Godly Reputation

“And they went before the king and spoke concerning the king’s decree: ‘Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?’ The king answered and said, ‘The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.’ So they answered and said before the king, ‘That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show you regard, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.’”—Daniel 6:12-13 (NKJV)

Daniel experienced trials and brushes with death while in captivity under three powerful kings. He could have been sentenced to death at any moment if the king became upset.

King Darius witnessed Daniel’s integrity and trustworthiness. He prepared to set him up with an important position within the kingdom. However, those in the king’s court were jealous of Daniel, so they set things up in a way to incriminate Daniel by getting the king to agree to a sinful decree.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

As we look at Daniel’s life, we consistently see he displays godly character:

  1. He knew, trusted, and obeyed God (Psalm 37:3a).
  2. He honored God his whole life (Colossians 3:17).
  3. Threats and suffering didn’t shake his foundation which was set on God (Matthew 7:24).
  4. He knew Satan was his enemy and that did not faze him (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV) says, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” Daniel’s accusers carried out four of the six things the Lord hates, which is very serious in God’s eyes.

But what about Daniel? How did he respond? Well, often the Bible says a great deal by not saying anything. We don’t see Daniel’s response. We don’t see him try to defend himself or beg for his life. We don’t see him try to get revenge on these men. This indicates to us that Daniel simply trusted the Lord and, like Jesus, simply walked the path of an innocent man being led to his death, of a lamb being led to slaughter. Why? Because he trusted in the Lord and surely believed the Lord’s will would be accomplished.

Like his friends before him, Daniel must have had faith the Lord would deliver him; either that or it was the will of God for Daniel to die and come into His presence. And for us today, I pray we can live with this same devotion, walking with conviction and trusting in the Lord.

DIG: How have you responded to false accusations or blame against you?

DISCOVER: When wronged, do you tend to defend yourself or allow God to defend you like Daniel?

DO: Read Act 6:3 and Acts 11:24. Stephen and Barnabas are good examples of men with a godly reputation.