SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire— 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books that the number of years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem, which had come as the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah, would be 70 years. 3 So I turned my attention to the Lord God to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God, confessing in this way:
“O Lord, great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned! We have done what is wrong and wicked; we have rebelled by turning away from your commandments and standards. 6 We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets, who spoke by your authority to our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors, and to all the inhabitants of the land as well.
7 “You are righteous, O Lord, but we are humiliated this day—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far away in all the countries in which you have scattered them because they have behaved unfaithfully toward you. 8 O Lord, we have been humiliated—our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors—because we have sinned against you. 9 Yet the Lord our God is compassionate and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. 10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God by living according to his laws that he set before us through his servants the prophets.
11 “All Israel has broken your law and turned away by not obeying you. Therefore you have poured out on us the judgment solemnly threatened in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against you. 12 He has carried out his threats against us and our rulers who were over us by bringing great calamity on us—what has happened to Jerusalem has never been equaled under all heaven! 13 Just as it is written in the law of Moses, so all this calamity has come on us. Still we have not tried to pacify the Lord our God by turning back from our sin and by seeking wisdom from your reliable moral standards. 14 The Lord was mindful of the calamity, and he brought it on us. For the Lord our God is just in all he has done, and we have not obeyed him.
15 “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with great power and made a name for yourself that is remembered to this day—we have sinned and behaved wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all your justice, please turn your raging anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. For due to our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
17 “So now, our God, accept the prayer and requests of your servant, and show favor to your devastated sanctuary for your own sake. 18 Listen attentively, my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins and the city called by your name. For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, but because your compassion is abundant. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, pay attention, and act! Don’t delay, for your own sake, O my God! For your city and your people are called by your name.”
20 While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my request before the Lord my God concerning his holy mountain— 21 yes, while I was still praying, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen previously in a vision, was approaching me in my state of extreme weariness, around the time of the evening offering. 22 He spoke with me, instructing me as follows: “Daniel, I have now come to impart understanding to you. 23 At the beginning of your requests a message went out, and I have come to convey it to you, for you are of great value in God’s sight. Therefore consider the message and understand the vision: