Daniel 9: 4b-14
It is said that confession is good for the soul. That may well be, however, confession won’t always remove consequences for bad decisions of bad behavior. What confession will do, is remove some of the stress and strain of illegal and illegitimate conduct that disturbs the soul, it’s a sign of mental and spiritual relief, removing the weight of guilt off our shoulders. In our lesson, the prophet Daniel is praying, it is a prayer of confession for himself as well as for the Jewish nation. He pleads to God to remember the promise for the nation's return from captivity.
1 A PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Daniel 9: 4b-8)
Daniel was concerned for the release from Babylonian captivity, yet he was more concerned about the hearts of the Jewish nation. It had been prophesized by Jeremiah that after seventy years, the captivity would end. Daniel took it upon himself to repent on behalf of the nation, he understood the reality of the reason for captivity, sin. He prays for their return from captivity, but more so, he prays for a changed heart that would prepare the nation for their return. In this confession of prayer, Daniel would give honor to God, whom honor is due.
2 A PRAYER OF REPENTANCE (vv. 9-14)
It is here that Daniel specifically represents the nation. It’s now we, second person, rather than me, first person, that he now repents. Daniel’s prayer has been personal, reverential, direct, and congregational. His focus is on God’s faithfulness.
In the prodigal son story recorded by Luke, Jesus teaches forgiveness. In the story, there is also a lesson on the importance of confession. In this earthly story that has heavenly implications, the prodigal, having sinned, confesses his sin. I truly believe that with confession comes forgiveness. I believe that God recognizes and honors confession, which brings about forgiveness. Paul says, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” The first leg of repentance is an admittance of wrongdoing, confession.
Rev. Johnny Eskridge