The Mighty Angels of Daniel 9: The Penitent Confessionalist
By Nathan Jones
The Penitent Confessionalist
Nathan Jones: So far in Daniel 9, the Prophet Daniel has been preparing himself to offer up a prayer to the Lord for the sins of his people — the Jews. Now, in the right state of mind and with a contrite heart, Daniel is finally ready to pray.
We should not forget Daniel’s background. Daniel might have been a high level executive in King Darius’ organization, but in truth he is still a prisoner. Daniel was exiled out of Jerusalem probably at 16 years old. His people had their houses burned down and their families killed in Nebuchadnezzar’s assault. Daniel was dragged far away from his homeland and was forced to acclimate to another culture and learn to speak another language. Still, he would not bow down and worship foreign gods, so he drew the line at apostasy. Daniel had no choice but to live there in Babylon. He couldn’t just leave. He couldn’t return home. In truth, Daniel was a prisoner trapped in a gilded cage. Even though Daniel had a high position in the government, the situation was as grim for Daniel as it was for his fellow Jews.
The theme of Daniel’s prayer could be summed up as, “Lord, please take us out of exile. Restore Jerusalem!” Daniel isn’t just praying for himself and his brethren, though. He wants to see Jerusalem restored because it is the city that represents God. Jerusalem is stamped as God’s city for the whole world to see. Jerusalem has God’s name all over it. For decades it had been burned to the ground. The people passing by are laughing at God and claiming He has no power. Daniel wants to see God’s good name and mighty power restored among the people.
How many of us when we pray are zealous to defend God’s honor?
Vic Batista: My prayers often times are more self-centered about me. I can forget to give God His due praise. I forget to give thanks for God’s abundant blessings and to acknowledge my wrong doings.
I love Daniel 9:5. It goes, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled even by departing from your precepts and your judgments.”
There has to be a recognition of our sin and God’s grace on our part. Maybe God isn’t doing something we’d like done in our lives because He is waiting for us to straighten certain areas of our life out with Him, or to acknowledge our wrongs in order to fixed our broken relationship with Him.
Nathan Jones: I’m reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14 where it talks about how if a nation repents and turns back to God that He will hear their plea and restore their land. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
That should be the prayer of the United States and other so-called Christian nations. We have fallen so far into depravity and wickedness. We have called what’s good evil and called evil good. As a nation we need to be like Daniel and humble ourselves, seek God, and repent.
The process of national repentance and restoration begins with us Christians. As Christians we tend to think that we are for the most part pretty good. Knowing that Christ has forgiven our sins already, we feel we don’t need to pray about our own sins. Our sins of adultery, our broken families, our messed up children, and our drug and porn addictions — all those and many other sin issues are what’s contributing to the fall of society. Just like any pagan who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior, our sins also contribute to the deteriorating morality of our nation. Daniel provides the example — we Christians need to repent of our own sins first.
Vic Batista: How many of us Christians have had or encouraged an abortion? How many of us align with the world when it comes to the topic of homosexuality? How can we ask “God Bless America” when we are not blessing God by living as examples for Him? We should be saying “Repent America” before asking for God’s blessing.
Nathan Jones: We should be calling out “America Bless God.” After all, why should God bless America? We have kicked Him out of our schools and universities, out of politics, out of the courts, and now we are trying to force Him out of our social lives. Just why should God bless us? He has no reason to bless us. But, just think if America blessed God. Wow!
How do we bless God? Daniel shows us by repenting of our sins and obeying his precepts.
In the fourteenth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll examine the dark heart of sin.