Focal Passage: Daniel 9:3-10, 17-19
God did not destroy the world in the days of Noah because the people were sinful. Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
God destroyed the world because the people were only sinful. Everyone sins, including Noah. Noah was spared by God and used to build the ark not because he was perfect, but because he was “blameless” (Genesis 6:9).
At this point you might be wondering if you’re reading the wrong article. Here’s where Daniel comes in. The first step to being blameless is confession. Daniel’s confession can help us to understand some of the reasons why confession is so powerful.
The reality is God already knows our sins. We aren’t revealing any new information to the Lord in confession. Therefore, confession is more agreeing than announcing. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Confession expresses that we share the same perspective of sin that God has. We can closely walk with God when we have an aversion for iniquity in common. Daniel’s confession displays some of the ways confession expresses agreement with God.
Confession agrees with God on the seriousness of sin. It is difficult to go to God in confession in a half-hearted, lackadaisical way, or at least it should be. Notice the language that Daniel uses throughout this passage to describe Israel’s sin: done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, turning aside, not listened. Daniel does not excuse the nation’s behavior, try to explain it away or make their sin seem less serious. When we keep in mind that we are expressing the reality of our sinfulness before a holy God we cannot help but be sobered by the seriousness of the moment.
Confession agrees with God on the shame of sin. Daniel 10:8 says, “To us, O LORD belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.” Daniel recognized that the nation deserved the punishment for their sinful actions. Every parent knows the frustration of a child complaining about a punishment for a rule they admit they broke. Confession, in part, helps us to accept the consequences for our sin without becoming bitter about them.
Confession agrees with God on the status of sin. Daniel 10:17-19 reveals that Daniel called upon God to show mercy for their wickedness. Notice specifically the end of verse 18, “For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.” The only thing a sinner can do before a holy God is depend upon Him for mercy. This truth will actually help us to be victorious over the sin in our lives. A “try-harder” mentality only serves to continue the cycle of sin and shame in our lives. It may seem counterintuitive but when we realize that God’s mercy is sufficient for our sin the easier it will be to fully forsake it.
Confession of sin creates closeness between us and God. Daniel’s kind of confession can lead to Noah’s kind of blamelessness. Note the inverse principle of Amos 3:3, if two agree they … (check out the last part of Genesis 6:9). B&R