Wednesday Reflection – July 17, 2019
Appropriate Approach to God
The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. Daniel 9:14
Today’s Watchword is located in the context of Daniel’s prayer to God. He begins his prayer where we all should – ‘O Lord, great and awesome God’. He recognized the greatness and goodness of God. Sometimes we approach God as if he were a stingy person who must be persuaded to give us anything. For Daniel, God is all-sufficient and keeps his covenant and mercy with those who love him. We can sense the earnestness in Daniel’s prayer from the get go, yet it is also agonizing. It was Spurgeon who said “Oh! That our prayers could get beyond praying, till they got to agonizing.”
This was a deep prayer of confession as Daniel declared that, ‘We have sinned and committed iniquity’. Notice that he used the personal pronoun ‘we’ and not ‘they’. He included himself as if to demonstrate the personal yet collective sins of the people. When we think about it long enough, we will realize that ‘they’ prayers never really reach God, but genuine ‘we’ prayers see ourselves correctly and see our fellow saints with compassion. Daniel was clear in declaring that
Israel’s sin was not God’s fault; God was utterly righteous and blameless. Any shame of face belonged to Israel, not to God.
When we consider the poor attitude of the Israelites, it would be easy for Daniel to complain to God about Israel’s problems. However, Daniel didn’t think for a moment that God was too hard on Israel; he knew God was completely righteous and any failure was on Israel’s side. So instead of complaining, Daniel confessed. During times of great revival among God’s people, the Holy Spirit always brings a deep conviction and awareness of sin. When that is responded to rightly, confession is appropriately made. When such confession is genuine, it is sincere, specific, and thorough.
We have the tendency to make excuses for our wrongdoings. We learn a lesson from Daniel in this text that there can be no valid excuse for our sins. We can’t blame anyone else and we certainly cannot blame God. Daniel highlighted that even in his judgment against Israel, God was totally faithful to his word. Indeed, he is righteous in everything he does.
Till next week, hear the words of today’s New Testament text in James 1:17: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.’