As this chapter opens Daniel is second in command over the entire kingdom. King Darius likes and admires Daniel, but the king’s ministers are jealous. They try to find something corrupt about Daniel, but they fail. Daniel had no obvious moral weaknesses: He lived so consciously in God’s presence that he was a man “above reproach.” In desperation they said, We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God (6:4-5).
In this, they discover Daniel’s only “flaw.” He was utterly predictable in his daily prayers. He prayed every day at the same time in the same way, and his enemies soon realized this was where they could catch him. The ministers proposed a law that would prevent praying to anyone except the king for 30 days. Basically they wanted to make Darius God for a month. This appealed to the king’s pride, so Darius signed the law. The king had no idea that Daniel was the intended target.
The ministers knew Daniel would break this law; they knew Daniel would keep on praying just as he had always done. Daniel was a victim of his own integrity. He was predictably faithful to God. Ironically, Daniel’s troubles came not from his weakness, but from his strength. And Daniel did not disappoint them. 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 (6:10). Daniel continued to pray, “just as he had done before.” He did it knowing that his adversaries would catch him.
- Daniel 6:19 - 28