Daniel 9 … Consider His Unmerited Compassion

O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion, (9:18).

There is certainly much to learn from Daniel’s humility and his confession of repentance for himself and his people. There is so much to study for our own prayer life and intercession. But we will first turn our attention to see Him increase in Daniel’s prayer.

And as we do, we will see Him magnified in His Unmerited Compassion to accomplish His every purpose for the end times.

Many prophets did not live to see any fulfillment of the prophecies declared in faith and obedience as God’s spokesman. But Daniel did see in part, in the rule of the Medo-Persian empire conquering Babylon: the breast and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great statue in chapter 2; the handwriting on the wall prophesying that Babylon would be divided and given over to the Medes and Persians in chapter 3; the beast that was like a lion with the wings of an eagle in chapter 7; and the ram with two horns in chapter 8.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans, (9:1).

At this point, the Jews are beginning to return to Jerusalem under Ezra the priest at the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem,’” (Ezra 1:1-3).

And as Daniel is drawn to study the prophecy of Jeremiah, he understands the time has come for the completion of God’s judgment on Jerusalem.

 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes, (9:2-3).

And in this place of realized restoration, rather than comfortably sitting back in an undeserved state of satisfaction, Daniel gives all his attention to seek the Lord (we will come back to this in our response time).

And in this place of brokenness, repentance and confession, Daniel hears, I’m sure more than he expected, more than anyone could ever think to even ask.

And God answers His humble servant, this one who is broken, as He unfolds His plan and purposes for the end times. We will not attempt to interpret what all this means, but we can see this: God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer was solely dependent on Him and in keeping with His Unmerited Compassion, just as Daniel had requested.

…for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion, (9:18).

Consider His Unmerited Compassion

His Unmerited Compassion revealed His purposes that He alone would accomplish in the future.

“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place, (9:24).

“Of the six purposes mentioned [in 9:24] (all to be fulfilled through the Messiah), some believe the last three were not achieved by the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ but await His further action: the establishment of everlasting righteousness (on earth), the complete fulfillment of vision and prophecy, and the anointing of the Most Holy Place,” NIV Study Bible.

While the timeline may be up for debate, His purposes are not, and each is manifested completely in Christ, Our Messiah, the perfect realization of His Unmerited Compassion.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

  • We did nothing to earn His love. But in His Unmerited Compassion, He sent Christ, our Messiah, Who would…
    • finish the transgression
      • But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
        He was crushed for our iniquities;
        The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
        And by His scourging we are healed,
        (Isaiah 53:5).
    • make an end of sin
      • …but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, (Hebrews 9:26).
    • make atonement for iniquity
      • He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world, (1 John 2:2 CSB).
    • bring in everlasting righteousness
      •  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
    • seal up vision and prophecy
      • I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus, (Revelation 22:18-20).
    • anoint the most holy place
      • Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
        And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son,” (Revelation 21:1-7).

How do we respond to His Unmerited Compassion?

Oh, His Unmerited Compassion. Every purpose He has determined will be accomplished, for end times and for every believer.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands, (Psalm 138:8).

All that He accomplishes for us is by the work of His hands and His Unmerited Compassion. How can we not be consumed with gratitude for such undeserved blessings?

Oh, that we would truly learn from Daniel; for he knew. Daniel knew that in and of himself, he had no merit to receive anything from Holy God; and rather than turning his attention to basking in his undeserved deliverance, he humbly bowed before God acknowledging that His Compassion is absolutely Unmerited.

 O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion, (9:18).

Let us come as Daniel, confessing Him as the great and awesome God as we humbly confess our sins.

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances,” (9:4-5).

May we come near, as Daniel did, acknowledging that righteousness belongs to Him alone because of Who He Is, and that shame belongs to us because of our sin.

“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him,” (9:7-9).

Oh, let us daily come before His throne of grace, as Daniel did, in repentance, confession, humility, and bold faith, trusting that we too will receive His mercy and grace in our time of need, not through any merit of our own, but solely through His Unmerited Compassion perfectly manifested in our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, (Hebrews 4:16).

Let’s Grow Together!

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