In today's study, Daniel knows what God has in store for the future of the Gentile nations, now he intercedes on behalf of Israel to find out what God has in store for them.
Verse 3 "So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes." So, here is the scene. Daniel knows that the 70 years are almost completed. So, he begins to seek God on behalf of Israel. I'm sure that Daniel was thinking about how that God had told him about the future of the gentile nations, so why wouldn't he tell him about Israel.
Something else that can be learned from this is that Daniel was at least 90 years old at this time. And he was still serving the Lord. We never get too old to serve God.
Notice, that it says that he was "fasting with sackcloth, and ashes." This was the Jews' way of showing God that they were sincere.
Verses 4-5: "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; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:" Notice that Daniel identifies with his nation when he says in verse 5 that "we have sinned." It has been said that an honest confession will always go a long way toward deliverance. I believe that Daniel understood that any attempt to justify the nation would get them nowhere. There is no justification for disobeying God, but when we are honest with ourselves and God, I believe that He opens the doors of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Of course, God knows where He is on the situation, but sometimes I believe that He wants to make sure that we know where we are on the situation.
Verses 6-7: "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. 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." In these verses, Daniel confesses that God had kept his part of the agreement, but that the Jews had not. You see, God's covenants with Israel were conditioned on them keeping their side of the agreement.
Verses 8-11: "O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." Here Daniel is acknowledging that God's judgment of the Jews was righteous.
Verses 12-13: "And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth." The Jews were and still are God's chosen people. And as such, they were under a greater responsibility to obey Him even more so than those who were not. The Bible says in Luke 12:48, "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." The bottom line, God holds those of us who know the truth more accountable than those who do not.
Verse 14: "Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." Again, Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."