Oak Grove Baptist Church in Fincherville

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“A Prayer for an Obedient Faith”

Weekly Adult Sunday School Lesson (KJV) 
Adult Sunday School Lesson Summary for January 21, 2018


Lesson Text: Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19
Background Scripture: Daniel 9:1-19
Devotional Reading: Psalm 130


Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19 (KJV)
4 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;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6 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.
7 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.
8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.


TODAY’S LESSON AIMS

Learning Facts: To know that it’s never too late to repent and be redeemed by the Lord. 

Biblical Principle: To recognize your sins, repent and confess to God, and then allow God to use you. 

Daily Application: To walk in obedience to the Lord each day. 


HOW TO SAY IT
Abednego              Uh-bed-nee-go.
Meshach                Me-shack.
Nebuchadnezzar   Neb-yuh-kud-nez-er.
Shadrach               Shay-drack or Shad-rack.


INTRODUCTION
When Direction Is Needed
  We all go through crossroads moments—times we know that life will change because of decisions we have made or are making. Here are common bits of advice for those at crossroads moments.
To newlyweds: Never go to bed angry.
To parents of a newborn: Live to be the kind of person you will want your child to marry.
To first-time homeowners: Don’t ignore home maintenance.
To new drivers: The car you drive can be one of the deadliest machines ever invented.
To the teen leaving for college: Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.
  These words of advice may seem trite, but they are important. At certain points of our lives, we must know who we are, what we have got ourselves into, and where to turn for help. We know what it is like to reach a crossroads moment. When such a moment comes, we know that life may change dramatically. Daniel’s decision at a crossroads moment has much to teach us.


LESSON BACKGROUND
Time: 539 B.C.
Place: Babylon
  After the incident of the fiery furnace (last week’s lesson), Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego no longer appear in the book of Daniel. The spotlight turns on Daniel himself to demonstrate unwavering faith and godly courage in pagan surroundings.
  Much happens in the book of Daniel between last week’s lesson from chapter 3 and this week’s lesson from chapter 9. In Daniel 4, the book’s namesake interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar, one with an ominous, alarming message of coming judgment on that ruler. In chapter 5, Daniel interpreted the famous “handwriting on the wall” for the terrified King Belshazzar. That message too was one of pending doom; indeed, Daniel’s words came to pass that very night (5:30, 31).
  Chapter 6 is the well-known account of Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel 7-12 records a series of dreams and visions granted to Daniel about things to come. Daniel’s prayer of chapter 9, located among these, is the subject of today’s lesson.


People’s Sins: Daniel 9:4-8
1. How did Daniel show reverence to God in the beginning of his prayer? (Daniel 9: 4)
  Daniel’s address of the Lord as “my God” should not be bypassed too quickly. Consider how much Daniel had learned to trust the Lord during all the turmoil in his life and pressures to conform to the surrounding pagan culture. For nearly 70 years, the Lord had repeatedly shown himself faithful. Daniel can truly, genuinely call Him my God.
  We may normally think of the word confession in terms of an admission of wrongdoing. But here at the very beginning of his prayer, Daniel does not confess sins. Rather, he acknowledges important truths about his God.
  Today we associate the word dreadful with a negative meaning (a dreadful day or dreadful weather). But in this context the word speaks to a sense of reverence we should have toward God. Just because He is a personal God (my God) does not mean that He can be approached casually or flippantly. Daniel knows this.
  While Daniel has acknowledged the Lord as his God, he is also keenly aware that the Lord is close to many others as well—specifically those that love him and keep his commandments. Daniel’s language echoes that of Moses in Deuteronomy 7:9, 12. Much later, Solomon used this same language during his eloquent prayer at the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:22, 23). That temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians, the same people who took Daniel and his friends into captivity. But the Lord’s faithfulness to covenant and mercy is not subject to such treatment.

What Do You Think?
  How should remembering God’s character shape how we talk to God about our sins?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
-With reference to His holiness
-With reference to His love
-With reference to His faithful consistency


2. What sins did Daniel confess to God concerning His people? (Daniel 9:5, 6)
  After exalting the Lord for His majesty and faithfulness, Daniel now begins to confess the brazen unfaithfulness of the people. He starts by piling up the four phrases we see here, actions that are similar in meaning. This is the only place in the Old Testament where all four occur (in Hebrew) in the same verse. (Coming close with three of the four are 1 Kings 8:47; 2 Chronicles 6:37; and Psalm 106:6.)
  By the use of the first-person “we,” Daniel counts himself among the guilty. We may wonder why Daniel should include himself among the sinners or take part of the blame for what has happened. But those who know the Lord and His character most intimately, as Daniel clearly does, are painfully aware of their own unworthiness. Those most self-aware of their own spiritual poverty cannot help but pray the prayer of the publican: “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
  Although technical distinctions can be made between precepts and judgments, Daniel uses them together in a whole-picture way. God had set His standards firmly in place, whether one is talking about precepts, judgments, statutes, commands (2 Kings 17:37), or laws (Nehemiah 9:13). Those standards have not changed, and the people are guilty of departing from them due to all the actions just mentioned in the previous half-verse. That is why they are in exile.
  God had warned the people time and again of the judgment that awaited should they turn away from Him. To issue such warnings was the primary duty of the prophets. The prophet Ezekiel had been called specifically to be a “watchman” (Ezekiel 3:16-21; 33:1-9), sounding the alarm and warning of coming doom. But in one way or another, all the prophets were tasked to do so.
  Yet who has listened? When the leaders of the people (the kings and the princes) have no desire to hear what the Lord has to say, judgment cannot be far behind. See 2 Chronicles 36:16 for a summary of how God’s messengers have been treated.
  Too often we rush into God's presence and ask for things, without first pausing to worship Him. Daniel prepared himself for prayer, as did Ezra (Ezra 9:3-5) and the Levites (Neh. 9:5-6). It's important that we focus on the character of God and not become too preoccupied with ourselves and our burdens. The “invocation” to Daniel's prayer is a primer of biblical theology. His words describe a God who is great and faithful to keep His promises, a God who loves His people and gives them His Word to obey so that He can bless them. He is a merciful God (Dan. 9:18) who forgives the sins of His people when they come to Him in contrition and confession. This is also the way Nehemiah prayed when he sought God’s will concerning rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 1:5).
  It’s one thing to pray to the Lord and quite something else to be a worshiping intercessor. When we see the greatness and glory of God, it helps to put our own burdens and needs in proper perspective. By exercising even little faith in a great God, we can move the hand of God to accomplish wonders that will glorify His name.


3. What were the consequences for Israel’s continued disobedience? (Daniel 9:7, 8)
  The result of the nation’s rebellion was that they became a sinful people, a people covered with shame, (“confusion of face,” Dan. 9:7), and a scattered people. Their land was overrun by enemy soldiers, their great city of Jerusalem was destroyed, and their holy temple was desecrated, robbed, and burned. No wonder the Jews were ashamed! But it was their own sins that had brought these disasters, because their kings, princes, and priests had disobeyed God’s laws and refused to obey God’s prophets.
  Since they have not voluntarily exhibited shame associated with repentance, they now involuntarily exhibit shame associated with captivity (see Jeremiah 6:15). No one is exempt from divine judgment. People throughout the lands of Judah and Israel suffer their respective exiles. Although politically divided for about 400 years by the time noted in Daniel 9:1, the 12 tribes of Israel share a common rebellion against God. Thus, they share a common fate.


Almighty God: Daniel 9:15
4. What did Daniel remind God of? (Daniel 9:15)
  Having spoken of “my God” at the outset of the prayer, Daniel now uses the inclusive “our God.” In so doing, Daniel turns the focus to God’s actions in history on behalf of His people, specifically the exodus from Egypt.
  That exodus event had brought the Lord renown, or fame, far greater than it was possible for any other so-called god to obtain. But repeated sinfulness had brought shame, not fame, to themselves and to the Lord’s name.
  So why would God who knows all things, bring His people out of Egypt and then allow them to waste away in Babylon? Daniel knew that God had purposes for Israel to fulfill, and so he reminded God of His past mercies (v. 15).

What Do You Think?
  What steps can we take to ensure that we thank God regularly for past rescues?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
-In corporate worship
-In private prayers and devotions

Daniel’s Request: Daniel 9:16-19

5. What was Daniel’s plea to the Lord? (Daniel 9:16, 17)
  The ground of Daniel’s request for forgiveness and a return to Jerusalem was not in the fact that Israel had now turned back to God, because they had not. The appeal was to God’s righteousness (v. 16a). Daniel then admits that the sins of Israel were the cause of that great catastrophe, and he pleas, “for the Lord’s sake” (vs. 16b, 17).

What Do You Think?
  What positive changes might result if Christians started to appeal to God to act for the sake of His reputation? Why?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
-Regarding interactions with fellow believers
-Regarding interactions with unbelievers


6. Per Daniel, what would be the greatest benefit of the restoration of God’s people? (Daniel 9:18, 19)
  Daniel now asks for God’s full attention to the plight of His despondent people (v. 18a). He knows full well that the God’s name was defamed as long as His temple and people were a reproach, and that their only hope rested in the Lord’s great mercies (v. 18b). The words of Lamentations 3:22, 23 acknowledge this profound truth: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
  But even more, Daniel desired the nation to be restored that God might be glorified! (Dan. 9:19). Again, Daniel asked God to reverse that situation for the sake of His own name. After all, the Jews were God’s chosen people, and Jerusalem was the place of His holy temple; the longer the people and the land were under God's wrath, the less glory the Lord would receive. “Thy city and thy people are called by thy name” (v. 19).
What Do You Think?
  What should we do when God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
-Regarding something yet to happen
-Regarding something that has already happened


CONCLUSION
Priorities in Prayer
  Daniel’s prayer should prompt us to ask ourselves, “Do we pray like that today? Are our prayers that earnest, that sensitive to the sin and wrongdoing in our lives and to our dependence on the mercy of God?” We may be very keenly aware of the perversion in our culture, but Daniel’s prayer says absolutely nothing about what is going on in Persian society. His focus is on his people’s desperate need for the forgiveness that God alone can provide. But note carefully that Daniel spends much more time acknowledging than asking. Do we pray that way?
  This is not to say that praying for physical or material needs should not be encouraged (see James 5:14, 15). Certainly, God cares about every aspect of our lives (compare Philippians 4:6). But if we are honest, we must admit our clear shortcomings in failing to address on a consistent basis the kinds of issues that formed the very core of the passionate prayers of Daniel.
  Daniel was moved to prayer by reading and understanding the Word of God that had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2). May reading the Scriptures today, specifically a prayer such as Daniel’s, stir us to reexamine and revitalize our own priorities in prayer.


PRAYER
  Heavenly Father, when we read a prayer such as Daniel’s, we recognize how our own prayer priorities can get mixed up. Help us remember that we are students continually enrolled in the school of prayer. Teach us to pray with the passion and priorities of Daniel! We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER
  Take the first steps of important journeys on your knees.


ANTICIPATING THE NEXT LESSON
Next week's lesson is “A Strong Faith,” and reminds us that we are never alone on our personal journey, and that God strengthens us when we are weak. Study Daniel 10:10-19.

LESSON SUMMARIZED BY 
Horace A. Hayes
Jesus Is All Ministries
www.jesusisall.com


WORKS CITED 

Bible App for iPhone and iPad, Version 5.0.3, LifeChurch.tv, 2018.

Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers. 

Life Application Bible—New Revised Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 

Scofield, C.I., ed.  The New Scofield Study Bible—King James Version. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Summary and commentary derived from Standard Lesson Commentary Copyright 2018 by permission of Standard Publishing. 

The KJV Parallel Bible Commentary, by Nelson Books.

The Pulpit Commentary, Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Hrsg.), Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Cook

Jesus Is All Ministries Staff

Willie Ferrell
Renee Little
Horace Hayes
Felicia Pinkney
Email: [email protected]





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OGBC Highlights

 

  • The Hormel Food Ham Hock Cook off August 17-20, 2010 was a huged sucess. Thanks, to everyone who pariscipated in this event.
  • Our annual Women's Day Celebration on August 15, 2010 was a huged sucess. Sis Pamela Benjamin was outstanding. Thanks to the women of Oak Grove for a wonderful program.
  • Come and go with us to Villa Rica, Ga. Friday night August 20, 2010, 7:30 PM. Oak Grove will be closing out Revival at Bethsadia Baptist Church Pastured by Reverend Kenneth Bryant.

 

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