October 28, 2018

Penitence: “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive”

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Admit it. You cause much of your own heartache in life. Not all of it. Some things happen because of circumstances and occur through no fault of your own. But still, many times, we are simply facing the consequences of our own choices and actions when we experience difficulties in life. And let’s just call this what it really is: we sin against God and suffer for it. The solution, then, would seem obvious. Repent. Agree with God, and turn away from the bad decision. Easy to say.

Daniel 9, while appearing in the apocalyptic section of the Book of Daniel, is mostly a prayer of brokenness, confession, and repentance. Daniel expresses his penitence on behalf of himself and the people of Israel, having come to understand from his reading of Jeremiah 25 the reason for the invasion of Israel, the destruction of the Temple, and the exile of God’s people. They had sinned and brought these calamities down on themselves. Daniel’s realization led to God’s grace being poured out on him and God’s people.

This episode will lead us to grasp the truth that God gives us hope even in the midst of self-inflicted, sin-caused heartache. If we humbly appeal to him, admit that we’re the cause of our own grief, and without qualification confess our rebellion, God will forgive and restore what has been lost. And in the process, God affirms his great love and compassion for his people, saying to Daniel, “You are greatly loved.” A theme repeated time and again in the Scriptures and embodied in the offer that Jesus has made to us to find forgiveness and life in him. This is exactly what we need to hear as we all grapple with heartache in our lives.

Sermon Notes

Resolved! Living for Christ when you’re the only one who is
Penitence: “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive”
Pastor Todd Dugard // Daniel 9
October 28, 2018

God will give me hope in the midst of sin-caused heartache… (v. 20–27)

...if I humbly appeal to him (v. 15–19)

...admitting I am the cause of my own grief (v. 11–14)

...and categorically confessing my rebellion (v. 3–10)

...having been pressed to do so by the simple reading of his Word (v. 1–2)