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. 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 6:3-5 (NIV).
Yes, we have been here before. In the Bible, the accounts of Joseph, Mordecai, David, Paul, and others tell the stories of how good men and women faithfully served the Lord by serving other, secular authorities and were hated by their secular peers for it. Admit it: you’ve seen that too. When you rise to the top, you become the most visible target. When you do a good job, there’s always someone else who wants to take credit for what you’ve done. Got skin, got sin; this kind of jealousy is wired into our sin-disposed natures.
When you are in the public eye, especially in our interconnected age of the internet, someone will always try to take you down. Especially if you are a person of faith in the Christian community. You’re going to be attacked for what you believe, how you act, what you say. It has happened to me, even when I didn’t do things to deserve it (though all too often I have). It will happen to you as well if you are a follower of Jesus. Jesus mentions and guarantees it.
It was happening (again) to Daniel. As you’ll recall, years before, it had happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Back then, it was the court insiders who conspired against Daniel’s friends. Now, it is Daniel’s peers, his fellow administrators. I think of them as similar to vice-presidents in a corporation. Or colonels and generals in today’s military. They’re definitely like many of our politicians: high-ranking individuals who are entrusted with great power yet whose first concern is, usually, self-preservation and not serving others.
We’ll say it again: got skin, got sin. It’s in their nature. It’s in your nature and mine.
What the satraps/colonels/vice-presidents of “New Babylon” don’t realize is that, in conspiring against Daniel, they’re really conspiring against God. Their jealous sins don’t grasp this and won’t until it’s too late. Just like us. Instead of just trying to take out Daniel, they’re also attacking God through their sneaky duplicity.
For further reading: Genesis 41:41, Esther 10:3, Jeremiah 20:10, Acts 24:13-16, Daniel 6:6
Lord, teach me to never conspire, to never plot against others or You. Teach me today, instead, to only follow You, to think and act only in godly ways.
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