Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem…
Evidently trials of moral integrity and earnest religiousness have been as keen in days of old as in our own time; and the power whose tone and force they embalm is a power which is available for us.
I. THE CHARACTER REQUIRED OF RELIGION IN THE WORLD IS A COMBINATION OF FIDELITY TO GOD AND FIDELITY TO MAN — OR GODLINESS WITH UPRIGHTNESS. There maybe fidelity to man where there is not fidelity to God; but we cannot reverse this statement, and yet accord the truth. For a man to be faithful to his Lord, and unfaithful or deceiving towards his fellow-men, is simply impossible. The impenetrable gulf is, however, attempted. The man who fulfils what is due to his fellow-men, and also that which is due to God — who wears the worthiness belonging to morality, and the dignity belonging to spirituality — he alone represents the true character of religion in the world. Like a stately, tree, he strikes his roots downwards to draw all that is adapted to his life from the soft; and spreads his boughs, and opens his leaves, to catch the rain and the light of heaven. Such an one was Daniel. His enemies regarded him as a servant of God so firmly attached to him, that he would endure any loss in preference to being unfaithful. Surely such should be the views taken of every religious man.
II. HIS RELIGIOUS CHARACTER IS OFTEN DISLIKED. Daniel was no favourite with the other officers of the Median despot. I do not doubt that the dislike was rather to his uprightness than to his godliness. The secret homage which is paid to righteous proceedings prevented those high officials from directly attacking Daniel's administration. They scheme to overturn it by means of his fear of God. Uprightness is certainly worth something in our market, though it is not found at every stall. It may be as well to add that there is often a qualification of this dislike, in that worldly men are not always unwilling to use the consciousness and ability of a godly man. In trying circumstances they are known to pass by their most intimate friends and confide their cases to him who, by his fidelity to God and man, has been a butt for their frivolity, yet compelled their respect.
III. THERE IS A WAY OF SECURING THIS RELIGIOUS CHARACTER. Supposing a man to be the possessor of the right character, how is he to maintain it notwithstanding all oppositions? Undoubtedly by his help who has impressed the character upon him. One of the methods he has chosen is prayer. Daniel was not wrongly judged by his enemies, and his course sets prayer in its human aspect before us. How prayer keeps step with the unswerving march of God's established laws, neither Scripture nor speculation determines. God enjoins, teaches, and hears prayer, and our concern is more with the right employment of this mighty instrument than with the way in which it operates on the government of God, if it is to be a support to godliness and uprightness.
1. Prayer demands a decisive step. Daniel went to pray at once. He went to pray undisguisedly.
2. Prayer must express various convictions. Daniel made it the medium of showing dependence upon, and the gratitude towards God. He affords an instance of the morally sublime. The conviction that God can help forms our addresses to him into requests; the conviction that he has helped, and will help, constitutes the framework of thanks.
3. Prayer should have suitable aids. Daniel kneeled, with his face toward Zion.
4. Prayer should be frequent. Daniel set apart three times a day for this exercise. And he did so, not under the pressure of threatening calamity, but from a settled desire of his soul.
(D. G. Watt, M.A.)
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.