In Daniel 6, we read about religious persecution against Daniel. But what did Daniel do in the face of all these? He did things, as one Bible translation says, “in the same way that he had always done”, or in another translation, “just as he always had done” (Dan. 6:10). Notice that what Daniel did after he found out about the injunction, was to continue what he was doing even before the injunction.
Why didn’t Daniel act differently?
Why doesn’t he change what he used to do or, at the very least, acknowledge the change in his circumstances? Why did he not adjust his activities according to what the situation requires?
By this time, Daniel is about 80 years old. Was he becoming forgetful? On the contrary, I think that he clearly remembered the One who does not change.
I imagine Daniel calling to mind how he and his friends first came to Babylon. The challenge of saying “no” to the food from the king’s table, and the Lord enabling them to serve with gifts of wisdom and insight; the Lord delivering them from the hands of the angry king, by revealing the king’s dream and its interpretation; the deliverance of his friends from the flames of the fiery furnace when they refused to bow down before an image; the Divine humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar; and the judgment of God on Belshazzar.
The circumstances and the challenges he was facing were different, but not new. If there was anything that he has learned through the years, it is that God was sovereign, and He was intent on keeping His promise to preserve His people. He has seen the hand of God at work. He has seen answers to prayer.
Why do you pray?
Is it because you have come to the end of yourself, your resources, your abilities? But you do not have to wait similar circumstances before you draw near to God in prayer. Daniel prays at this time, because it is what he does at all times. It is not so much about his faith and resolve, although there is that. But it has to do with having come to know God.
If there was anything that [Daniel] has learned through the years, it is that
God was sovereign, and He was intent on keeping His promise to preserve His people.
He did not lose sight of what he had gained through the perilous times. He has called them to mind, and nurtured his faith with the very revelations of God in His Word. He looked back on his life and smiled as he remembers the events of chapter1 through chapter 5, as well as all that has happened in between.
Daniel doesn’t change what he does, because God’s character is unchanging. And in this instance, he looks to the God who preserved his people and his three friends, and then he prays. He continues to give thanks, making supplication, and petition before God.
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