Daniel 9 [Read]
Daniel 10 [Read]
2 John [Read]
If God already decrees everything, why do we even bother to pray? In Daniel 7 and 8, God revealed calamities of the future and the eventual deliverance of his people. All things had been set in motion. In that case, what was Daniel supposed to do? He prayed.
The dynasty of Babylon ended with the slain of King Belshazzar (Dan 5:30), and Darius the Median began his reign (9:1). Daniel recalled the word of God through prophet Jeremiah about the desolation of Jerusalem for 70 years (9:2), and he figured the time had been fulfilled. Instead of simply waiting and doing nothing, Daniel prayed wholeheartedly for the sins of God’s people. “We have sinned and done wrong” (9:5), and “we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets” (9:10). As a result, the people of God are covered with shame (9:8). Because the LORD is righteous in everything he does, he brought the disaster upon the people according to the warning of his covenant with them (9:13-14). Repentance is the first and utmost important thing for God’s people to do, for it means the turning away from sin and returning to the grace of the covenantal God.
However, such repentance will be accepted, not because of our righteousness, but because of the great mercy of God (9:18). He keeps his covenant of love with all who love his and obey his commands (9:4). He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever (Ps 103:9). God will not despise a contrite heart (Ps 51:17), but we must come to him for mercy (9:13). He shall lead his people onto the right path for his name’s sake (Ps 23:3). Hence, God’s people pray unceasingly so that his mercy and grace will be shown.
God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are truth revealed in the Bible. Even though we don’t understand how they work together, we receive them by faith nonetheless. God certainly has control over all things, and he has decreed all things to come to pass. We are his instruments to bring his will to fruition, and our prayer is the fragrant sacrifice he pleases. To avoid such responsibility because of its incomprehensibility to human logic is unthinkable. Therefore, we pray continually (1Thess 5:17) until his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 50th book.