When Character & Corruption Collide

“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.’ ”  Daniel 6:4&5.

Amazing isn’t it?  This passage out of the bible gives us insight into a person with such character that it almost seems unattainable in our day and age.  Much like the patriarch Job, Daniel was a man of outstanding conviction and integrity.  He was not corrupt, he could be trusted and he was not negligent.  He was the man who rose to the occasion of whatever task was given to him.  He was the one you would want to have as an employee, or better yet promote to manager if you owned a business.  In fact, throughout the book of Daniel it is stated that he was indeed promoted several times.  Daniel and three of his friends were considered to have no equals in excellence in the area of character, wisdom and physical health.  Sounds almost like a super hero sort of a guy that one might find in a Marvel Comic.  It would be comfortable for us to dismiss him as that because then we could make excuses for why we aren’t like him. At least we are real and human, not looking all perfect.  However….Daniel was only a man just like us.  He wasn’t perfect in his very nature of being human but he was above reproach and without fault in his conduct.  He had a loyalty to those values that were God’s and God’s alone.

So what was the character of those administrators and satraps that were trying to find grounds for charges against Daniel?   The first observation would be jealousy.  Prior to the above quoted passage, we are told in vs. 3 that Daniel was so distinguished among these others that the king planned to set him above the whole kingdom.  They couldn’t let that happen now could they?  After all, who was this young upstart to come in and usurp their positions?  He must be stopped at all costs.  Let the scheming begin.  They tried as hard as possible to find some dirt, some smut, some sort of behavior that could be used against Daniel but they could only find one thing.  He was absolutely devoted and resolute to follow His God and His God alone.   Aha!  This will be what will bring Daniel to the infamous place of being thrown in the lion’s den!  They will point out to the king that this exceptional man is too zealous for his God and that this conflicts with what should be his first priority of allegiance…the king.  Their character of jealousy, self interest, desire for power and position led them to incriminate one who’s only fault was a devotion to live out the laws of his God, which by the way, look nothing like the values of the opposition.  Their character was corrupt to the core and there was no excuse, for they were mere men just like Daniel.

The question might be, where does this bring us in contrast to the two?  It is holy ground to stand before a God who weighs and probes the motives of a man’s heart.  Where do we stand if these questions are put to us?  Am I in any way corrupt?  Am I trustworthy?  Am I negligent or responsible with those tasks set before me?  Am I a jealous person? Am I jealous to the point that I will try to slander a person’s character to exalt myself?  Do I scheme to promote my agenda?  Do I have a desire for power and position or need to be next to those people who do?  Am I a Daniel or his opposition?

There are choices here and we do well to soberly ponder which of these characters we most look like.  At the end of the day, with God’s help may it be on the side of Daniel and with the words of Joshua “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

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