Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel…
As surely as God lives, the Author of all real goodness, loyalty shall become, in due time, royalty. Faithful devotion to him shall be honoured in the presence of monarchs and mighty men. The man who bows in lowly homage at the feet of the Eternal shall by-and-by see others at his feet. "Before honour is humility."
I. THE PROPHET'S SUCCESS. Daniel had proceeded, with honest fidelity, to declare to the king the truth entrusted to his keeping. He had not flattered Nebuchadnezzar with glittering and delusive hopes. He had held out no prospect that the Chaldean kingdom should be permanent. Nevertheless, the Chaldean king felt that there was an authority and a majesty in the truth, vastly superior to his own. He bowed before it. The previous discovery of the magicians' falseness had prepared his mind to value truth; hence he prostrated himself before the visible representative of heavenly truth, with that abject mode of prostration common in his court. The truth from the prophet's lips had produced that inward sense of personal littleness which accorded with reality. The homage he rendered to God's message was, according to the customs of the age, fitting. There was more of kingly nobleness in Daniel than in Nebuchadnezzar; and the monarch, in his way, foresaw the day when the sons of God shall be manifested in royal power. But it was not fitting that the homage due to the Master should be given to the servant; and, though the narrative leaves Daniel silent here, doubtless he disclaimed all right to such adulation, and directed it to be given to the Divine Author of truth. Publicly did the heathen monarch confess that Jehovah was God above all other gods - King over all other kings. It was no slight change wrought in the convictions and temper of the monarch, when he thus cast obloquy on Chaldea's deities, and confessed the power of Israel's God. This was the success which Daniel had sought.
II. THE PROPHET'S REWARD. Although Daniel declines to accept the homage which was due only to the unseen God, he does not fall therefore in the monarch's esteem: he rises higher still. Then the candid honesty of the man compels him to forego worldly advantage, that he may be loyal to truth and to God. Such a man is worthy of large and implicit trust. The interests of the empire can be entrusted to no better hands. He shall stand next to the king: he shall be king in all but the name! No human sovereign can make Daniel a great man. He was great already, moulded and fashioned into greatness by a Divine hand. Such intrinsic greatness the world could not give nor take away. Outward signs of greatness, however, the king conferred. He gave him riches; he gave him rule; made him prime minister of state. The king had learnt by experience that no expense spent on Daniel had been waste. His nourishment and education of Daniel for three years had proved most remunerative outlay. Amply had he been repaid. And now gratitude and interest alike prompted him to confer all possible power upon this right noble man. Never could the title be better conferred - "most excellent," or "right honourable." He "sat in the gate'" to direct the administration and to dispense justice. This was the "sublime porte" of Babylon
III. THE PROPHET'S SELF-FORGETFUL SPIRIT. He has but one request to make of the king, and this request was not for himself, but for others. Having been highly exalted, be seeks gifts for men. Nowhere does the nobility and magnanimity of the man come more into view than here. His sudden elevation to rank and riches and rule have not spoilt him. In him lurks no ambitious pride. He has no thought of invidious rivalry. He is unwilling to enjoy his honours alone. In that hour of unexpected triumph he does not forget his fellow-captives who had joined their prayers to his in the hour of exigency. It may seem a bold petition: it may imperil his reputation with the king. To ask that the native Chaldeans - the officers who had gained illustrious honour by the conquest of Jerusalem - should be displaced to make room for three obscure and captive Jews: truly, this was a large request. Does not Daniel jeopardize all his gains by this daring proposal? Come what will, he will serve his nation, he will serve his God. And if, by sagacious foresight, he can diminish the oppressions of his countrymen, or pave the path for their return to Palestine, he will do it. The sacred fire aglow in his heart is revealed. Self is obliterated. To do good to Jew and Gentile alike - this is his sweet ambition! O man, "beloved. of God," thy name shall be embalmed in fragrant remembrance. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.