To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him.
— Daniel 9:9 —
Greg White: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
As Daniel thinks deeply about God, God’s compassion and forgiveness flood his thinking. In his prayer, then, Daniel emphasizes God’s great and manifold compassion and His abundant forgiveness. Even amid his nation’s active rebellion against God, Daniel had hope, for he knew that the sovereign God of the universe is compassionate and forgiving. When my wife, our two-year-old daughter, and I first arrived in Kiev, Ukraine, the country was in an economic depression. It seemed they lacked almost everything, including basic food items. Like Israel, a nation prone to rebellion, we too are inclined to rebel against God. Milk, cheese, and sugar were being rationed. But one thing that was not lacking among our brothers and sisters in Christ was their commitment to prayer and their trust in God and upon His mercies. Understanding the character of God is vital for prayer. Perhaps the aspect most lacking in prayer today is that of godly reflection or contemplation. In our busy schedules, it is hard to find time to pray, let alone to think deeply about God while we pray. In this verse, however, Daniel reflects on God’s great and diverse compassion and the richness of His forgiveness. Like Israel, a nation prone to rebellion, we too are inclined to rebel against God. Also like Israel, our only hope is in the sovereign God who is compassionate and forgiving. In your prayer life, do you find time to contemplate the majesty of God, the mercy of God, the great and marvelous forgiveness that God extends to us in Christ? Daniel took the time to do this, even (especially!) in a time of trouble.