Daniel 9:4; The Person to Whom we Pray~ 20220710 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

07/10_Daniel 09:4; The Person to Whom We Pray; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20220710_dan09_4.mp3

We are learning to pray from Daniel. He sets the example for us, habitually praying whether it cost him nothing, or whether it cost him everything. He sought the face of God in prayer. His purpose was not primarily to get answers, but to spend time with his God. He prayed not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but he enjoyed the privilege of relationship with his Creator. He shows us the appropriate posture for prayer; humility. He comes into the presence of God not because he has a right to, but knowing that he doesn’t, leaning completely on the merciful character of God. He humbly reminds himself that God is more necessary than food, more essential than personal comfort, more to be desired even than life itself. He comes knowing what he deserves, and pleading for mercy

Which god is God?

Today I want to look at who it is Daniel is addressing in prayer. It matters to whom we pray. Do you remember 1 Kings 18 where Elijah challenged God’s people to choose which god they would follow?

1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

The question is which god is the most high God? Which god is stronger? Which god is able to answer? Which god is worthy to be served? It is not enough merely to say that you pray to god. Which god? Notice the people aren’t willing to commit. They don’t know which god is the true God. They did not answer him a word. Elijah proposes a test; two bulls will be prepared for sacrifice, one for Baal and one for YHWH.

1 Kings 18:24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

After repairing the altar of YHWH and preparing the bull for offering, after drenching the whole altar with water,

1 Kings 18:36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”

It matters not only that you pray; it matters greatly to whom you pray.

Adonai; Sovereign God

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel was reading the word of YHWH to Jeremiah. So he turned his face to the Lord God; to Adonai Elohim. He is not just a god; he is the sovereign God. Daniel gave his face, his full attention to the sovereign God, to the God who is Owner, Master, Lord. Daniel acknowledges God’s sovereignty over all things. He is supreme in authority. He is the one in control.


Daniel 9:3 ...Then I turned my face to the Lord God, ...4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, ...

He turned his face to the Sovereign God, and he prayed to YHWH his God. Nowhere else in the book of Daniel is the name YHWH found, but in this chapter he uses the sacred name 8 times. When you see LORD spelled with all capitals in your English translation, it is telling you that that is the Name of God, YHWH.

This is the name God gave to Moses at the time of the exodus; Exodus 3.

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Moses, preserved by God, raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter, called to deliver God’s people, killed an Egyptian and fled for his life, now 40 years tending his father-in-law’s sheep in the wilderness, and God appears to him in a burning bush. God declares his holiness, his utter unapproachable uniqueness, his other-ness. He connects himself with history; he is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.

Exodus 3:7 Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

YHWH is a God who is aware, who sees, who hears, who knows, who cares, who comes down to help. I have seen, I have heard, I know, I have come down to deliver.

Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

This is an issue of identity. Moses asks ‘who am I?’ God answers ‘But I will be with you’. Moses is concerned about his own identity, or lack thereof. God re-directs his thinking; you need to know who I am; what matters is who I am; the weight is with my identity, not your identity. Moses begins to understand.

Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Who are you? What is your name? God says “I AM WHO I AM”. My name is the I AM. This is the verb ‘to be’. I exist. I exist because I exist. But don’t we all exist? Why do we exist? I was brought into existence by another. There was a time before I existed. There was a time when I was not. I had a beginning. John 1 says of the Word who was with God and who was God;

John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16 says:

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

It was Jesus who created all things, who brought all things that are into existence. There exist in the world only two kinds of things, two kinds of beings; that which had a beginning and that which had no beginning; that whose existence is dependent on something outside of itself, and that which exists independent of anything, that which was created, and the uncreated Creator of all that is. There is the one who was and who is and who is to come, the I AM, and there is all that is dependent on him for its existence. YHWH is the noun form of the verb ‘to be’. YHWH exists. He is the only absolute independent self existent being.

Exodus 3:15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

YHWH connects himself with their history. He is the God who made promises to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob. He is the God who cut a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 and unilaterally promised him that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars and that he would give them the land as a possession. God confirmed his promises to Isaac (Gen.26:3-4) and to Jacob (Gen.28:13-15). YHWH is the God who made binding covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and as YHWH he confirms those promises to the Israelites of the Exodus; ‘I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land…’ YHWH is the promise making God of Israel, who gave his chosen people his personal name.

Now Daniel, an Israelite in exile, away from the land, calls on YHWH the self-existent God who made promises to his people to give them the land forever (Gen.17:7-8).

Great and Awesome God

Daniel 9:3 ...Then I turned my face to the Lord God, ...4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, ...

Daniel begins his prayer by addressing God as ‘O Lord’ or ‘O Sovereign ...God’; similar to the title he gives God in verse 3, but here he uses the shortened form ‘El’ rather than the plural ‘Elohim’. And he inserts two descriptors, great and awesome.

God is great. He is mighty. He is exceeding. He is stronger, higher, brighter, older, he is more.

God is awesome. He fills us with awe, fear, dread. He is terrible and creates terror. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps.111:10). When David brought the ark of the covenant to his city, he wrote this song:

1 Chronicles 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.

YHWH is self existent, he is sovereign, he is great and he is to be feared.

Keeping Covenant and Steadfast Love

Daniel 9:3 ...Then I turned my face to the Lord God, ...4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

Daniel adds that God is a covenant keeping God, and he shows steadfast love to those who love him. When God makes promises, he keeps them. He guards and protects his covenant promises.

And he shows ‘chesed’, kindness or mercy or steadfast love. In the ten commandments, YHWH said that he is a jealous God,’visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments’ (Ex.20:5-6). After the people make and worship the golden calf, God forgives them, and reveals his glory to Moses.

Exodus 34:5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

YHWH is abounding in chesed; he keeps steadfast love for thousands, in contrast to his punishment to only three or four generations. God is absolutely just and righteous, but he abounds in kindness. He overflows with forgiveness. He is merciful, gracious and slow to anger. He demonstrates how he can be both absolutely just, never letting one sin go unpunished, and abundantly merciful, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin by putting forward Jesus his only Son,

Romans 3:24 ...Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Do you know him? Who do you address in prayer? God the Sovereign, YHWH the self-existent, the great and terrible, the covenant keeping one who abounds in steadfast love? Do you know him? Daniel addresses him as YHWH my God. Is he your God?


2022.07.10 Sermon Notes

Daniel 9:4; The Person to Whom We Pray

It matters to whom we pray

1 Kings 18:21-39

God is the sovereign Lord [Adonai]

Daniel 9:3


Daniel 9:2, 4, 8, 10, 13, 14, 20

-is holy

Exodus 3:1-6

-is a God who sees, hears, knows, comes down

Exodus 3:7-10

-is the one whose identity matters

Exodus 3:11-12


Exodus 3:13-14; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16

-is a God who made promises

Exodus 3:15-17; Genesis 15; 17:7-8; 26:3-4; 28:13-15

God is great and terrible

Psalm 111:10; 1 Chronicles 16:25

God keeps covenant and steadfast love

Exodus 20:5-6; 34:5-7; Romans 3:23-26


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org