Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.
After being seized and taken away into captivity in Babylon, Daniel became part of a select group of outstanding young Israelite men who were chosen to be part of King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Though he was taken into exile, given a different name, and distanced by many miles from familiarity and family, through it all Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s food and drink (Daniel 1:12-16). He stood out as a man of integrity amid the moral decay of his time.
Daniel distinguished himself within the structure of the governments he served by the quality of his life. Over many years, his loyalty proved to be unquestionable. He was a man of consistency, which he displayed through a succession of kingdoms. He had an extraordinary capacity for facing and overcoming difficulties, as well as God-given wisdom which enabled him to provide counsel that would alter the course of human history.
While the governmental positions that Daniel occupied were susceptible to corruption, he distinguished himself by saying no to all kinds of dishonesty. He was neither negligent nor unethical, nor was there a gap between his public activities and his private life. He was blameless in the eyes of his fellow man. Even colleagues who were jealous and despised him because of his distinctiveness could find no ground for complaint.
Filled with envy, these officials eventually decided to plot against Daniel. They didn’t like his unswerving commitment to his God or the fact that he occupied a position of power. They couldn’t handle the way that he displayed through his life an unshakable conviction regarding the might and purity of God. Holy living often brings that kind of disdain. Daniel was framed not because he was a bad fellow but because he stood for truth. He loved what God loves, and he lived it out.
Is your life marked by a similar conviction? Do your actions declare the truth about your God? Are you prepared to diligently cultivate a passion for integrity? Are you more concerned with obeying God than with what others think of you? Jesus warned His followers that they would be reviled and would experience persecution for His sake (Matthew 5:11) even as they lived in a way that revealed and commended their Father (v 14-16). Live with the kind of devotion that Daniel had; be unequivocal in your commitment to love what God loves, and then live it out.
1 Peter 2:9-17
Topics: Holiness Obeying God Purity
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,