Bible Society of South Africa
Ds Hein Barnard

Forgiveness – Day 12

Daniel was in Babylon and read the scroll of Jeremiah, the prophet (2). He was in exile with God’s people and read that it would last for 70 years. As was his custom to pray, he prayed to God confessing his and the peoples’ sins and asked for forgiveness.

Bible text(s)

Daniel Prays for his People

1Darius the Mede, who was the son of Xerxes, ruled over the kingdom of Babylonia. 2In the first year of his reign, I was studying the sacred books and thinking about the seventy years that Jerusalem would be in ruins, according to what the LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah. 3And I prayed earnestly to the Lord God, pleading with him, fasting, wearing sackcloth, and sitting in ashes. 4I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed the sins of my people.

I said, “Lord God, you are great, and we honour you. You are faithful to your covenant and show constant love to those who love you and do what you command.

5“We have sinned, we have been evil, we have done wrong. We have rejected what you commanded us to do and have turned away from what you showed us was right. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our rulers, our ancestors, and our whole nation. 7You, Lord, always do what is right, but we have always brought disgrace on ourselves. This is true of all of us who live in Judah and in Jerusalem and of all the Israelites whom you scattered in countries near and far because they were unfaithful to you. 8Our kings, our rulers, and our ancestors have acted shamefully and sinned against you, Lord. 9You are merciful and forgiving, although we have rebelled against you. 10We did not listen to you, O LORD our God, when you told us to live according to the laws which you gave us through your servants the prophets. 11All Israel broke your laws and refused to listen to what you said. We sinned against you, and so you brought on us the curses that are written in the Law of Moses, your servant. 12You did what you said you would do to us and our rulers. You punished Jerusalem more severely than any other city on earth, 13giving us all the punishment described in the Law of Moses. But even now, O LORD our God, we have not tried to please you by turning from our sins or by following your truth. 14You, O LORD our God, were prepared to punish us, and you did, because you always do what is right, and we did not listen to you.

15“O Lord our God, you showed your power by bringing your people out of Egypt, and your power is still remembered. We have sinned; we have done wrong. 16You have defended us in the past, so do not be angry with Jerusalem any longer. It is your city, your sacred hill. All the people in the neighbouring countries look down on Jerusalem and on your people because of our sins and the evil our ancestors did. 17O God, hear my prayer and pleading. Restore your Temple, which has been destroyed; restore it so that everyone will know that you are God. 18Listen to us, O God; look at us, and see the trouble we are in and the suffering of the city that bears your name. We are praying to you because you are merciful, not because we have done right. 19Lord, hear us. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen to us, and act! In order that everyone will know that you are God, do not delay! This city and these people are yours.”

Daniel 9:1-19GNBOpen in Bible reader

Forgiveness in the Prophets – 2

Daniel prayed for the restoration of Judah, Jerusalem and all the Israelites to their land.  Fasting and mourning were part of the confession of sin.  He acknowledged who God is and in verse 5 started with this confession.  In verse 9 he admitted that he and the people did not listen to God and called upon God’s grace to forgive His people.  He reminded God about the exodus (15) from Egypt and prayed now for an exodus from Babylon.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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