We’ve already seen that Daniel’s prayer is based upon a right view of humanity and a right view of himself. But if Daniel knows that he and his people are sinful, how can he confidently come before God’s throne in prayer?
Well, that’s all because Daniel also has a right view of God.
Read Daniel 9:15-19.
A right view of God
Time and time again in the life of ancient Israel, the people look back and tell stories from their history. They remember events that had happened hundreds of years before. Here, Daniel turns to the Exodus. A story that was retold many times over, so that the people of Israel might learn that their God was in the habit of saving His people.
The Lord who brought Israel out of Egypt did so because it is in His character to rescue those in need. He did so because He loves His children. He did so in order that His name might be established, in order that He might be known by his mighty acts.
The whole history of Israel reveals a God who is eternally consistent in His character. He has always been and will always be a God of mercy. He is a God who delights to save those who don’t deserve it. He is God who delights to listen to the prayers of those who come from a sinful and rebellious people. Daniel’s God, our God, loves sinners!
Spend some time thanking God for times in your life when He has answered your prayers. If you’re a Christian, thank Him especially for saving you, a sinner, and bringing you into His family.
It’s because of who God is that Daniel can go to Him in prayer and expect an answer. That is why we can go to our loving Heavenly Father in prayer and be confident that He will listen. Not because we deserve it, but because of His great love for us.
And Daniel gets an answer to his prayer right there and then,
Read Daniel 9:20-27.
This is probably not the answer that Daniel was expecting! Daniel is given a glimpse of the ongoing, long term plan of the Lord.
Now, much ink has been spilt in trying to fathom the details of these final verses in chapter 9 and people spend their lives trying to determine exactly what a “seven” is.
But we need to look for the overall impression here, to see the big picture of what the Lord is saying to Daniel and to us.
And when we do, we see a repeated cycle of rebellion, atonement and restoration. We see the merciful Lord bringing His people back to Himself. Verse 24 shows us that God’s ultimate aim is “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness.”
The end point of whatever period of time these ‘sevens’ actually represent, the final goal, is a permanent end to all the rebellion and unfaithfulness that landed Israel in exile in the first place. Transgression will finish, sin will be put to an end, wickedness will be atoned for and everlasting righteousness will be ushered in.
Christians know that there is only one place in history where these things have happened in a lasting, complete, and indisputable way. Only in the person of Jesus are these things finally fulfilled. In Jesus, the pattern laid down in Daniel finally reached its climax.
Spend some time praising God for Jesus, that in Him sin and rebellion have been finally dealt with, once and for all.