I saw this picture the other day and had to laugh. Sometimes, cleaning yourself hurts a little. Sometimes as we work on others and seek to help, it stings us too. That’s what I read in this passage:
Daniel 9:7–11 (NIV)
7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.
In today’s LIFE Journal Reading plan, we read this passage. What we know of Daniel from the Bible, is that he did everything right. Outside of the story of Jesus, Daniel is one of the few in the Bible that we don’t know anything he did wrong. Yet, he still prayed for forgiveness. He still included himself in the sins of Israel and seeking God for forgiveness.
It’s really easy in today’s world to see what everyone else is doing wrong. We watch it in the news, we look at it on Facebook, we see it in everyone else, all the while, we raise our opinions to that of righteousness. Just look at the comments section on many blogs, many news sites. People are pretty proud of their opinions.
Yet Daniel, even though nothing is recorded that he did wrong, included himself among those who had done some pretty bad wrongs. I wonder what we can learn from Daniel about this. Humility? Probably. Selflessness? Yep. Being a team player? For sure.
When I talk about praying for our nation, praying for our city and praying for ourselves, this is what I’m talking about. (here, and here, and here) We ALL need the Holy Spirit. We ALL need a transformation of character. We ALL need forgiveness from God. We ALL need His grace. We ALL need to tone down our political rhetoric. We ALL need to share less about what everyone else is doing wrong. We ALL need to be grace-givers.
Our pride in our opinions won’t stand up very long in the judgment! Can you imagine telling God, “I don’t think so!” Ummm…. that’s a scary place to be….
Daniel understands that Praying for our Nation, includes praying not only for our city, but also for ourselves. The Lord is righteous, we are covered with shame. Pray for our nation. It’s in the midst of some humongous obstacles right now. Pray for our city. We are doing a major REACH-OUT right now and we need the Holy Spirit. Pray for ourselves. We need the Holy Spirit and we need God’s grace like never before. We also need his wisdom.