Original Posting At http://sandpipersthoughts.blogspot.com/2018/01/daniel-9-part-3.html
Following are notes from a lesson I taught about Daniel 9:
Individual Sin — Question: How do we feel about confessing our sin?
Sin is not simple. On one hand, we sin because we are in rebellion – we are disobedient. We are stubborn. But on the other hand, the Bible acknowledges that we live in a broken world – “creation itself influences us and pushes us in the direction of our sinfulness.” What is your reaction to that thought?
Question: What keep us from facing our sins honestly?
Question: What tactics do we use to avoid confession?
Question: What feelings do we experience from confession our sins, seeking forgiveness, and restoring a relationship? What role does God play in that?
Collective Guilt – In Daniels Prayer, the sin starts with kings, leaders and parents, but also includes all of Israel – verse 6 : We haven’t listened to your servants, the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our leaders, our parents, and to all the land’s people. This prayer underscores one understanding of exile which is that God sent Israel and Judah into exile as punishment, and it refutes the idea that the people were exiled because God was weaker than the gods of Babylon. Question: What is your response to that understanding of the action of God? (the whole message of the Bible helps us to understand that not all bad situations or suffering result from punishment for sin.)
Even though Daniel presents the stories of four young men of integrity who show faithfulness to God, this prayer is a balance – even Daniel (who, in this prayer, uses both personal and collective words for God) recognizes that they need God’s forgiveness for their sins. The relationship between God and the people depends on God’s faithfulness.
Question: What examples of collective sin can you think of? How do we ask for forgiveness for these sins?
Psychological Guilt – a sense of guilt. We restore the relationship with God through repentance; we restore the relationship with each other through communication. “The last dimension of guilt involves dealing with our own feelings and the way guilt affects us.”
How do we deal with the sense of guilt? Do we have difficulties receiving and/or accepting forgiveness? If we do, how does that affect our relationships with others and with God?
What is the connection between dealing appropriately with sin, repentance and guilt with spiritual and emotional growth? If there is a link, then how does ignoring sin, refusing to repent, or holding on to guilt prevent our growth and our acceptance of sanctifying grace?