Daniel 6

* The malice of Daniel's enemies. (1-5) His constancy in prayer.

(6-10) He is cast into the lion's den. (11-17) His miraculous

preservation. (18-24) The decree of Darius. (25-28)

1-5 We notice to the glory of God, that though Daniel was now

very old, yet he was able for business, and had continued

faithful to his religion. It is for the glory of God, when those

who profess religion, conduct themselves so that their most

watchful enemies may find no occasion for blaming them, save

only in the matters of their God, in which they walk according

to their consciences.
6-10 To forbid prayer for thirty days, is, for so long, to rob

God of all the tribute he has from man, and to rob man of all

the comfort he has in God. Does not every man's heart direct

him, when in want or distress, to call upon God? We could not

live a day without God; and can men live thirty days without

prayer? Yet it is to be feared that those who, without any

decree forbidding them, present no hearty, serious petitions to

God for more than thirty days together, are far more numerous

than those who serve him continually, with humble, thankful

hearts. Persecuting laws are always made on false pretences; but

it does not become Christians to make bitter complaints, or to

indulge in revilings. It is good to have hours for prayer.

Daniel prayed openly and avowedly; and though a man of vast

business, he did not think that would excuse him from daily

exercises of devotion. How inexcusable are those who have but

little to do in the world, yet will not do thus much for their

souls! In trying times we must take heed, lest, under pretence

of discretion, we are guilty of cowardice in the cause of God.

All who throw away their souls, as those certainly do that live

without prayer, even if it be to save their lives, at the end

will be found to be fools. Nor did Daniel only pray, and not

give thanks, cutting off some part of the service to make the

time of danger shorter; but he performed the whole. In a word,

the duty of prayer is founded upon the sufficiency of God as an

almighty Creator and Redeemer, and upon our wants as sinful

creatures. To Christ we must turn our eyes. Thither let the

Christian look, thither let him pray, in this land of his

captivity.
11-17 It is no new thing for what is done faithfully, in

conscience toward God, to be misrepresented as done obstinately,

and in contempt of the civil powers. Through want of due

thought, we often do that which afterwards, like Darius, we see

cause a thousand times to wish undone again. Daniel, that

venerable man, is brought as the vilest of malefactors, and is

thrown into the den of lions, to be devoured, only for

worshipping his God. No doubt the placing the stone was ordered

by the providence of God, that the miracle of Daniel's

deliverance might appear more plain; and the king sealed it with

his own signet, probably lest Daniel's enemies should kill him.

Let us commit our lives and souls unto God, in well-doing. We

cannot place full confidence even in men whom we faithfully

serve; but believers may, in all cases, be sure of the Divine

favour and consolation.
18-24 The best way to have a good night, is to keep a good

conscience. We are sure of what the king doubted, that the

servants of the living God have a Master well able to protect

them. See the power of God over the fiercest creatures, and

believe his power to restrain the roaring lion that goeth about

continually seeking to devour. Daniel was kept perfectly safe,

because he believed in his God. Those who boldly and cheerfully

trust in God to protect them in the way of duty, shall always

find him a present help. Thus the righteous is delivered out of

trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. The short triumph

of the wicked will end in their ruin.
25-28 If we live in the fear of God, and walk according to that

rule, peace shall be upon us. The kingdom, the power, and the

glory, for ever, are the Lord's; but many are employed in making

known his wonderful works to others, who themselves remain

strangers to his saving grace. May we be doers, as well as

believers of his word, least at the last we should be found to

have deceived ourselves.
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