Thursday, August 11, 2011

Repenting for Our Fathers' Sins - Part 1/6

Daniel prayed a prayer of confession to the Lord. His prayer is interesting in that it involves confession and repentance not only for individual sins, but also for collective sins of Israel, and the sins of their fathers as well.

Daniel 9:4-19
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said,

O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

O Lord, hear;

O Lord, forgive;

O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
There many good elements of this prayer for us to model, particularly our absence of reliance on mere human merit and instead a reliance on the mercy of God ("for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies"). What I particularly want to highlight, though, is Daniel's explicit repentance for the sins of the fathers of Israel - those who went before this generation. This is significant in that it reinforces the federal relation that exists within families. In the absence of God's mercy, we would be held responsible for the sins of our fathers and their fathers and so on back to Adam's original sin.

But by God's mercy, we are adopted into a new family, and have the rights and privileges of the sons of God. Thus, we are under the federal headship of Christ, rather than Adam.

(to be continued)

1 comment:

natamllc said...

Another excellent post, TF.

With it I would add a couple two, maybe three other things that collectively give evidence to your conclusion.

First is from this portion of King Solomon's prayer, that great and notable prayer he prayed after completing the task for which he was temporally tasked, (Christ was Eternal Tasked with the Eternal Task), but nevertheless, here is that portion of his prayer:

"...1Ki 8:41 "Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name's sake
1Ki 8:42 (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house,
1Ki 8:43 hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
"

Now, consider these Words that give testament to God's Faithfulness to keep His Word with those words by Solomon and your conclusion:

Act 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is a desert place.
Act 8:27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship
Act 8:28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.

...

Act 8:34 And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?"
Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
Act 8:36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?"


We can see by those Scriptures just how they support your conclusion that Christ is Federal Head of all His Elect draw out of all races of people, kindred, tongue and nation!


And with that I cite one wonderful example of New Testament apologetics that has ever been uttered and recorded for our learning and admonition, here, noting how many times he uses the word "prophets":

Act 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.
Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,
Act 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
Act 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Act 3:22 Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
Act 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.'
Act 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
Act 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
Act 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness."