Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day….Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
— Daniel 9:7–8 —
Greg White: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
God always does what is right, but sadly, we do not. Daniel points out in his prayer that sin results in open shame, disgrace, and destruction. Though the faithful are spared eternal condemnation, no one escapes all the temporal consequences of sin in this life. Past sin can continue to bring dishonor upon a person. Nonetheless, God acts with kindness even amid our messy lives, disciplining His children in love rather than in anger. There is no more condemnation for the believer, yet we still experience some consequences of it (not least of which is physical death). I remember my first counseling session as a pastor in Ukraine. A woman in the church asked why God would not allow her to get pregnant. She went on to explain that before she had become a Christian she had been pregnant no less than seven times, each one ending with an abortion. Tragically, this was considered the preferred method of birth control under the Soviet Union. But as a result of the many abortions in her past, doctors confirmed that she could no longer get pregnant. Like many of us, this woman struggled to understand that the forgiveness of sin does not necessarily mean that we will never experience any temporal consequences of it. But, as Daniel acknowledges, there are real consequences to sin. There is no more condemnation for the believer, yet we still experience some consequences of it (not least of which is physical death). We must acknowledge this in our own prayers. Only then can we begin to understand that God works through these situations for our good and His glory, using these consequences to mature us in the faith and grow us more into the image of His Son (Heb. 12:6; Rom. 8:29).