Sunday, March 3, 2013
On 3-10-13, Daniel 9:4-14, 17 or 9:4b-14 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Daniel’s Prayer
Daniel 9:4-14, 17 or 9:4b-14
International Sunday School Lesson
March 10, 2013
Because of the self-centered way in which we all too often live out our lives we almost fail to see the end of the story because we are so busy living. But just as there was an end for those alive during the days of Noah when “people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” So is there an end to all things.
Daniel was right and just in praying to God and in what he said about his people and about God. But despite the esteem which God held him the time has already been mapped out.
God told the people what He would do (Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28) if they sinned against Him and He knew that they would. But Daniel prayed for them and while he was praying an answer came.
Had Daniel even expected an answer, what he got surely would have been unexpected. Daniel knew according to verse 2 that the desolation of Jerusalem was to last 70 years. What he was told was a rapid fire synopsis of history in which sin would be put to an end and everlasting righteousness would reign.
No, not all this is in today’s scripture, but what could we take away from today if we didn’t look at the rest? That a righteous man prays to God on his people’s behalf confessing their sin and his own. Sure, that is just but acknowledging transgressions and praying for forgiveness doesn’t change the history that has always been known by God.
Daniel and his people had a limited amount of time to be obedient and serve God but most fell away but Daniel did not. Still Daniel praised God, served Him, witnessed for Him and prayed for his people. But the end was still measured out. Similarly we may be given the opportunity according to the scriptures as we understand them to be obedient and serve God but most will fall away.
We will pray like Daniel that they will turn and so be saved and we should but most won’t. It may have seemed like an empty future at first to Daniel but as we read ahead in the answer that he was given we to are privy to the fact that in the end righteousness will rule.
As great as Daniel’s role was, I daresay that our roles are similarly great. We understand a bit more than even Daniel did because of the coming of Christ. Daniel was told that “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” 12:2-3 I doubt Daniel knew what that meant, but we do!
God gave Daniel a time table. Daniel had his time and now rests in the dust of the earth.
Now it is our time and we know a bit more about that time table and while here have a job to lead many to righteousness while there is still time. Share the gospel!
1. Discuss the difficult reality in knowing that your country has been sinful, needs to repent, need to turn to God and so be saved, know that you need to pray all that but that most won’t repent and God already knows it.
2. Discuss God keeping His word always with regard to both punishment and reward.
3. Discuss ways your country has turned from God, has started to be punished and yet does not return to Him.
4. Discuss the not included verse 18’s, “We do not make request of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
5. Ask who in your group wants to shine like “the stars for ever and ever” and then ask what they are doing about it.
6. Discuss what it would be like to be paid a visit by Gabriel!
Upcoming Adult Sunday School Class Commentaries
3-17-13: Gabriel Interprets Daniel’s Vision aka Gabriel’s Interpretation Daniel 8:1, 15-26 or 8:19-26
3-24-13: The Lord’s Supper Luke 22:14-30
3-31-13: The Lord Lives aka The Lord Has Risen Indeed! Luke 24:13-21, 28-35
4-7-13: The Lord Appears Luke 24:36-53
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved