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Read Introduction to Daniel

 

Daniel 9: 17 “‘Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 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 do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.’”

 

9:17

Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.”

This verse has yet another name for God – Elohim, the strong One.  God is able to bring restoration to Israel. 

If God were to allow Israel to return and rebuild the temple and city of Jerusalem, it would be for His “sake.”  That is why Daniel asks Him to “cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary.”  Daniel wanted God’s favor and good will to shine on him and his people.  God answers prayer not because of who or what we are, but because of who and what God is. 

Nu 6:25 “The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you…”

Ps 80:3 “Restore us, O God;

Cause Your face to shine,

And we shall be saved!”

The sanctuary fell into disuse because of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.  Daniel requests that God would restore the “sanctuary.”  The sanctuary is where God met man, the place of sacrifices.  Daniel wanted to return to the system of worship

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 do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.”

God answers prayer based on His “great mercies” and not because Israel deserves it.    This prayer pleased the heart of God.  Daniel’s bold confidence rests in God’s grace.  God does not bless us “because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.”  Mercy is grace in action.  The door of mercy is wide open to those who accept the principle of grace. 

9:19

O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Coming to the climax of his prayer, Daniel humbly asks God to “hear,” “forgive,” “listen and act” and “not delay.”  He does not demand that God do so.  Daniel appeals to the motivation of God’s reputation for answering prayer.  This deliverance will carry God’s name and so glorify God. 

PRINCIPLE: 

God always blesses us because of grace rather than works. 

APPLICATION: 

God does not bless us because of who or what we are.  He blesses us because of who and what Jesus is and does.  We do not earn or deserve anything from God; Jesus does all the earning and deserving. 

Although we are unworthy in God’s eyes, we find comfort in knowing that God keeps His covenant and promises.  We allow our failure and sins to get us down at times.  In these situations, we must remember that God’s mercy is everlasting.  He will forgive if we confess.  There are no strings tied to confession of sin. 

1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The more we grasp the true holiness of God, the more we will humble ourselves before Him.  We will be more eager to cast ourselves upon God’s mercy and accept His forgiveness. 

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