When we are upfront and honest with ourselves and with God, we find Him running toward us with arms wide open, welcoming us to step out of that dark place guilt and shame tries to imprison us.
Video Transcript (Video Below)
Welcome back to another Daily Bible Promise with a Twist, where I take a card from a box of daily promises and then I put that verse into context. That’s what the twist is. So, today I’m reading from the NIV first because that’s what these cards are written on. And the verse is: ‘The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving.’ Nice and short and succinct. And that’s Daniel 9 9.
So, let’s go back and see where this verse is and what’s going on at that time. So, let’s go, I’m going to be using the New American Standard Bible and if we go to chapter 9 verse 9 in the Book of Daniel, Daniel says this about God, “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness for we have rebelled against him.”
OK. So there we go. It’s a little bit different in this version because the verse ends with We have rebelled against Him. So here’s a clue. What’s going on? Now, if I just read this card the way it is, it would be in the Psalms, let’s say. It’s a nice verse that talks about God being compassionate and forgiving and merciful. But as soon as I saw it was in Daniel, the sleuth in me was saying the hunt was on.
So, let’s go to the beginning of Chapter 9 and I’ll give you a brief rundown of what’s going on. Daniel decides to look through the books of the Hebrew people. He and the rest of the Hebrew people are in exile under King Darius. And Daniel has a lot of influence in the royal court. That’s talked about in the earlier chapters of this book. So, Daniel reads this, and he discovers the words of Jeremiah. Jeremiah had warned the children of Israel that they were about to head into exile and they were going to be there for 70 years. So, in the midst of all this time, Daniel discovers the reason why they are in exile; because of the sins of their fathers. And their sins were not just minor sins, they were pretty major rebellion against God at that time.
Now Daniel was an upstanding citizen. He was known for being loyal. Daniel was known amongst the Hebrew people and by King Darius’ court for being an outstanding citizen. So, what is this guy doing in sackcloth and ashes and fasting and praying? He was identifying with the sins and the woeful state of his fellow Hebrews. And he says this in verse 7, ‘Righteousness belongs to thee, O Lord, but to us open shame.’
And then, in verse 8, he continues, and he says, Open shame belongs to us, Oh lord. To our kings, our princes, and our fathers because we have sinned against thee.’
Sometimes our shame and our guilt, when we have really blown it, hold us back from returning to the Lord. Just like the Prodigal Son was rehearsing his script to go back to his father. He had deep shame and deep guilt. And yet there was a desperation that he knew the only place that he could possibly find even out smidge of mercy was back with his dad.
So, if you are dealing with some guilt and shame in your life or you have deliberately chosen to rebel against the Lord, that does not discount you and it does not exempt you from the compassion and love and mercy and forgiveness of the Lord. All you have to do is, like the prodigal son, start up the road. And your father God will run to meet you.
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©2018 Katherine Walden
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