When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” Daniel 6:10-13
Throughout history men and women have been worshiping God at great cost sometimes even death. Today in the Middle East, parts of Africa and Asia Christians are beaten, jailed and killed for the act of worshiping as Christians. Many who convert from Islam to Christianity face the same treatment for converting. Many times in the West we bemoan how difficult it is to be a Christian but we really have no idea what difficulties could confront us. We may face scorn and legal issues and feel put upon but very rarely face physical harm and death.
In today’s verses we see that even though Daniel knew about the king’s edict he was determined to pray to God the same way as he always did. In fact he continued to pray in front of windows facing Jerusalem even though he could be seen by all who passed. Daniel could have prayed in another part of his house. He could have closed the window or drawn the curtains but he had prayed this way in the past and would continue to honor God in the same way. To do differently would have been out of character for Daniel and would have shown to the people of Babylon that Daniel feared the king more than God. To pray in private would have given the impression that Daniel was obeying Darius and had stopped praying to God.
Too often we worry about what others will think and not what God thinks or demands of us. Maybe we are a bit ashamed to pray in public because others might think us weird. So we worry about what strangers might think of us and here we have Daniel knowing that if he continues to worship God publicly he will face a death sentence.
We don’t need to be in your face look at me Christians. Jesus tells us about those who make a great show of their piety while acting ungodly in private. Neither do we need to be cowed Christians afraid to do anything in public that even hints of Jesus or God. We need to be like Daniel, open about who we serve while still being considerate of others. We need to not be ashamed of the Gospel but share it in a loving manner. Always remembering that God is in control.
Have a blessed day,