A Question I Was Asked:

Do You Know What was the Sin, or Could Be the Sin, of Daniel the Prophet in Daniel 9:20? I Thought He Had No Sin at All.

Do you know what was the sin, or could be the sin, of prophet Daniel in Daniel 9:20? I thought he had no sin at all.

UK Apologetics Reply:

First of all we need to ask: is it reasonable that any man or woman, I mean a flesh and blood human being, could ever have "no sin at all"?

Okay, let us look at this a little closer:

20. While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill - 21. while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22. He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision: (Daniel 9:20-23).

I won't continue there with the account of the vision since that is not the subject of the question. So verse 20 there starts off with Daniel's confession of sin. Why should that surprise us? The answer to this question is that it does not matter what the particular sin of Daniel was, he was forgiven since he was under grace (in common with all true believers and true Christians of all time). It is certainly incorrect to think that Daniel - or any one of us - can ever be without sin, rather, we should always be in a continual attitude of repentance, and a continual readiness to ask for forgiveness for those times when we fall short. The point is, Daniel probably always commenced his prayers with a prayer of confession for both himself and for Israel. If any of us claim that we never fall short, then we need to consult John the Apostle:

8. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10).

It is interesting too to consider a few earlier verses from Daniel's ninth chapter:

18. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." (Daniel 9:18-19; NIV throughout).

Jerusalem was about to fall, a just punishment because of the people's unfaithfulness to God, but here Daniel mentions a great truth: 'We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.' (verse 18b). That should be the attitude of every one of us who prays, we pray because we know that God is rich in mercy, we do not pray because we think we don't deserve some punishment, we appeal to God's mercy. Jerusalem did indeed fall but much good came from it within a few years.

Robin A. Brace. May 23rd, 2017.