Daniel 9: 1-19 is one of my absolute favorite passages this morning, probably because it is the passage I am reading. It is heart-wrenching to watch as Daniel realizes his and all of Israel’s bad decisions and unfaithful living. It is humbling to watch Daniel realize that he and his country men are in a profound way, the source of all the suffering they now encounter. That they sinned against the Lord, they abandoned his ways and and ignored his servants. Notice how he comes to this realization; through searching the Scriptures. He was studying the Scriptures and that is how he saw for the first time the reality of his situation. Apart from Scripture we are blind to God’s goodness and our own failures.
But what is more amazing, is that Daniel does not believe they can be sorry enough to merit forgiveness and restoration. His sorrow is genuine, because he does not believe it is the deciding factor in his restoration. When we’re sorry to get God to improve our lives, we’re not sorry, we’re manipulative. And manipulating God is just another attempt to be God over God. Instead, Daniel depends wholly on God’s goodness to incline God to forgive. It is because God is Good, not because we are sorry, that God works good from bad, and redemption from rebellion. Praise God for that.