WINDOWS OPEN TOWARD JERUSALEM – Daniel 6


And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem); and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s interdict: Hast thou not signed an interdict, that every man that shall make petition unto any god or man within thirty days, save unto thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the interdict that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to rescue him. Then these men assembled together unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no interdict nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

Daniel 6:10‭-‬15 ASV

DANIEL CONTINUES TO BE FAITHFUL

What a feeling of exultation must have come to the conspirators against Daniel at such a complete success of their diabolical plot.

They had calculated everything perfectly (so they thought). The king, unaware of their hatred and of their evil purpose had signed the decree.

True to what they knew would happen, Daniel went on in the faithful exercise of his holy religion without regard to human legislation.

They were able to catch Daniel “in the act.” Daniel did not even bother to deny the charges.

The king was caught in the cruel vice of his own stupid law; and these enemies of Daniel must have thought at that juncture of affairs that they had everything under control.

They overlooked the will of God, which is a universal characteristic of all wicked men.

WINDOWS OPEN TOWARD JERUSALEM

“Windows open toward Jerusalem” (Daniel 6:10).

This habit of praying toward a particular point has been maintained till this day by the Muslims who pray in the direction of Mecca.

A. Daniel’s attitude:

  1. Was not one of defiance (he did not kneel outdoors).
  2. Was not one of cowardice (he did not hide).
  3. He continued in his normal pattern.

B. As he did aforetime:

  1. A man’s habits are the key to his destiny.
  2. It is always what one is in the habit of doing that determines the course of his actions.

I. Daniel had his windows opened toward Jerusalem:

  • A. Not open toward Babylon.
  • B. Not opened toward the king’s palace.
  • C. But open toward Jerusalem, from whence the Word of God came.
  • D. Similarly people today should refuse to open the windows of their souls toward Paris (for fashions), or toward Moscow (for politics), or toward New York (for financial news), or toward Washington (for governmental support), etc.
  • E. But let them open the windows of their souls to Jerusalem, to the word of the Lord, which alone is able to save the soul.

II. Daniel was faithful:

A. Without regard to personal enemies,

B. Without regard to human legislation,

C. Without regard to personal danger,

D. Without regard to impending death.

III. Daniel’s faith was rewarded:

A. God heard his prayer and answered it.

B. His enemies saw his faithfulness.

C. The king reluctantly executed the penalty.

D. The king rejoiced when Daniel was safe.

IV. The purpose of God was advanced gloriously by Daniel’s rescue.

A. The king’s edict

B. It guaranteed for Israel their religious freedom for yet awhile.

C. This was a key episode in the rescue of Israel from their second captivity (the first was in Egypt)

“Three times a day …” (Daniel 6:10) This is the time of the morning burnt offering, the ninth hour (which was 3 p.m.), and at sunset.

The Jews frequently spoke of praying “before God,” instead of praying “to God.”

The Talmud instructed that the Jews in foreign lands pray toward Jerusalem, and that persons in Jerusalem should pray toward the temple.

Commenting on the true purpose behind the ridiculous law which Daniel, in conscience, violated by his prayers three times a day, the fundamental principle of heathenism is that the king is the son, the representative, the living manifestation of the peoples’ gods.

However, it could not have been any concern for the protection of the peoples’ religious systems that prompted the presidents who initiated the movement for the law passed in this situation.

The prime motivation was the desire to destroy Daniel; and all the rest of the campaign in favor of the law was pure hypocrisy.

Babylon’s Judgment

The evil strategy of Daniel’s enemies (probably the two colleagues of his in the presidency) appears in a number of particulars:

  • (1) They first rehearsed the terms of the new law and procured the king’s agreement that it was indeed an irrevocable statute.
  • (2) In their charge against Daniel, they left off any mention that he was one of the presidents, saying only that he was “of the children of the captivity of Judah,” a despised foreigner, of course.
  • (3) The subordinate position of Darius, occupying the place of king of Babylon only for a season, instead of Cyrus, would have made it very difficult for Darius to override any constitutional maxim.

The king was indeed effectively trapped by his own evil law. Of course, he should have violated that law at whatever cost to himself.

Not to break a wicked promise is not firmness; it is guilty obstinacy.

This writer has known parents who were pressured into signing up with some church to rear their children in a certain faith, and who, upon learning “a more excellent way” of serving the Lord, nevertheless honored their prior wicked commitment by observing it.

In such cases, the keeping of a wicked promise is more dishonorable than the breaking of it.

When a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬18 RSV

It's Your Turn. Write Something. Say Something.