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 a heroic believer. He was marked by —
I. FAITH. This was the life of his life.
1. His faith was an early possession. As a youth he believed in right, and in the Invisible God of right. It was this principle that was the moulding force in his boyhood's character, conquering all that was adverse to him in the temptations of his masters, or the example of his companions, and compelling the admiration and trust of those who could not understand the secret spring of his conduct.
2. His faith was cherished in adverse circumstances. Not only was there the temptation to paganism, and materialism, and animalism which Babylonish life cast like so many meshes about the young captive, but there was the deprivation of all the ordinary outward aids to religious faith. No temple, no ceremonial, no sacrifice came to his aid. He had solely to depend on the personal but, thank God, inalienable "means of grace," of private prayer.
3. His faith discovered in him a glorious future. He had visions of the colossal dynasties of men falling under the blessed dominion of the Son of Man.
4. His faith realised the Invisible Present. True faith ever does that, even though it cannot always descry the future. His faith saw God, Duty, Conscience. And so, whilst it was, in its visions of the future, "the substance of things hoped for," it was, in its perception of the present, "the evidence of things not seen." He was marked by, —
II. HUMILITY. He does not talk of his faith; he simply and, as in the act before us, with all the simplicity of naturalness, manifests it. Dr. Pusey strikingly calls attention to this reserve of Daniel "Chief statesman of the first empire in the world, he has not recorded one single voluntary act of his own." Notice,
1. The signs of his humility. He says little of himself or his exploits; his book tells much more of what befell him than of what he did.
2. The producing cause of this humility. It was doubtless his faith, his vision of the unseen present and the unseen future, that hushed and awed and humbled him. Just as grandeur of scenery hushes all thoughtful men, making them feel nothing amid its immensities so the scenery of the invisible world and the sight of the Invisible God abashes all pride, and quickens, in Daniel as in Isaiah, the spirit that cries, "Woe is me: I have seen the Lord of Hosts." Unbelief may be proud, half belief may be conceited, thorough belief is ever reverent and lowly.
III. CONSTANCY. The very name of Daniel has come to be a synonym for resolution and endurance. And deservedly, for his faith enabled him to be firm.1. In spite of subtle temptation. The great ordeal of his life was much more searching than that which came to the three Hebrew youths. They were challenged to open idolatory; and they nobly refused, choosing rather the "burning fiery furnace." Daniel was invited simply to neglect prayer to the true God. He was constant,
2. In spite of protracted trial. There were repeated efforts on the part of the envious and the malign. There was a long-continued captivity. He taught, and he worked, even as he prayed, at the end just "as he did aforetime." He was marked by —
IV. COURAGE. This is involved in constancy, and yet is so conspicuous that it commands separate notice. Evidenced by
1. His openness.
2. His dignity.
3. His calmness. The spirit of the worked towards the godly remains unchanged.
(U. R. Thomas.)
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.