Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but this day public shame belongs to us: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel—those who are near and those who are far, in all the countries where You have dispersed them because of the disloyalty they have shown toward You. –Daniel 9:7
Throughout this election process, it seems like everyone is pointing fingers at someone. Both candidates are trying hard to show that their way is the best and that they have nothing to do with anything bad going on. As I have listened to media and read comments on facebook, it seems like everyone is pointing outward. One of my favorite sayings that I learned from childhood is “When you point your finger you have four pointing back at you.” At some point, we have to take an honest look at ourselves and understand that we must take personal responsibility for the things that are happening around us.
As Daniel cried out to the Lord on behalf of the people of Israel, it is obvious that he understood the need for the nation of Israel to take responsibility as individuals, which ultimately leads to the need for personal humility before God. This verse gives a tremendous pattern that I believe we all need to see as we pray for our country.
1. Daniel recognizes God as the only one who is righteous. When we take this point of view we quickly realize that we are not righteous and have no reason to point a finger at anyone other than ourselves.
2. The shame belongs to us as individuals. If we take personal responsibility and raise our family the way God desires us to, we will impact our city and eventually our nation. One man can change a family, one family can change a city, and one city can change a nation.
3. The reason that the nation was headed the wrong direction and under the condemnation of the Lord was due to disloyalty to the Lord by individuals.
Before we point any more fingers, may we analyze our individual hearts. Let us recognize Jesus Christ as the only good, and it is in Him alone that righteousness can be found. Let us recognize that the shame is ours to bear as individuals. Ultimately, may we humble ourselves before our mighty God and ask the Lord to show us areas of our life where we have been disloyal to him.
True humility starts with me!