OLD TESTAMENT PARENTHESES (24)
"(Now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem)" Daniel 6:10
IT might be thought that this is just an incidental remark about Daniel's residence if it were not for the fact that clearly chapter 9 tells of the earlier exercise in prayer over Jerusalem's restoration so that his daily prayer and giving of thanks centred upon the assurance that his earnest prayers had been heard and would be answered. The open windows seem to have a spiritual significance. They indicated the objective of Daniel's persistent ministry of intercession.
HE could have closed the windows and been effectively shielded from the prying eyes of his enemies. That might have spared him from accusation, but to him it would have represented spiritual defeat. It is true that he could not see the far distant Jerusalem, and had he done so, would have had little to give thanks for, since the city was in ruins. But faith can see the invisible; it can so embrace the promises of God as to give substance to what has not yet taken place. Daniel had prayed for God's city and for God's people (9:17-19) and knew that his prayer had been heard.
DANIEL was not praying for himself; he could do that behind closed doors. He was maintaining a thrice daily prayer watch until the promised answer was realised. That answer centred in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and faith demanded that he keep his windows open in that direction as he prayed. There is something magnificently inspiring in the statement that when he knew of the fatal decree, he just went on with his customary praying (6:10). The man of faith does not panic.
PRESUMABLY it was after his third session of prayer that Daniel was thrown into the lions' den. Since he was released, quite unharmed, very early on the following morning, we may also presume that he went back home, fell on his knees and carried on with his holy privilege of thanksgiving and prayer. The windows were certainly still open. Jerusalem's future was still the objective of his intercessions. And in the first year of Cyrus, captives were released to go back and rebuild the city.
THE lessons to me are to keep on praying about the Lord's interests and leave Him to look after ours. We should not pray in front of a mirror (though we need to pray for ourselves). We should not pray with the limited outlook of our own room, however important that may be. We need to keep the windows open towards God's objective when we pray. And though all Hell should scheme to have those windows closed and that prayer silenced, we should go quietly and purposefully on.
POOR Daniel was not permitted to return with the released captives. That may well have been a great disappointment to him. However his prayers played a vital part in the restoration of the city and, what is more, he was guaranteed an honoured place in the heavenly and eternal Jerusalem, for he was told, "Thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (12:13).