二○一九年六月一日／六月二日 Click here for English version
Just As He Had Done Before
Rev Ng Ming Yee
"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Daniel 6:10).
A captive in Babylon when young, Daniel witnessed three regimes in his lifetime until the fall of Babylon to Medo-Persia. The reigns of King Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar, and King Darius (Chapter 6) lasted almost 70 years. The Persian King Darius found the aged Daniel who had good spirituality very impressive, and Daniel distinguished himself among the rest of the 120 administrators and satraps. Nevertheless, acting on greed, envy and malice, the administrators and satraps conspired to bring harm on Daniel. They asked the king to issue an edict that "anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions' den" (Daniel 6:7). But Daniel was undeterred. He chose to fear God despite the threat of the lions' den. It turned out that the threat was not really on the mind of Daniel, although it did act on King Darius. The other administrators and satraps who tried to use a regime to kill Daniel were trying to be God but they perished in their own lions’ den. Besides proclaiming that evil doers will not go unpunished, the passage also reveals the strong vitality of Daniel. He did not succumb to might and insisted on fearing God. His total reliance on God won him admiration even from the pagan King Darius, who issued a decree that in every part of the kingdom, people must fear and revere the God of Daniel because "he is the living God and he endures forever" (Daniel 6:26).
I am sure that Daniel's faith has come from his repeated training in getting down on his knees three times a day and praying and giving thanks to God. His habit saw no change for 70 years. Despite a decree in writing which could not be repealed, Daniel would get down on his knees and pray as soon as he got home, fixing his eyes on God just as he had done before.
A few months ago in the north, a church venue was closed. The next Sunday, the worship service moved outdoors. The message the pastor preached was on Daniel 6. The change of the times may bring frustration and a sense of helplessness. It seems nothing can be done except praying and praying. Daniel prayed and gave thanks in great danger. He trusted in God and in His sovereign power. May Daniel's extraordinary faith encourage us so that by faith, we can look unto God, pray and give thanks just as we have done before.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you" (1 Peter 4:12-14).