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May 28, 2017

"THE NATURAL MAN AND THE GOSPEL"

TEXT: Daniel 9: 1-19
READING:  Ephesians 2

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SUBJ: Daniel’s prayer and the place of the attributes of Righteousness with God and of “confusion of face” with us – personally and nationally.

AIM: That we might be aware of the constant need of the mercy and forgiveness which He alone can provide and that we might fervently pray for our nation.

INTR: The case of Daniel’s prayer is unique in that the life of Daniel is exemplary while his prayer is filled with submission and confession.
1. Daniel was praying for something that had been promised
2. The facts of his life and their value to us all (rehearse the earlier events).
a. Refusal to eat the King’s meat
b. The stand taken by his companions
c. The prophecy against Nebuchadnezzar
d. The Lions’ Den
3. The willingness of Daniel to identify with his people rather than to claim exemption from them and their sins and that perhaps with the recognition of his own sinful nature.
4. The message here is of the promise of the deliverance to Israel. An application may be made for us individually, as a community and as a nation of rebels against God.

THESIS: The mercy of God can never be understood apart from the knowing what belongs to God and what belongs to us.

I. Righteousness belongs to the Lord our God (v. 7a)
1. It is who and what God is – His essence – and it is manifested in all He does.
1) It is a characteristic attribute that He is Holy and that none other possesses that apart from Him
2) It is His to give as He wills
2. He is in every way perfect and that perfection is manifested in Jesus Christ our Lord.
3. He is absolute holy and no unrighteousness can be charged in regard to any act of God.
1) Statements are heard such as “If God did that He would be unjust…” The later discovery that He has done this or that leaves one without excuse.
2) Another question is “how could God do or allow thus and so..?”
4. Consider: Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. AND Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

II. Confusion of face (shame) belongs to us (vv 7b-8)
1. This shame that appears on our face when we feel our guilt and lack of hope.
2. Consider: Ezekiel 36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. AND Isaiah 45:16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.
3. Let us make application to ourselves and note: Romans 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
4. This may be applied to our government and us in the Kings, Princes, and Fathers.
5. Confusion describes the countenance in every place:
1) Toward our situation –“what shall we do?”
2) Before God to whom we must give an accounting.
6. It is the state of facing our sins without explanation or rationale and of see ourselves in the light of is holiness and under the justice of God.