Fasting and Grieving in Confession
Stunned, angry, fearful, confused—all of us remember what we were doing on September 11, 2001 when our nation was attacked and 2996 people died and over 6000 were injured.
For Daniel the catastrophe that changed his life was the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC. He was taken over five hundred miles away from home and nineteen years after he was taken into captivity, the king who seized him destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and thousands of his people joined him in captivity. How did Daniel remain faithful to the Lord faced with the destruction of his nation?
The year that Cyrus conquered Babylon was 538 BC. Daniel was over eighty years old, but he could still count. Jeremiah 25:8-14 was the text Daniel was studying. A text that said Jerusalem would lie desolate for 70 years. It’s 539 BC. The Medo-Persians now rule in Babylon. So Daniel puts it together and realizes that soon the 70 years will be complete. Instead of viewing prophesy as an interesting bit of information about the future, he realizes that it’s important to get serious with God, about his sin and his people’s sin so that they can go home.
“In the first year of Darius, the son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made the ruler over the kingdom of Babylon, I, Daniel, discerned in the Writings that the word of the Lord revealed to Jeremiah, the prophet, that 70 was the number of years Jerusalem would lie in ruins. So I turned to my Lord, the Creator God, to seek his face in prayer, pleading for myself and my people in fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed:” Daniel 9:1-4
The response to 9-11 initially was a time of mourning over the loss and devastation. Daniel realized that Israel’s devastation was the result of their pride, idolatry, immorality, greed, deception, and rejection of God’s care and love. Daniel will teach us a lot about how to get serious about confession of our sin and crying out to God to come through and fulfill the promises he has made to us.
LORD, I know what it is to not want to eat or sleep over the loss of precious family members and friends. Help me to learn to grieve over the pain that my sin and the sin of my brothers and sisters in Christ brings to others. Move your people today to join Daniel in open honest confession so that you can renew our hope.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!