So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
His temporal prosperity comes clearly and manifestly from his spiritual fidelity. We profess Daniel's faith; only, with this difference, that we ought really to have a more open vision of God and the verities of eternity than Daniel had. For heaven has been more widely opened since his day to the open eye of a believer's soul. Notice that when once a man, especially a young man in a great city like this, gives his heart, his destiny, openly, unreservedly, into the hands of a covenant God, his life enters into a wonderful simplicity. Then you have only one thing to do. Blow high or low, come rain or shine, whatever be the circumstances in which you are placed, there is only one thing to be done — and that is in all to keep yourself true to God. Sailing across seas of time and sin to God's haven in eternity is the plainest sailing. You have simply all the time to keep on the one tack and set the bow the one way. Look at this narrative. There is a man here whose life is threatened. He was the best hated man in the city, and those who hated him were not fools. They baited the trap so skilfully that even King Darius jumped at it, and Darius was no fool either, but they fooled him. They put Darius in a trap. They failed to put Daniel in one. When he knew that the writing was signed, and he knew that if he prayed his enemies would be listening, he just went on praying as aforetime. It is not otherwise with us than it was with Daniel. The world still says, "We could put up with those Christians well enough if it were not for their Christianity." These men got to see that Daniel was the man he was because he was true to his God. They saw that God was the strength of his mind, as well as the name upon his tongue in. worship. A Christian has only one thing to do. "Forgetting the things that are behind, to reach forth unto those that are before," and he must disregard everything that comes against him as he seeks in the way of whole-hearted consecration to live for God and for eternity, and to do his duty in the world, making God his mark, way and end, and being utterly done with self pleasing. This Daniel was a manor prayer. But Daniel was a busy man. He really had the government upon his shoulders. Yet this man found time three times a day to kneel and pray to the God of heaven. And the best method for the working of a heavy business, for getting through a heavy day's work, is to be a man of prayer. This principle of prayer — this fixed habit of communion with God — is like the policeman at a busy crossing. In his prayer Daniel "gave thanks." Think of that! Think of that hunted, badgered, persecuted man on that critical day going in before his God, and saying, "My God, I thank thee!" If you give your heart to Jesus Christ, you will never be without cause of thankfulness. The man who fears God only need have no other fear...But suppose the lions had killed Daniel. What then? He still would have work. "They never fail who die in a great cause." If you are wholehearted towards God, there is no defeat. See John the Baptist. Because he was faithful to God and conscience, his head rolled off the block into the basket. But he did not fail. There is no reverse, there is no possible disaster in any true sense, to the man who, like Daniel, has just one thing to do — to kneel down upon his knees in the high and awful crisis of his history to give thanks to God.
Parallel VersesKJV: So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.