Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem…
The text states the result of the scheming of his enemies, so far as Daniel's conduct was concerned. He altered not his course in the smallest degree. We observe in him no levity; no sarcastic defiance of the unrighteous law; no vain boasting of his superior religious knowledge; but a calm, serious, steady perseverance in the worship of God, which he knew that he could not neglect without exposing himself to a punishment infinitely more terrible than any that the courtiers of Babylon could devise, or the King of Babylon inflict.
I. THE NATURE OF DANIEL'S DEVOTIONS. "He prayed, and gave thanks before his God."
1. He prayed of all religious duties there is not one that is more important than prayer. It is, in fact, essentially connected with the origin and progress of personal goodness, with all spiritual blessings and enjoyments; and with the right discharge of our several obligations. Prayer is the grand means of receiving acceptance with God, and a participation of his holiness. The promises of Scripture are addressed to our faith, and their fulfilment is granted to persevering and believing prayer, and to that only. Numerous are the duties enjoined on us by the law and gospel of God. We cannot render to him acceptable obedience but under his gracious aid; nor will that aid be vouchsafed but in answer to prayer. Various are the evil influences which are perpetually erected upon the minds of good men, to draw them aside from the path of obedience. By the power of God only can they be preserved. The seasonable interposition of that power is to be sought in earnest prayer. Many are the sorrows connected with our present state of probation. Only by prayer can these afflictions be sanctified. It is by prayer especially that the people of God express their sympathy with the general misery of the world. Man was created for intercourse and communion with God. Whatever may be the dictates of what is called "natural religion," the revelation which God has made of himself in his word directly tends to impress the minds of men with the necessity of prayer, and to encourage them in this holy duty.
2. He "gave thanks before his God." Thanksgiving to God is a very delightful part of religious duty, and one which always accompanies the excuse of true prayer. The men who pray aright receive many blessings from God; and these kindle their hearts feelings of lively gratitude to the Giver of all good. The spirit and habit of thanksgiving to God are peculiar to those who, being born from above, are made new creatures. Thanksgiving to God refers to the benefits which we have received from him. These benefits are numerous beyond calculation; they are inconceivably great; and they are all absolutely unmerited and free. Daniel's thanksgivings were not interrupted by any of the calamities that he met with.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY WERE PERFORMED.
1. They were performed in his chamber. He courted not the public attention. There are sins, imperfections, wants, and temptations, of which we are individually conscious, and which it is our duty fully and freely to confess to God; yet many of them it would be highly improper distinctly to specify, either in the domestic assembly, or the public congregation.
2. His devotions were performed on his knees. No wise man will despise the outward decencies and proprieties of divine worship. With reverence end humility all our attitudes, the very tones of our voice, should strictly correspond.
3. Daniel performed his devotions with his face towards Jerusalem. Partly because of his affectionate regard for his native land. It seems, however, to have been a common Jewish custom.
4. His devotions were performed with frequency and regularity. This is a proof of sound wisdom, as well as of an eminently devout spirit.
5. His devotions were performed with unswerving fidelity and perseverance. The history of Daniel presents(1) a proof of the power and sufficiency of divine grace.
(2) Observe the manner m which he obtained the grace.
(3) Be careful to show the benefits of prayer in the uprightness of your lives.
(4) Note how the "Lord trieth the righteous."
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.