Book of Daniel Bible Study Chapter 9 Part 1
Lessons from a legend
by I Gordon
 ↩ Oh to be Jeremiah! Called by God as a 20 year old to preach and prophesy to bring Judah back to God, his message was so popular that they banned him from the temple. Not a good start! Then the king liked his prophecies so much that he ordered all written documents from Jeremiah destroyed! Finally they threw him in prison. No wonder they called him the weeping prophet. Nobody repented or turned to God from his preaching... no converts, no success. And yet, when he stands before his maker he will hear 'Well done good and faithful servant! Enter into your rest!' Always remember that the scripture tells us we will be rewarded on the basis of our labor, not our results. (1 Cor 3:8)
 ↩ In like manner, there are two things that the New Testament says act like an anchor for our soul... The first are the promises of God and the second is the fact that it is impossible for God to lie. Check out Heb 6:16-20. This is our anchor that keeps us from crashing on the rocks when the storms of life arise.
 ↩ Maybe you have been saying things like 'God doesn't feel that close anymore', 'I'm just going through the motions and I don't seem to have the same passion for the things of God anymore', 'I just feel dry... a bit dead... I don't seem to have that first love for the Lord like I did'. If that's you, what do you think you should do? What do you think Jesus would tell you to do? The reason I ask is because I was reading the messages to the churches in Revelation again the other day and the above thoughts and comments would have been heard in the Ephesus church. And we know what Jesus told them to do... 'Repent and do the things you did at first.' First and foremost they had to repent. Have you thought about repenting if you find yourself in this situation? My guess is probably not. And also note the second thing... action! God expects a response. 'Do the things you did at first' Jesus says - Maybe you need to think about what these things were for you when you first became a Christian.
 ↩ Because I found these amusing, here are a few real excuses written in accident reports:
5. I hit a stationary truck that was coming in the other direction
4. An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my truck and vanished.
3. In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.
2. The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go - so I ran him over.
1. The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it hit me.
 ↩ A read an email a while back that this prayer reminded me of. Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new sessions of the Kansas Senate. This was his prayer:
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good,," but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the Name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The response was immediate with a number of legislators walking out in protest. In the space of six weeks his church logged more than 5,000 phone calls but only 47 of those calls responded negatively. Wright later said 'I thought I might get a call from an angry congressman or two but I was talking to God, not them. The problem I guess is that you are not supposed to get too specific when talking about sin.'
 ↩ Just thinking of the age in which we live and how people think nowadays. We live in a generation that is openly taught to esteem itself... to love ourselves... to promote ourselves... declare positive things about ourselves. Hence we don't like to take the blame for things. And that can carry over to our Christianity. In our propensity to blame others we can even blame God. Daniel knew that God was righteous but shame on us. I think sometimes when we are going through difficulties and wondering why that is, we can reverse the truth and think 'well, I've been doing everything right, living a good God-honouring life and all I get is this! I've been righteous but shame on you God. Shame on you!' Obviously we don't exactly get up on the church stage and give that kind of 'testimony' but the thoughts could still be there. If you have thought that then I suggest that Daniel was actually correct in who was righteous and who had shame!
 ↩ Went swimming in a river last summer and it had a current that was deceptively strong. As you just relaxed and looked at everyone else around you, it was hard to grasp how fast you were moving (or that you were moving at all!) But if you set your gaze upon a fixed reference point it became very noticeable how quickly you were cruising along. It is no different for Christians and the church. Fix your reference on the world (which is sliding as well) and you won't notice the pace of decline. Fix it on God's word which is constant and the current state of the church can be judged.
 ↩ Please have a read of Jer 2:1-13. It starts with God recounting the devotion of His people, His bride, in their youth. It ends with the climax of the issue -
''My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
The sin of Israel was in forsaking God while maintaining a false religion which looked similar in outward appearance but was devoid of the true God and the life-giving water he provides.
I broke my hand in four places a few months back and one thing I had to learn the hard way is that when something is out of alignment the surgeon often has to cause a lot of pain before it can be set back in a position where it can heal correctly. In some cases bones have to be re-broken before they can heal properly. Well, Israel as a nation was well out of alignment at this point and the Heavenly surgeon called for some extreme breaking. It makes you wonder how long He will allow the church in the west to carry on in its slide without applying some corrective pressure.