Daniel Reads the Scriptures, Fasts, and Prays, Confessing the Sins of His People
When I think of praying, confessing my faults to God is not the first thing that comes to mind. And when I am convicted of the need to admit to an errant act or a missed opportunity, I don’t linger there.
I make it quick and then move on to more pleasant communication with my Maker, Savior, and Guide.
Basking in the spiritual reality of the almighty God is where I want to be. Acknowledging my faults to him is not nearly so much fun.
Personal confession is hard enough; corporate confession—admitting the faults of our community—is barely comprehensible to me. Yet that is exactly what Daniel does.
Daniel studies the prophecies in scripture. He sees that his people are receiving punishment for turning away from God. He reads the foretelling that their exile will last seventy years. That time is almost up.
Yet instead of thanking God that the allotted season of deportation is about over, Daniel is driven to contrition and fasting. He confesses the sins of his forefathers and countrymen. It’s as if he takes the sins of the nation upon his shoulders and confesses them to God:
- “We have sinned.”
- “We have been wicked.”
- “We have turned away.”
- “We have not listened.”
- “We have not obeyed.”
- “We have rebelled.”
- …and on he goes.
Mixed in with his confession for his people is praise and affirmation to God.
In this Daniel, for whom the Bible records no sin, takes on the collective “we” to confess his nation’s faults. He doesn’t need to do this, but he does. Maybe we should do the same for our country.
Maybe it’s time to confess the wrongs of our nation.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.