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Read Introduction to Daniel


“’we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.’”


“we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.

Daniel’s confession for himself and the nation runs from this verse to the fourteenth verse.  He serves as a spokesman for the nation’s confession.  In the face of God’s faithfulness to His people, His people were not faithful to Him. 

Four parallel words for sin give the core of Daniel’s confession.  “Sinned” is to miss the mark of God’s righteousness.  “Iniquity” is a distortion of God’s character.  “Done wickedly and rebelled” is doing what we know is wrong and then transgressing that clear standard of God. 

All these sins come by “departing” from God’s Word.  The reason Israel committed the preceding sins is that they departed from God’s “precepts” and “judgments.”  “Precepts” are God’s authoritative standards or principles, and “judgments” are His wise ways of dealing with life. 


Grace is to rest in God’s finished work. 


God reminded the Jews of His grace in His system of sabbaths.  Sabbath means rest.  They were to work for six days and rest on the seventh day.  God rested on the seventh day.  The point is not that He was tired but that He accomplished and finished His work.  The believer is to rest in God’s finished work, not in his own work.  This is the principle of grace. 

We rest in the work of God by belief or trust in what He did and does.  We can do nothing for salvation or spirituality.  God makes all the provision for that.  He accomplished our salvation before the foundation of the world. 

Every seventh year, Israel was to rest the land for fertilization purposes.  They were to trust the Lord to provide for that year.  During Daniel’s day and many years before, the temptation to work the land on the seventh year became too great.  For seventy sabbatical years (spanning 490 years), Israel failed to rest the land, so God said, “You will rest the land all at once – for seventy years.” 

Ex 23:10-11, “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.”

2 Chr 36:20-21, “And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”

God wants every believer to operate on the principle of grace.  The life of the believer is one of resting on the provisions of God.  If we do not learn this lesson, then God will send us into discipline.