Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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SCRIPTURE: Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19
An Old Man’s Prayer
By Dave Branon
· Have you heard the story about the 85-year-old man who was arrested for praying?
You probably have. That’s the story of Daniel, an elderly Jewish resident in Babylon sentenced to death for faithfully talking to God (Daniel 6).
· Although the prayer that sent Daniel to the lions’ den is his most famous talk with God (Daniel 6:11), it wasn’t the only time we see him in prayer.
In Daniel 9, we read an example of how he prayed. Daniel had been reading in his scroll of Jeremiah that the captivity of his people would last 70 years, and the people were 67 years into the exile (Jeremiah 25:8-11). He was eager for it to end.
· God had called His people to live righteously, but they weren’t doing that. Daniel decided to live righteously despite their lack of faith. He began to pray that God would not delay the end of the captivity.
As he prayed, Daniel focused on worship and confession. His pattern of prayer gives us an important insight into talking to God. We are to recognize that God is “great and awesome” (Daniel 9:4) and that “we have sinned” (Daniel 9:15). In prayer, we praise and confess.
· Let’s follow Daniel’s lead. To him, prayer was as vital as life itself.
– Adapted from Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, November 28, 2007
I. PRAYER OF CONFESSION. (Daniel 9:4-8)
years had passed since Daniel had been taken to Babylon (Daniel 9:1). As Daniel was studying the prophecy
of Jeremiah, he discovered that the Exile
was to last for 70 years (Daniel 9:2;
A. Daniel Prayed To The God Of The Bible. (Daniel 9:3-4)
(Daniel 9:3-4) 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: 4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
The Bible and prayer go together (See Acts 6:4). Daniel did not go out and boast about his insight into the Word of God; in fact, he did not even preach a sermon. He went to his knees in prayer. This is the true attitude of the humble Bible student.
It’s sad to see “prophetic truth” making “boasters” instead of prayer warriors out of people. How strange it was for the people to see Daniel (the former prime minister) wearing sackcloth. Daniel’s prayer is one of the greatest examples of intercession in the Bible.
B. Daniel Confessed To The God Of The Bible. (Daniel 9:5-6)
1. Daniel identified himself with Israel. (Daniel 9:5)
(Daniel 9:5) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
“We have sinned.” Daniel identifies himself with his Hebrew people back there in the land of Israel when they rebelled against God, which resulted in their captivity.
Daniel is specific in his confession. He labels each sin: iniquity, wickedness, rebellion, disobedience, and refusal to hear God’s prophets. Daniel writes them all down. He doesn’t leave any out.
INSIGHT: When my wife, Sarah, sends me to the grocery store, she does not say, “Get some groceries.” Sarah always gives me a list of items. I am to get this, get that, and get the other thing -- and four or five more things. I have to go through that list.
Confession of sin requires exactly that! It is not enough to go to God and say, “I have sinned.” We must tell God exactly what we have done.
2. Daniel named specific sins. (Daniel 9:6)
(Daniel 9:6) Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Confession of sins should be that specific! It should be spelled out to the Lord. Maybe we do not like to do that because it is an ugly thing. But spell it out to God; HE ALREADY KNOWS how ugly it is. We need to come to God in frank, open confession.
3. Daniel confessed Israel’s sins. (Daniel 9:7-8)
(Daniel 9:7-8) 7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
“All Israel, that are near, and that are far off.” The people of Israel were scattered, but there were NO lost tribes -- it is an inaccuracy to call them “lost.”
Some of the tribes were near Daniel there in Babylon and others were far off, but he knew where they were. He didn’t say they were lost.
But they were scattered “through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.” Daniel prayed for them!
II. PRAYER OF INTERCESSION. (Daniel 9:15-19)
A. The Prayer Of Daniel. (Daniel 9:15-17)
1. This is Daniel’s petition and plea. (Daniel 9:15)
(Daniel 9:15) 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
He recalls how God led Israel out of Egypt. God did it because of His righteousness, not because of theirs. He found the explanation for their deliverance in Himself, not in the people.
“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them” (Exodus 2:24–25).
The only thing that made an appeal to God from the people was their groaning. In other words, God saw their misery, and God remembered His mercy.
2. This is Daniel’s request: “Do it again!” (Daniel 9:16-17)
(Daniel 9:16-17) 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
Daniel asks God to repeat Himself by delivering Israel again because of His righteousness.
INSIGHT: God is righteous when He extends His mercy TO US, because Jesus Christ has fully paid for the entire penalty for our sin. “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
B. The Basis For Daniel’s Prayer. (Daniel 9:18-19)
1. God’s righteousness. (Daniel 9:18)
(Daniel 9:18) O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
This is Daniel’s petition and plea. Now Daniel asks God to repeat Himself by delivering Israel again because of His righteousness.
2. God’s mercy. (Daniel 9:19)
(Daniel 9:19) O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
This is the final plea of Daniel. He asks God to hear and answer because of who God is and what He has promised. No good thing rests upon Israel, and Daniel doesn’t plead because he is Daniel. Rather, Daniel associates himself with his people Israel and says, “WE HAVE SINNED,” including Daniel himself!
Do you see that God’s name is at stake, and Daniel is deeply concerned about the name of the God of the Bible and of the glory his God. This is the basis for Daniel’s plea.
C. The Confession Of Daniel’s Sins. (Daniel 9:20)
(Daniel 9:20) And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;
Notice Daniel says, “MY SIN.” “Whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin.” Daniel confessed that he was a sinner. Daniel knew that no one is perfect except THE LORD.
INSIGHT: It’s interesting that there is no place in the Bible which mentions any sin that Daniel committed. In fact, when his enemies were trying to find some wrongdoing in his life, they could find nothing -- and we may be sure that they left no stone unturned. (Daniel had a good testimony.)
The Cyrus Cylinder
By Dave Branon
The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia. – Ezra 1:1
· In 1879, archaeologists discovered a remarkable little item in an area now known as Iraq (biblical Babylon).
Just 9 inches long, the Cyrus Cylinder records something that King Cyrus of Persia did 2,500 years ago. It says that Cyrus allowed a group of people to return to their homeland and rebuild their “holy cities.”
· It’s the same story told in Ezra 1.
There we read that “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” to make a proclamation (Ezra 1:1). And in that proclamation, Cyrus said he was releasing the captives in Babylon to go home to Jerusalem, re-establish their homes, and rebuild their temple (Ezra 1:2-5).
· But there’s more to the story.
Daniel confessed his sins and his people’s sins and pleaded with God to end the Babylonian captivity (Daniel 9). In response to Daniel’s prayer, God sent an angel to speak to Daniel (Daniel 9:21). Later He moved Cyrus to release the Hebrews. (See also Jeremiah 25:11-12; 39:10.)
· Together, the Cyrus Cylinder and God’s Word combine to show us that the king’s heart was changed and he allowed the exiled Hebrews to go home and worship.
This story has great implications for us today. In a world that seems out of control, we can rest assured that God can move the hearts of leaders. We read in Proverbs 21:1 that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord.” And Romans 13:1 says that “there is no authority except from God.”
· The Lord, who is able to change our own hearts as well as the hearts of our leaders, can be trusted for He is in control. Let’s ask Him to work.
Dear Father, the world so often seems out of control. We know
You are sovereign over everything. We pray that Your will be done
in our homeland and in the hearts of our leaders.
-- By Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, July 4, 2015
CONCLUSION: What have we learned from today’s Bible study?
· We learned that Daniel sincerely prayed to the Lord on behalf of his people, Israel, and himself. The Lord heard his prayer of repentance and responded.
· We learned that if we sincerely ask for the Lord's forgiveness, He will be gracious to us as well. God’s mercy flows abundantly toward us when we truly repent.
At a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankee second baseman, offered a prayer that is a classic in brevity and poignancy: "Dear God, YOUR WILL, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen." -- Source Unknown.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Rather than complain, let’s pray.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey