Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem…
Daniel was equally distinguished for probity in his secular calling, as for fidelity towards God. If you would act your part well on great emergencies, it is necessary that you should attend to everyday duties. To overlook them is at once a proof of something radically defective in the judgment and character.
I. THE REGULARITY OF HIS DEVOTION. In a man of leisure this praying three times a day would have been less remarkable. Daniel was not in private life. But, without being neglected, business was made to yield to piety. Prayer, so far from increasing his difficulties, was his consolation under them. It is the mental inquietude of a life of business which much more than bodily exertion tends to oppress the faculties.
II. THE PLACE OF HIS DEVOTION. It would have been less wonderful had Daniel been thus regular in religious observances at Jerusalem. There were all the incitements which place and example supply. But the unpropitious character of Daniel's situation did not influence him in the discharge of his duty.
III. THE POSTURE OF HIS DEVOTION. No particular attitude is essential to the acceptance of the petition of a sincere suppliant. If the inward, spiritual qualities essential to devotion are wanting, it matters not what are the outward positions. But everything should be avoided that savours of irreverence, or which is incompatible with fixedness of mind in devotional exercises. Kneeling is well suited to the nature of the exercise — prostration of body will correspond with humility of mind!
IV. THE HEROISM OF HIS DEVOTION. It was the heroism of the confessor and martyr rather than of the soldier. Apparently reasonable excuses for yielding a little in this matter of prayer might have been found. Daniel allowed no weak accommodation to circumstances. We are not to do evil that good may come. Disobedience to what God enjoins, can never be required in order to the fulfilment of his purposes.
V. THE GRATITUDE OF HIS DEVOTION. He "prayed and gave thanks." Prayer has been well defined as the "offering up of our desires to God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies." The situation of Daniel might appear, at first sight, ill adapted to the exercise of thanksgiving, however proper on fitting occasions, that duty might be. But a devout heart will discover reasons for gratitude when others can perceive nothing but occasions of lamentation. No condition of life is really so disastrous as to be incapable of suggesting motives of thankfulness to a spiritual mind. For the stream of life has always its interminglings of alleviation and comparative good. He could think of past mercies; and that he had been kept by divine grace. And he could be thankful for an opportunity of bearing witness to the religion of the God of Israel. Improvement.
(1) Let Christians in general, and persons in active pursuits in particular, learn regularity in the exercises of devotion.
(2) Let us cultivate a regard for the authority of God, as a motive to devotion.
(3) Let us cultivate faith in prayer.
(4) Be grateful that you are exempted from the evils which Daniel experienced.
(R. Brodie, A.M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
WEB: When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before.