Daniel 9* Daniel considers the time of the captivity. (1-3) Hisconfession of sin, and prayer. (4-19) The revelation concerningthe coming of the Messiah. (20-27)1-3 Daniel learned from the books of the prophets, especiallyfrom Jeremiah, that the desolation of Jerusalem would continueseventy years, which were drawing to a close. God's promises areto encourage our prayers, not to make them needless; and when wesee the performance of them approaching, we should moreearnestly plead them with God. 4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of thesins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, anddependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutionsagainst it. It must be our confession, the language of ourconvictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address toGod; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, andas a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God'sgreatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is apenitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the peoplefor so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy mustthus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgmentof the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of truepenitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring mento turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here isa believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that Godhas been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging torecollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing andhumbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. Thereare abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, butforgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people wasunder, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproachto any people, especially to God's people. The desolations ofthe sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnestrequest to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their formerenjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only,but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; anddefer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce thepetitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lordof all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine uponsinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayersthis must be our plea, we must make mention of hisrighteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believingearnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us. 20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and itis a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God shouldsend answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray withfervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith takethe promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He isfaithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and moreglorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work outfor his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquaintedwith Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The eveningoffering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offerin the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrificeDaniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, thisglorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have,in verses #24-27|, one of the most remarkable prophecies ofChrist, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jewsare guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting anotherMessiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming.The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About theend of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making fullatonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness forthe complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, inthe crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which themeasure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles wouldcome upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful mancome through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once forsins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of ourentrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirmsthe covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings ofsalvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. Howcan those escape who neglect so great salvation!
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