BOOK OF DANIEL – The Trap That Never Was

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Trap That Never Was

The Trap That Never Was

You will see why I chose the title as we read Daniel 6:10-11, “Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.” (NASB)

Yes, Daniel knew about the document the moment it was signed. If his aggressors thought that by his predictability regarding his prayer life it was going to somehow “catch him out” they would be mistaken. If Daniel knew the document was signed, then he must have known the contents and what it meant for someone to ignore the injunction. Evidently, as soon as he knew the document was signed he enters his house. We are told his roof chamber had windows that opened toward Jerusalem. Being well versed in the Old Testament he would have known of the custom of praying towards Jerusalem that was adopted by King Solomon. That custom is recorded for us in 2 Chronicles 6:34-39. No doubt Daniel would have been a student of the Psalm of David in Psalm 55:16-17 which mentions the practice of praying three times a day. This was the faithful predictability that his aggressors knew he would not give up. He had never given up, in all of his years, from opening his windows toward Jerusalem praying for the peace of the Jewish capital, along with his requests for his personal needs. By continuing to kneel and pray three times a day there was no thought of him being martyred for his faith. It was a natural, daily requirement of his faithful ministry of prayer. It is what kept him strong in faithfully discharging the commands of his God. It was also reminiscent of the faithfulness of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who refused to bow down to the Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. They knew that they faced sudden death if they refused to obey the king’s command. Daniel now faced the same challenge. All four men had one focus. They would not compromise in their faithful service to their God no matter what the consequences were for disobeying a pagan king. One may wonder why Daniel could not have simply kept his windows closed and still prayed to God. The injunction was not demanding on an act of idolatry as such. But this would have been deceitful to Daniel. He had no intention of committing an act of subterfuge in order to compromise in performing his prayers in the same way he had done for over 60+ years. That, in itself, shows the confidence of the aggressors in knowing Daniel would continue to pray and that they only required the thirty-day injunction to prove his ‘guilt’ to the king.

The experience Daniel faced should not be lost on our own prayer life nor the lives of our brothers and sisters in our local church. We should ask ourselves if it would make any difference to our lives (or our fellow believers’ lives) if we were told it was forbidden to pray for the next thirty days. The answer to that question may well shock us with embarrassment. How many of us can say we have as strong a prayer life as Daniel had? That question is something we can ponder and answer for ourselves. Perhaps when we get upset in reading about fellow believers in nations that ban not only prayer but the meeting together in worship we could ask if Satan does not need to attack us in that regard, because he doesn’t need to.

Daniel prayed with the knowledge and belief of the promises of God’s covenant to His people. His focus was on those promises. He truly prayed as one whose citizenship is in heaven. He was disciplined in his dedication to prayer. It was consistent and above all other duties. Perhaps when we wonder why our own prayers are not answered we should reflect on whether or not we only pray when we want something or if we pray only when we feel like it.

Daniel’s prayers consisted of giving thanks to God. In showing his adoration and appreciation for his God. That became his focus before asking for anything else.

May we pay close attention to how Daniel prayed. It should be an habitual practice to emulate.