Repentance Brings Healing

Posted by Rev. Mark Slay
In the book of Daniel, chapter 9, we see where Daniel has been reading from the book of Jeremiah and he realizes that they are coming up on 70 years which Jeremiah had prophesied about. In verse 3 we see where he starts seeking God about this.

Daniel 9:3 - So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

He's saying in this verse that it's time to get serious. It's time to stop the entertainment and get serious seeking the Lord; and that's what he did.

Daniel 9:4-6 - I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land."

Notice he says, "We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances." And in verse 6 again he says, "We have not listened." Daniel includes himself in this. That's vastly different than alot of churches I know. Daniel is just saying, "Hey, I'm included in this."

Daniel 9:8 - Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Daniel 9:12 - Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem..

Now was this God's will? No. He had already told them what they needed to do in order for this not to come on them, but they didn't listen. We've all been there.

Daniel 9:13-14 - 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. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

He's saying the fact that this has come upon us is not a tarnish on God's record, it's a tarnish on our record. It is a testimony of how bad we are because we let it happen. The Lord will not allow you to cultivate dishonesty in your own heart, He will force you to admit you are wrong. If you just humble yourself like Daniel and get God's perspective on yourself you can openly say, "We have been wicked."

Christians today can fall into the same trap that Israel did. They thought that because they were Jews nothing bad could happen to them. That's the mentality of Christians today. They think that because they're Christians nothing bad can happen to them and it doesn't matter what they do because after all, they "believe". Well you don't necessarily believe like I do. You might believe there is a God but you don't necessarily believe you need to go to church, or put God first in your finances, or love people no matter how ugly they are.

Daniel 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.

This verse tells us the best posture to take if you want to get results from God. If we just say, "God, we are certainly not coming to you on behalf of how good we are, because we're not. We're coming to you acknowledging that we're not right."

Daniel 9:19 - O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.

When I'm wrong, I'm going to be the first to raise my hand and admit it. If you've missed it and haven't measured up in any way, just join Daniel and say, "Lord, I've failed."

To be forewarned is to be forearmed and I say tell me what He's going to be looking for on the day of judgement so I can clean up before I get there.