Summary: Sixth and final in the series Integrity. Asks the question, "What’s your price?
Integrity - Remove Your Price Tags
Pastor Don Jones
West Glendale Baptist Church
We are coming to the end of our series in Daniel. We have explored a great deal concerning integrity in Daniel’s life. Integrity involves many aspects of life. It has to do with sticking to your beliefs even when others pressure you to believe otherwise. It means we grasp the concept that God is God and we are not and that He deserves all the credit for our accomplishments. It involves realizing that there may be a cost involved in following Jesus. It is not simple to follow Him in today’s world. To follow Him, we must depend on Him totally. And most importantly, integrity involves finishing strong in the race of life. As Paul says in one of my favorite passages in Philippians 3:13,
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
Cue slide - The Distinction
Daniel, as mentioned last week, is in his eighties. The kingdom changed hands the night after his prophecy to Belshazzar. Belshazzar had lost his life to king Darius of the Medes. Darius now controlled the region of Babylon and the surrounding lands. Verses 1-2 says,
It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
Daniel evidently continued to work under the kingship of Darius and was appointed one of three individuals over the satraps. These satraps were underlings, bureaucrats, inferiors, under the king and under Daniel. He was put in charge of them and in the process, impressed Darius as he had Nebuchadnezzar to the point he was to be second only to Darius. He was in a difficult spot, didn’t really approve of his employer, was still in exile, seemingly only gets to deliver bad news to kings (a very dangerous task) and yet, he continues to be the employee of the month. Ecclesiastes 10:9b which says,
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might......
Daniel must have taken this to heart because he was again, by God’s grace, rising in the kingdom. Unfortunately, others were jealous of his hard work and industrious character. Verses 4-6 say,
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men 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.”
Cue slide - The Deception
One definition of satrap was petty bureaucrat. It describes what happens next in the account. They must have been politicians of a sort because they wanted to do some "old fashion mud-slinging" in order to eliminate Daniel and advance their own positions. Hoping to find something against Daniel, these men did a thorough background check. What they found is what we already know. Daniel was a man of impeccable character. He was a true man of integrity. They found nothing they could use.
Ask yourself this question, "If someone was to become jealous of you or your position in life and did a thorough background check on you, would your life be like Daniels"?
Daniel was a man of God. He worshipped, prayed, and lived his life around the Lord. They would use his faith against him. The officials hatched a plot involving Daniel’s prayer life. Verses 6-9 says,
So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.
The king issued the decree. It was only 30 days. I am sure the administrators buttered him up like an ear of corn. Surely it wouldn’t make a difference to anyone after all, you’re the king. You should expect a little homage, you rule the world.