In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
“As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.
Substitute the name US for Jerusalem, Judah or Israel and this prayer holds truth for us today!!! We have shamed our nation’s history of standing for the Lord. Our laws and prevailing manner of thinking are in opposition to his commands. No amount of justification will make the killing of the unborn right. No amount of justification will make living according to our lusts driving us, right. We seek and worship at the feet of the gods of self and wealth. We are promised sure judgment for this collectively and our present culture of financial collapse and terrorist-driven wars may be the tip of the iceberg of judgment. Make no mistake, God is not mocked.
Thankfully for the believer, Christ has given us hope and peace in the middle of this turmoil. We are in this world but not of it. We can be the voice protesting the turning away from God’s commands; we can be the voice giving hope to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. May we be found faithful so that as in the days of Abraham, God may find many more than ten who still hold to His teachings and truths.