Daniel 9:15-17; Petitions of Prayer ~ 20220807 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

08/07_Daniel 09:15-17; Petitions of Prayer; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20220807_dan09_15-17.mp3

Daniel teaches us how to pray, and in verses 15-16 he finally gets to the request of his prayer. His prayer was birthed out of meditation on Scripture, he was pursuing God himself in prayer, giving his attention to him, seeking relationship. He reminded himself in tangible ways that God was his greatest need. He sought the God who is, God as he reveals himself to be in his word. He positioned himself to be a recipient of God’s mercy and grace. He does not seek justice, what he deserves; rather he sides with God in the courtroom against himself - he is guilty and justly deserves condemnation. He affirms the righteous character of God and that he and his people are getting what their actions and attitudes have earned. He even celebrates the faithfulness of God to his word because God brought on them the curses for covenant breakers that he warned them of ahead of time.

The Negative Request; God’s Wrath

And then in verses 15-19 he finally gets to the petition of his prayer, what he is asking of God.

Daniel 9:15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us.

Here is what Daniel is asking God for: ‘let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill’. God, you have decreed 70 years of desolations on Jerusalem, but now, let it be enough. You have established your word, you have done what you promised. Now let your wrath turn away.

So far the prayer is only negative; we are under your just wrath – let it stop, turn it away from us. But that is not enough. Daniel doesn’t stop there with a request for absence of wrath; he boldly asks for positive blessing in place of just judgment.

The Positive Request: God’s Face

Daniel 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.

Daniel asks that Aaron’s blessing once again rest God’s people:

Numbers 6:23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

In verse 3 Daniel gave the Lord his face, his full attention. Now he is asking that the Lord would make his face shine upon his people. It is not enough just to escape punishment. It is not enough merely to have God’s wrath turn away. We must have God’s face.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

Exodus and the Disastrous Word

Daniel makes a connection with the Exodus from Egypt in verse 15. ‘Lord, you brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself.’ If we look back to Exodus, we see God rescuing his people out of slavery in the first 18 chapters of Exodus. Then in chapters 19-24 he gives his people his law, the requirements of the covenant relationship. In 25-31 he instructs them to build him a tabernacle, a tent, so that he can dwell among them. But in chapter 32 they rebel, they commit covenant treason, they worship other gods. God threatens to destroy them, but Moses prays for them, and God ‘turned from his burning anger and relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people’ (Ex.32:12,14).

He will not utterly wipe his people out as they deserve. But in chapter 33, he gives a disastrous word.

Exodus 33:1 The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ 2 I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

God disassociates from his people. He will fulfill his promises and give them the land, but he will not be with them, dwelling among them.

Enough to Escape from Wrath?

Many people are so fearful of God’s wrath that they will do anything just to escape from it. In Revelation we read:

Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

We all have sinned and justly deserve God’s wrath. Imagine if God offered us this; he promises to turn away his wrath and not consume us. He will even fulfill to us all his promises, except he will not be with us. He will give us heaven, but it will be a heaven without him. Would you be content with this? This is the negative part of Daniel’s request; ‘let your anger and wrath turn away’. Is that enough?

Exodus 33:4 When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. 5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you.’”

This is a disastrous word. God offers to send an angel, to drive out their enemies, to fulfill his promises and to give them the land. But his holy presence will not go with them. They perceive this not as a blessing, but as a disastrous word.

Exodus 33:12 Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”

Moses is not satisfied to enter the promised land without the presence of the King. He wants more than God’s blessings; he wants God himself. He wants to know God. God answers his request.

Exodus 33:14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

Moses would rather remain in the wilderness with God, than enter the promised land without him. More than anything else, Moses wants the presence of God, to have his face shine upon them, to see his glory.

God gives his people instructions on building him a tent so that he can dwell with them and be their God. They rebel, and he threatens to destroy them. Moses prays and he turns away his anger, but refuses to give them his presence. Moses prays again and he promises that he will go with them. He reveals his character to Moses as YHWH, ‘a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 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.” (Ex.34:6-7).

God renews his covenant with his people and the rest of the book of Exodus records them building the tabernacle so that he can dwell among them.

Daniel prays that God would make his face shine upon his sanctuary. This is what that looks like. After God’s people finish building the tabernacle exactly as God instructed them, at the end of Exodus we read:

Exodus 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

This is ultimately what Daniel is asking for. Not just that God would turn away his wrath, but that he would restore his presence with his people, that he would once again dwell with his people.

Greater Glory of the New Covenant

In Exodus 34, when Moses came down from meeting with God carrying the tablets of the renewed covenant,

Exodus 34:29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

This is incredible! The skin of his face was literally glowing. This is something I would love to see. The glory of the LORD filling the tabernacle would be an awesome sight to behold. When in the land, when God had established peace, when Solomon completed the temple in Jerusalem,

2 Chronicles 7:1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD's house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Greater Glory

This sounds amazing, and I’m sure it was, but we have something better.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 3 draws a contrast between Moses’ shining face and the greater glory of the New Covenant that we can experience today.

2 Corinthians 3:4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

We look back at the visible manifestations of the glory of God in the Old Testament, and wish we could have been there. But we have something far better! That was the Old Covenant, the letter, the ministry of death, of condemnation, it was fading away, being brought to an end. When I was a kid, I had some of that glow-in-the-dark silly putty. You held it up to a lamp and then hurried and brought it into a dark closet and it glowed. But the glow quickly faded away, and it had to be recharged by the light. The New Covenant is a ministry of the Holy Spirit of the living God, the ministry that brings righteousness, that which is permanent and does not fade away.

We might think the outward visible manifestation of the glory of God is more impressive than the mostly invisible work of the Spirit today. In fact, Paul goes on to describe his New Covenant ministry in 2 Corinthians 4 as characterized by suffering, even death. But this is like comparing my glowing silly putty to the power of a nuclear reactor. Remember, Moses was not allowed to see God’s face.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

We have direct access to the power source. We get to see ‘the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2Cor.4:4). God ‘has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2Cor.4:6). This is not outward and visible but it is an unquenchable power source that fuels the Christian life and brings about real transformation. Moses picked up an outward glow. We begin to take on the inner characteristics of God himself, until Christ is formed in us! (Gal.4:19).

2 Corinthians 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Daniel asked that God’s wrath would turn away, and it was turned in full fury to Jesus on the cross. Daniel asked that God make his face shine upon his sanctuary, and Jesus said;

Matthew 12: 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

2 Corinthians 6:16 ...For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


2022.08.07 Sermon Notes

Daniel 9:15-17; Petitions of Prayer

The negative request: let your anger and wrath turn away

Daniel 9:16

The positive request: ‘The LORD make his face to shine upon you’

Daniel 9:17; Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 16:11; 27:4

Exodus 1-18 rescue from Egypt

-Exodus 19-24 requirements of covenant relationship

--Exodus 25-31 construct a tent so I can dwell with you

------Exodus 32 covenant treason

---------Exodus 33 a disastrous word

------Exodus 34 covenant renewed

--Exodus 35-39 tent constructed as a dwelling for God

-Exodus 40 God comes down to dwell with his people

The Old Testament manifestations of the glory of God were outward and visible

Exodus 34:29-30; 40:34-35; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3

The New Covenant has far greater glory

2 Corinthians 3:4-11

-beholding the glory of the Lord we are being transformed

2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:4,6, 16-18

-something greater than the temple is here

Matthew 12:6; John 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:16


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