:
An Expository Commentary)
The corollary principle is that
one is unlikely to give attention to God's truth, if there is no
sincere turning from one's iniquity.
We see Peter invoke this
principle in his exhortation to the newly born again readers of his
Therefore, putting aside all malice
and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn
babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in
respect to salvation (1Pe 2:1,2)
Peter says the believer must
throw aside the "filthy garments" of verse 1. If one fails to confess
and repent of the sins of verse 1, they will not experience the deep
God given hunger for His Word described in verse 2 and consequently
they will fail to experience spiritual growth. Do you hunger for God's
Word like a newly born baby does for milk? If not you might consider
doing an "inventory" of the 5 pieces of "filthy clothes" Peter
describes in verse 1.
9:14 "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. (Has kept: Jer 31:28 44:27) (the
Lord: Da 9:7 Ne 9:33 Ps 51:14) (But we have not obeyed: Da
Kept the calamity in store
- More literally this reads He "watched over the evil (disaster)".
This is a difficult phrase to interpret but in the context it appears
to indicate that God kept the calamity in store should Judah
not turn from her wicked ways. And when she did not repent, the
calamity was ready and waiting to be brought upon the disobedient
Jamieson comments that
the picture of God keeping the calamity in store or as the KJV phrases
it "watch over the evil" is an expression of ...
ceaseless vigilance that His
people's sins might not escape His judgment, as a watchman on guard
night and day (Job 14:16 Je 31:28 Je 44:27). God watching upon the
Jews punishment forms a striking contrast to the Jews slumbering in
Keil notes that...
Because Israel did not do this,
therefore the Lord watched upon the evil, i.e., continually thought
thereon—an idea very frequently found in Jeremiah; cf. Jer 1:12;
31:28; 44:27. (Keil and Delitzsch)
Brought it on us - The
calamity is from the hand of God. He brought it on
Judah and Jerusalem.
For - This explains that
God was right in bringing the calamity on Judah, because everything He
does is righteous (just). Judah deserved the calamity.
But we have not obeyed His
voice - This phrase echoes Da 9:13. God's hand of discipline
failed to bring about any change of heart in Judah.
9:15 "And now, O Lord our
God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a
mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day--we
have sinned, we have been wicked. (You have brought:: Ex
6:1,6 14:1-15:27 32:11 1Ki 8:51 Ne 1:10 Jer 32:20-23 2Co 1:10) (made
a name: Ex 9:16 14:18 Ne 9:10 Ps 106:8 Isa 55:13 Jer 32:10) (we
have sinned: Da 9:5 Lk 15:18,19,21 18:13)
Da 9:15-19 Petition
The Bible Knowledge
Daniel began his petition (Da 9:15)
by mentioning two of the same things with which he began his
confession (Da 9:4, 5): God’s greatness and the people’s sin.
Brought Your people out of
the land of Egypt - God's deliverance of Israel from Egyptian
bondage brought glory to His name among the idol worshipping Gentile
nations (e.g., Ex 15:13, 14, 15, 16, see Rahab's testimony in Josh
2:8, 9, 10, 11, cf Josh 5:1). Thus is is not surprising that this truth of God’s miraculous deliverance of
Israel from Egyptian bondage is repeatedly mentioned in the Old
Testament (>100 times!). In the present context, Daniel reminds God of
His past great deliverance of Israel from Egypt in preparation for his
pious plea for a second great deliverance of His people from Babylon.
Israel's deliverance from Egypt
is the the Old Testament "standard" of God's power.
We have sinned, we have been
wicked - Daniel reiterates (confesses) the reason Judah is in need
9:16 "O Lord, in
accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your
wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for
because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and
Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. (accordance:
1Sa 2:7 Ne 9:8 Ps 31:1 71:2 143:1 Mic 6:4,5 2Th 1:6 1Jn 1:9) (holy
mountain: Da 9:20 Ps 87:1-3 Joe 3:17 Zec 8:3) (for the: Ex
20:5 Lev 26:39,40 Ps 106:6-48 Mt 23:31,32 Lk 11:47-51) (Jerusalem:
1Ki 9:7-9 Ps 41:13 79:4 Isa 64:9-11 Jer 24:9 29:18 La 1:8,9 La
O Lord - O
In accordance with all Your
righteous acts - The basis of any appeal to God is founded on His
character not any any merit of our own.
It is as if Daniel prayed, "Lord,
I'm not asking You to do anything against Your righteousness. I'm
praying this to advance Your righteous glory."
Let now - This marks the
beginning of Daniel's petitions.
Because of our sins and the
iniquities of our fathers - Again he confesses the guilt of Judah,
past and present.
Jerusalem and Your people
have become a reproach to all those around us (the Gentile
nations) - Understand that the idea of a reproach refers
to a cause or occasion of shame, blame, discredit, or disgrace.
It means to be an object of contempt, scorn, derision, or dishonor. We
see this idea of reproach in association with Jerusalem and the
state of disrepair of God's Holy Temple and the surroundings in
Nehemiah (Neh 1:3, 2:17, 4:4, 5:9). Ezekiel, Daniel's fellow prophet
in exile, records the following regarding the reproach of the
Also I (Jehovah) scattered them
among the nations (Gentiles), and they were dispersed throughout the
lands (Israel 722BC, Judah 586BC). According to their ways and their
deeds I judged them. When they came to the nations where they went,
they profaned (defiled, polluted, desecrated, treated with
irreverence or contempt) My holy name, because it was said of them,
'These are the people of the LORD; yet they have come out of His
land.' (Ezek 36:19, 20)
9:17 "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.
(let your face: Nu 6:23, 24, 25 26 Ps 4:6 67:1 80:1,3,7,19 119:135 Rev
21:23)( sanctuary: La 5:18)(for Your sake: Da 9:19 Jn
16:24 2Co 1:20)
Gleason Archer comments
on the phrase for Your sake...
Like Moses in his prayer of
intercession after the golden calf apostasy (Ex 32:12,13), Daniel was
chiefly concerned about the tarnishing of God’s reputation in the eyes
of the world (Da 9:18,19). If Yahweh allowed his sanctuary and holy
city to lie permanently in ruins and his people to remain in exile,
then who among the surrounding nations would believe that the God of
the Bible was the true and holy Sovereign over all the universe?
Let Your face shine -
Guzik writes that...
Cause Your face to shine:
This is the heart of Daniel's plea. He knows that God's people need so
much, but all their need can be summed up in this: they need God's
face to shine upon them.
"Oh, that we might learn how to pray so that God should be the subject
as well as the object of our supplications! O God, thy Church needs
thee above everything else! A poor, little, sick, neglected child
needs fifty things; but you can put all those needs into one if you
say that the child needs its mother. So, the Church, of God needs a
thousand things, but you can put them all into one if you say, 'The
Church of God needs her God.' " (Spurgeon)
Daniel's prayer is consumed with
the glory of God, not primarily the benefit of man. His purpose in
prayer was to see God's work accomplished and His cause glorified.
It isn't wrong to pray for our own needs. Jesus invited us to ask,
give us this day our daily bread. At the same time, we need to have an
even greater passion for the glory and benefit of God.
We should pray with the same passion and concern for the work of God
in our congregations and communities. We can pray the prayer of Psalm
85:6: Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in
You? Alone and in groups we can pray for God to pour out the Holy
Spirit, to bring repentance and revival among His people, and to
awaken the unconverted.
This also speaks to purity of motive in Daniel's prayer. Sometimes we
pray for God to do a great work so we can be known as great workers
for God. We need to pray for the sake of the Lord's cause, both in our
words and heart.
9:18 "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. (incline: 1Ki 8:29 2Ki
19:16 Ps 17:6,7 Isa 37:17 63:15-19 64:12) (See our desolations:
Ex 3:7 Ps 80:14-19) (Which is called by You name: Jer 7:10 14:9
15:16 25:29 1Co 1:2) (for we: Isa 64:6 Jer 14:7 Eze 36:32) (presenting:
Heb. cause to fall, Jer 36:7 37:20)
Not...on account of any
merits of our own - Not our goodness, but God's goodness!
It’s worth noting that the petition
section comes at the end of the prayer. He doesn’t ask God for
anything at all until he has first thoroughly confessed the sins of
the people. After all, until the sin that caused the exile in the
first place is dealt with, there is no basis for asking God to restore
Taking the prayer as a whole, we discover that everything Daniel says
is based upon God’s character:
You are awesome—(Da 9:4)
You always keep your promises—(Da 9:4)
You are righteous—(Da 9:7)
You are a forgiving God—(Da 9:9)
You have a great name—(Da 9:15)
You are a merciful God—(Da 9:18)
In many ways verse 18 is the theme
of the whole prayer: “We do not make requests of you because we are
righteous, but because of your great mercy.” What a crucial insight
that is. So many times we pray because we secretly think we have
“earned” the right by our good behavior to ask God to bless us. Daniel
chose the opposite tack. “Lord, we don’t deserve to be heard by you
because we have sinned greatly against you. The only reason we come to
you is because you are a God of love and grace.” When we approach God
with that attitude, we will discover that he welcomes us into his
presence and listens graciously to every word we say. (The
Positive Power of Prayer)
This is what it means to pray in
the name of Jesus. Those aren't words we tack on to the end of a
prayer, but they should express the fact we are praying in merits and
righteousness of Jesus, not our own.
Daniel was not great because he prayed. He was great because his
prayer was the necessary expression of great trust and dependence on
God. Many religious people spend countless hours in prayer but it
achieves nothing because it is not rooted in the goodness and
righteousness of God. Self righteous or self trusting prayer is of no
power before God. "One of Satan's most subtle delusions is that he
succeeds in getting hundreds of thousands of men to trust in prayer,
apart from faith in the shed blood of Jesus." (Talbot)
But on account of - When
we approach God in prayer, we always do so on the basis not of who we
are or what think we merit but on the basis of Who God is, a God Whose
great compassion flings open the door of the Throne Room of Heaven
that we might dare (yea, even boldly) approach Him through Christ
Jesus our Mediator. Hallelujah.
Great compassion - God
answers prayer because of His mercy not man's merit!
Regarding God's great
compassion, Francis Schaeffer once said...
I must say that when I pray for my
country and our culture, I do not pray for God’s justice. I can
only plead for His mercy. If we had the justice of God, we
would not have peace. We would have a situation like Jeremiah’s
(referring to Jer 25:10). How dare we pray for justice upon our
culture when we have so deliberately turned away for God and His
revelation? Why should God bless us? (Woe!)
(Death in the City. 1969)
9:19 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. (forgive: Nu 14:19 1Ki 8:30-39 2Ch
6:21,25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,39 Am 7:2 Lk 11:8) (do not delay: Ps 44:23-26
74:9, 10, 11 79:5 85:5,6 102:13,14 Isa 64:9, 10, 11, 12) (Your own sake: Ps
79:8, 9, 10 102:15,16 115:1,2 Jer 14:7,20,21 Eze 20:9,14,22 Eze 36:22
39:25 Eph 1:6,12 3:10) (because your city: Da 9:18 Ps 79:6 Isa
63:16-19 Jer 14:9 25:29)
hearken and do:
defer not, for thine own sake, O my God"
O Lord - O Adonai - Three
times. It's as if Daniel is crying out "Master, give me Judah or I
Cold prayers ask God to deny them:
only importunate (troublesomely urgent: overly persistent in
request or demand) prayers will be replied to. When the Church of God
cannot take 'No' for an answer, she shall not have 'No' for an answer.
When a pleading soul must have it; when the Spirit of God works
mightily in him so that he cannot let the angel go without a blessing,
the angel shall not go till he has given the blessing to such a
Brethren, if there be only one
among us that can pray as Daniel did,
with intensity, the blessing will come.
own sake...because of Your
name - Daniel's prayer
is clearly God centered and structured so as to give Him the glory (cf
Your city - Jehovah's
reputation among the Gentile nations (and the Jews for that matter)
was associated with Jerusalem, for God Himself declared that this was
"the place where I have chosen to cause My Name to dwell" (Neh 1:9).
The Africa Bible Commentary
rightly concludes that...
When a prayer is about nothing but
God’s own interest, it cannot go unanswered. (Note:
Beloved, Daniel 9 makes a great "grid" by which we can evaluate the
character and focus of our prayers - are they "me" centered or God
9:20 Now while I was
speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people
Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in
behalf of the holy mountain of my God, (while: Da 10:2
Ps 32:5 145:18 Isa 58:9 65:24 Ac 4:31 10:30,31) (confessing: Da
9:4 Ec 7:20 Isa 6:5 Ro 3:23 Jas 3:2 1Jn 1:8-10) (of the holy
mountain: Da 9:16 Ps 137:5,6 Isa 56:7 62:6,7 Zec 8:3 Rev 21:2,10)
While I was speaking and
praying - Observe how the answer comes before he is even finished!
And note at what point he is interrupted (Da 9:19) Jesus said, your
Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him (Mt 6:8).
Observe also that God answers
the prayers of sinners ("my sin", cf the realistic, rhetorical
question in Pr 20:9!), so clearly sinlessness is not a requirement.
However, if we follow Daniel's powerful pattern of prayer, confession
of our sin is a vital part of our prayer. I must confess, while I do
confess my sins to some degree, I fear I have underestimated the
importance of this aspect of prayer. How are you doing in this regard
beloved? Perhaps the importance of confession is emphasized in the
great Psalm 139 where David begins with the acknowledgement that
Jehovah had "searched" him and "known" him and yet is still impelled
and inspired by the Spirit to plead...
Search me, O God, and know my
heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any
hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. (Ps 139:23, 24)
My sin - Holy men of God
(Ezek 14:14, 20) were always acutely aware of how far short they fell
of God's perfect holiness.
The holy mountain of my God
- A reference to the site which we know today as "Temple Mount"
and which is synonymous with
(‘the place where Yhwh sees’) the site upon which Abraham offered his
"only son" Isaac whom he loved (Ge 22:2). Abraham called the name of
that place The LORD Will Provide -
Jehovah Jireh (see study)
- as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will
be provided (Ge 22:14). Later this was the site of the threshing floor
Ornan which David purchased for
Solomon's temple (1Ch 21:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 2, 25, 26, 2Sa 24:24,
25, 2Ch 3:1] Nearby is
(Jn 19:17) also called
Calvary (in same range as Moriah but slightly NW) on which God the
Father offered up His only Son, the Son Whom He loved (Jn 3:16, 3:35)