Daniel 9:7-10; Contrast of Prayer ~ 20220724 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

07/24_Daniel 09:7-10; Contrast of Prayer; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20220724_dan09_7-10.mp3

In Daniel 9, we get to listen in on a model prayer from a man who persevered in prayer. We can learn much from Daniel, and I hope you are maturing in your prayer life as we listen in on Daniel’s prayer. His primary pursuit in prayer was to give God his full attention, to seek the Lord God in prayer. He took an appropriate posture of humility in prayer, reminding himself in tangible ways that God is more satisfying than food, more comforting than clothing, that God himself is life. He pursued the God who is, the God who revealed himself as YHWH the I AM, as sovereign, as the faithful covenant keeping God. He confessed his sins; he had missed the mark, aimed at the wrong target, he made crooked God’s straight paths, his wickedness was fully deserving of God’s just condemnation, he had rebelled against God’s good athority, he had turned away from God and his instruction and went astray, to follow his own way. He failed to listen to God’s good correction, instead persisting in crossing the lines of God’s good instructions. Daniel was not making excuses, justifying his behavior, making it out to be less than it really was; he was agreeing with God that it is what God says it is, that it is sin, moral perversion, evil justly deserving of condemnation, rebellion, turning aside, stubborn refusal to listen and obey. He is agreeing with God, saying the same thing God says about his sin, and by so doing, he is positioning himself to become a recipient of God’s abundant grace and mercy, because ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’(Jas.4:6).


In verses 7-10 Daniel highlights the stark contrasts of prayer. There could not be greater distinction between the ones offering the prayer and the one to whom the prayer is directed.

Isaiah perceived this;

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

God is altogether holy, altogether distinct, unique, different. He is high and lifted up, and we are brought low. His presence reveals our desperate condition. Daniel highlights this contrast in his confession.

He starts with God in verse 7 and he ends with God in verse 9, and in between he sandwiches ‘to us’ in verses 7 and 8.

Daniel 9:7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Righteousness is to You

He begins with God’s righteousness. To you O Lord is righteousness. God is in the right. There is no question which side justice and righteousness is on. Daniel and his people, God’s chosen people, to whom God made great and very precious promises, are in captivity. Many have suffered greatly. Many have been killed. Their homeland is desolate. God’s temple lay in ruins. Whose fault is it? Did God fail to keep his promises, defend his people and protect the land? Did God let his people down?

Has God let you down? Do your prayers go seemingly unanswered, life seems to be going off the rails, nothing seems to be working out for you? Do you begin to question God’s goodness, God’s care, even God’s existence?

Daniel affirms that no matter how bad the current circumstances, God is in the right.

Psalm 11:7 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

Psalm 119:68 You are good and do good; ...

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.

God is righteous; he loves righteous deeds, he is righteous forever.

When the Lord brought his chosen people into the land he promised to give them, he clarified:

Deuteronomy 9:4 “Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 “Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

God wants to make it abundantly clear that his blessings are not rewards for good behavior. His blessings are blessings; gifts; grace given to those who don’t deserve it. When God punishes the wicked, that is just, that is right, it is what they deserve. When God pours out blessings on sinners, that is mercy and grace. It is not what we deserve. It is not because of your righteousness, because you are a stubborn people.

In Romans 11 Paul warns Gentile believers grafted in to the root of Israel, enjoying the blessings of Israel, not to be proud.

Romans 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

It is never about earning. It is all about believing, depending on, trusting in a God who justifies the ungodly (Rom.4:5)

My favorite answer to the question ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘How are you doing?’ is ‘Better than I deserve.’ Because no matter how good or how bad things seem to be going, that is always true. It’s easy to say when things are going well. I trust I will still be able to say it and believe it when things go unimaginably bad from a human perspective. Because when it comes down to it ‘the wages of sin is death’ and what I deserve is hell. Because as a beliver in Jesus, whatever I am called to endure in this life is the worst it will ever get for me, and through it all I have an eternal hope and ‘a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Prov.18:24; Heb.13:5). I pray I can say with Job, who lost his possessions, lost his family, lost his health, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job.1:21). As a believer in Jesus, I am always better than I deserve.

To Us Open Shame

Daniel 9:7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day,

Open shame; literally shame of face; shame that you can’t hide, shame you wear on your face. If your hands are dirty, you can hide them in your pockets or behind your back, but if your face is dirty, it’s hard to hide your face. This is shame everyone can see, public humiliation. God’s chosen people are living in exile, open to ridicule, enduring persecution. Daniel says this is what we deserve. We have become a spectacle, a laughingstock. What God prophesied through Jeremiah had come to pass:

Jeremiah 19:3 You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 4 Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— ...7 And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds.

Israel/Judah Near/Far

Daniel includes all God’s people in his allegation.

Daniel 9:7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.

Because of King Solomon’s disobedience, the kingdom was divided (931BC) between Solomon’s son Rehoboam who ruled over Judah in Jerusalem, and Jeroboam who ruled in Samaria over ten tribes of Israel in the north. Israel was conquered by Assyria in 722 BC.

2 Kings 17: 6 ...the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

So Israel was deported and scattered across Media and Assyria. beginning in 605 BC the men of Judah and Jerusalem were carried off to Babylon. Daniel includes all God’s people, Israel and Judah, those near and far. To them belong shame of face, because of the treachery they have committed against you.

Committed Against You

Daniel specifies that sin is personal. It is against a person. King David sinned against Uriah the Hittitie, against his wife Bathsheba, against her family, disregarding the warnings of his messengers who informed him whose daughter and whose wife she was. When David confessed his sin in Psalm 51 he said to the Lord:

Psalm 51:4 ​Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

All sin is ultimately and primarily sin against God. Daniel here confesses that the treachery of Israel and Judah is treachery committed against you.

Daniel 9:7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.

To us, great and small alike, open shame, because we have sinned against you.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him...

Mercy and Forgiveness

Daniel 9:7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, ... 8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, ... 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness,

What a contrast! Righteousness belongs to the Lord, shame of face belongs to us. Daniel addresses YHWH the covenant God and confesses that we justly deserve shame of face. But to the sovereign God belong mercies and forgivenesses. God is in the right, we are wrong; we have wronged God, but God is merciful and forgiving.

God is merciful. This is a very emotive word, connected to the womb or bowels as the place of deep emotion, care and concern. Our God is not cold, calculating and calloused; he has tender affections. He is moved in the depth of his being. We see this in Jesus:

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

God’s tender compassion is toward us.

And he is forgiving, or better pardoning. This word is only used of a superior to an inferior, of God pardoning others, never of people forgiving one another, and God is never in need of our pardon or forgiveness. God is sovereign and we are at his mercy, and he is merciful, and eager to extend his pardon to sinners.

Both these words mercy and pardon are in the plural, pointing to the depth, intensity and continued exercise of these characteristics. God is not just merciful; he is abounding in mercies. He is not just pardoning; he abounds in pardonings. He is over the top merciful and pardoning. This is not just what he does; this is who he is. Righteousness, mercies, pardonings belong to him. It is part of his nature, his very identity.

Daniel positions us as treacherous sinners, rebels, disobedient transgressors, who have turned aside. He affirms that God is in the right and we deserve open shame. But God is also abounding in mercies and pardonings. Daniel appeals to God’s nature as not only absolute in righteousness, but also yearning with tender affections, eager to extend multiplied pardons to sinners who ask.

We see this displayed in Jesus;

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is how God can be both just and the justifier of ungodly sinners who cry out to him for mercy and pardon. Go to him today; prove him abundant in mercies and find pardon for all your sins.


2022.07.24 Sermon Notes

Daniel 9:7-10; Contrasts in Prayer

God’s presence reveals our desperate condition

Isaiah 6:1-5

7 To you – righteousness

to us – open shame

8 to us – open shame

9 to the Lord our God – mercy and forgiveness

The Lord is righteous

Psalm 11:7; 119:68, 142

-we do not have righteousness that can be rewarded

Deuteronomy 9:4-6

-God is kind toward believers

and severe toward unbelievers

Romans 11:19-23

-what I deserve is hell

Romans 3:23

To us – open shame

Jeremiah 19:3-8

All sin is sin against God

Psalm 51:4; Romans 1:18-21

Mercies and Pardonings

Matthew 9:36; Psalm 130:3-4; John 1:14


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