5 March 2010
So today I was reading in Daniel…
9:3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. [Father, some people believe we don’t need to fast and pray and seek You in these “ritualistic” ways to get Your attention – and love and forgiveness – because You’ve already given us Your love and forgiveness, once for all, on the cross… We have Your Spirit, so we just have to allow You to join Your Spirit to ours, they say… Okay… (But if we truly do have Your Spirit and are abiding with/in You, why do so many of us – all of us to some extent – still sin, commit iniquity, act wickedly, rebel (see v 5)??? Is it because we don’t really believe and accept that we are really forgiven and united with You?)] [One person I know who is big on NOT FASTING is at the same time big on TITHING and on needing STRONG LEADERS for churches to thrive… hmmm…]
9:9 To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him [You HAVE had compassion and forgiven us – You did that work on the cross!]
9:11 Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. [and we are freed from the “curse of the law” if we have believed in You]
9:12 Thus He has confirmed His words which He has spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity…. [so… calamity from God is a fulfillment of His warning about what would happen – “the curse” – if the law was broken …]
9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth [And under the Old Covenant, “seeking the favor of the LORD… by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth” is the way out of the curse/calamity for disobeying the Law. But in the New Covenant, we are no longer called to “seek God’s favor” by “… giving attention to Your truth” … but we are called to accept His free gift of salvation… and then we are made righteous by Him… not make ourselves righteous by changing our behavior and trying to live righteously by “following God’s truth” … because now we have God’s Truth within us! Okay! Yes! Wow! I see that . We still must repent (v 15-19) and turn from our sin and accept Jesus – but that is different from repenting and turning from our sin to “seek His favor”!
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 are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. [Daniel did recognize this: “we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, bun on account of Your great compassion.” Even under “the law,” God’s compassion and mercy was already there… and already in action… and there was also the promise of the coming Messiah (vv 24-25)
Yes, we do need the whole story – Old and New Testaments alike… but we also need to understand where we stand in that story… what is the old foreshadowing, which has passed away, and what is the Life we now live … (and how they relate to each other!).