As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favour of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
When God gave his people the Law through Moses he made it very clear what would be the consequences of disobedience, see Deuteronomy 28.15ff, and Daniel recognised this. He acknowledges the nation’s failure to turn to God and entreat his favour and he further acknowledged that God was righteous in ALL the works that he had done.
So now the situation is laid bare. The people have defied God’s law and are living with the consequences. Daniel has confessed and tomorrow we will see how and why he brings his plea for restoration, but in preparation for that we pause for a moment to consider whether we could be in a similar situation in 21st century Britain.
Clearly we are in a mess as a nation but ask 100 people why, and you would probably get 100 different answers. But I wonder how many, if any would even suggest that it is because we have abandoned God.
Yesterday, I cited Romans 1.18ff which begins very bluntly as follows:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them.
These words are written to our generation, living post the incarnation and the cross. In spite of both, and of course the resurrection, God’s requirement for men and women to live godly and righteous lives has not changed. Indeed it is perhaps heightened, for in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, he has shown mankind even more of himself. so to ignore him is heinous thing to do. Thus we have to say with Daniel,
‘we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
Simply, mankind is without excuse but God can still be approached in confession and repentance as we will see tomorrow. It is not too late but one day it will be.
The state of our world is a warning. We fail to heed it at our peril.