Daniel 9:4-5 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.”
I’ve written recently about how Daniel is such an excellent example for any person of faith, but here we have another important facet of that. Daniel was as personally righteous as anyone, short of Jesus, but here he is confessing the sins of his people to God as though he had participated personally in all of them. This displays a humility that is of the highest value. That humility doubtless served him well in his public service, because the record shows that he was deeply trusted and relied on by the rulers he served. However, that public face was entirely a result of his private relationship with the Lord his God. It has been said, rightly enough, that character is what you are when no one is watching. Daniel had the highest character, and he is displaying it in this prayer. Someone who has a right appreciation of God in His holiness knows that they don’t measure up. That’s why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is such good news. Daniel didn’t know about the atonement of the cross, but he knew that God had shown Himself to be merciful through countless acts of kindness and grace, so he didn’t hesitate to throw himself and his people on that mercy. Because we do know about the cross, we have a perverse tendency to take it all for granted and trample that grace in the mud. It never hurts to take inventory of what we have done vs. what God has commanded. God’s forgiveness is real, but we should be living in obedient gratitude, not excusing ourselves or others.
My personal track record certainly doesn’t approach Daniel’s, but I too have tasted God’s mercy and grace. It is as I remember that He has forgiven and cleansed me that I can walk in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:9, Philippians 1:11; 3:9 and many more) I deal constantly with people who either need to get real and repent, or who feel they have so failed God that they run from him. Either attitude is a trap of the devil! I am to proclaim both the righteousness and the mercy of God, speaking the truth in love at all times. I am to walk in personal humility, knowing that I am what I am only by the grace of God, but at the same time walk in the assurance and boldness that come from abiding in Christ. I am to be instant in repentance, confessing sin the moment I recognize it and asking the Holy Spirit to sensitize me fully in that area. I am to pray for the US and I am to pray for Japan, because I am a part of both, and neither is in right relationship to God at this point. I do not know how God will use me, but I am to keep myself totally available to Him at all times.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Most of the time I am caught up in the issues that are under my nose, but You want to use me more broadly. Help me walk in the availability that comes only with the humility of knowing that You are powerful enough to use even me. May Your Name be recognized as holy and Your kingdom come, as Your will is done in and through me for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!