Daniel is facing 122 leaders of the Mede empire that don't like him. They are looking for some way to discredit him. They look at all the books and accounts and they can't find anything wrong with him.
Daniel 6: 5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.
1. The Confrontation
Looking into Daniel's relationship with his God is going to bring about an incredible confrontation.
- The leaders to to Darius who is the king now
- We are all in agreement, (ALL THE LEADERSHIP) Make a rule that needs to be strictly enforced.
- Anyone who prays to anyone divine or human in the next 30 days will be thrown into a den of lions.
- The name Darius is a name for a god so Darius believes he is a god. This is a great idea.
Daniel 6: 10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.
Daniel was a worshiper as we learned last week about last week.
Why go to the open window, was he showing off? Why not under the covers or in a closet?
2. The Background
Look at the last few years of Israel's existence
- Passover unlike any since Samuel ruled Israel. About 400 years. The Passover was celebrated, but it did not have any real influence on the people as they turn their backs on God when it is done.
- Passover unlike any since Samuel ruled Israel. About 400 years. No influence on the people. Church had lost its power of influence on society
- In 22 years Israelis no longer going to exists as a nation.
- When warnings come they come in waves with each one more intense so the nation would turn back to God. Bible says they ignore every prophet that came to them.What were the warnings? 4 separate attacks.
- Egypt attacked and put a heavy tax on Judah
- Babylon attacked and left only the poorest of the poor.
- Babylon attack again this time destroying the temple and dragging away almost all of the people (Just walk over and surrender and I will spare everyone.
- Those left he puts under Gedeliah who is murdered so those left flee to Egypt.
No hope left for Israel.
3. Daniel's Motivation for Prayer
Back to why did Daniel open the windows toward Jerusalem and pray at the risk of his own life?
Go back to the beginning of the temple when it was first built.
Solomon is dedicating the temple and there is going to be such a presence of God that no one can even stay in the building.
Then Solomon prays a prophetic prayer.
1 Kings 8 We will turn our backs on you and we will end up in a foreign land. In that time.
Vs 48 “If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their enemies and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors-- toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name then hear their prayers and their petition from heaven where you live and uphold their cause”
Daniel faced Jerusalem with the windows open because of this verse in the bible.
If Israel was going to exists, it was going to have to be God who was going to have to uphold their cause.
Part two of his motivation Daniel 9: 1 – 3 There is a promise in Jeremiah that God would restore Israel in 70 years
Holding onto one promise for 70 years.
Daniel is praying for something he would probably never see himself
I would have started praying at year 69, but not Daniel, he prayed the whole time.
Vs 4 O Lord you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.
We didn't obey your command forgive us. Daniel prayed for 70 years based on one verse and a knowledge of who His God was.
EXAMPLE: At the master's commission graduation of my daughter. They were to pray an hour a day. When they didn't feel like it and could not pray, they were encouraged to pray about it so they could pray.
4. Pray the Night Away.
More intense than just a three time a day prayer. He is going to spend a night in a lions den and pray all night.
Last time desperate enough for something that we prayed all night.
EXAMPLE: in 100 B.C. there was a drought in Israel. God was not sending any prophets to Israel but one man named Honi believed that God was still listening to Israel even if He was not speaking to them. Honi drew a circle around himself and stood in the middle of the circle and prayed: Lord of the universe I swear before Your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children.
A Sprinkle and people rejoiced but Honi prayed "Not for such rain have I prayed but for rain that will fill cisterns and pits and caverns."
Torrential down pour but Honi prayed " not for such rain have I prayed but for rain of your favor, blessing and graciousness."
Finally rain started to fall and refresh Israel
What is your need? It must be something so dead that only God can bring it back to life.
EXAMPLE: Lazarus was dead for days Mary if you had only been here this would not have happened. Problem, Jesus was there now and the miracle was going to happen.
Can we hold onto one verse like Daniel did and trust God even if the situation looks dead.
As a nation we need a great awakening
1860 Rodney Gypsy Smith crossed the ocean 45 times preaching gospel to millions. Secret to those who came to ask him. Go home draw a circle on the ground around you and ask God to start the revival within that chalk circle.