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Goodness (7) Daniel’s Goodness

Manmin News   No. 731
November 20, 2022

“Then Daniel spoke to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime’” (Daniel 6:21-22)

A Jewish boy, Daniel was taken to Babylon as a captive. He thoroughly hated what God hates even in the Gentile country. His faith didn’t change and he steadfastly followed God’s good will regardless of the passing of time and change of his situations. God was pleased with him and let him gain greater power and honor.
In the world there are a few people who will give up their lives for what is deemed to be their moral duty or what is righteous in their own sight. But the righteousness lacking in goodness is not perfect and cannot bear beautiful fruits. Through the account in which Daniel and his three friends never compromised but kept their trust in God we can find how good their hearts and confessions were. Then, what is Daniel’s goodness like that moved God’s heart?

1. Daniel didn’t harm people who tried to kill him because of groundless accusations

At the time of King Darius of Persia, Daniel was appointed as one of the three administrators over the whole kingdom. He found more favor in the king’s eyes than any other commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.

Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find some grounds for accusation against Daniel in regard to royal court affairs. But, inasmuch as he was faithful they could find no such grounds. They could find no evidence of corruption, negligence or misconduct in him. The wicked officials didn’t stop there and made a plot for Daniel’s praying in accordance with Jewish law.

They knew that Daniel prayed to God towards Jerusalem three times a day and consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction against anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides the king. They even asked the king to establish the injunction and sign the document so that it could not be changed.
But Daniel had such an excellent spirit and understanding and wisdom from above that he was able to notice what kind of scheme they had plotted and what was happening around him. In addition, he was so greatly favored and trusted by the king that had he told the king what they had plotted and for what purpose they had done so their evil scheme would have been demolished in advance because the king trusted Daniel so much.

However, Daniel neither reported it to the king nor protested against the wicked people. He kept silent because he trusted God from his heart, and although Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and published by the king, three times a day he prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had been doing previously. That was because Daniel had a good heart in which he had no desire to bring harm to anyone.

If he had reported everything to the king, there was no doubt that they would have been harmed. But Daniel never desired harm to come to anybody because of the king’s favor toward him. Daniel fully believed that it is only God who governs life and death, blessing and woes of men. This kind of faith of Daniel was deemed to be goodness in the sight of God.

Even if you know your words will harm some people, if you are not careful in your words and deeds, it is a proof that you are far distanced from goodness. As much as you have accomplished goodness in your heart, whenever you say something, you will check and remove what may harm others or be offensive to them. Then, you will decide not to say something immediately or say it using an expression of goodness if you must say something.

2. Daniel understood and comforted others in situations where they could be embarrassed

Daniel’s faith was so steadfast and unchanging that wicked people knew it well in advance. They expected that Daniel would continue to pray as he had done before although he knew the document of the decree was signed by the king. As they plotted, Daniel prayed to God three times a day as was his custom since early days. Then the wicked men immediately came to the king and accused Daniel of violating the signed decree. At that moment the king realized they had plotted to have the decree published to cause Daniel’s downfall.

When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed. He was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. Then, the king could not hesitate anymore and commanded for Daniel to be thrown into the lions’ den. And he said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” It does tell us that Daniel had let the king recognize the living God.

Now the king could not conceal the misery in his heart because he did not protect his beloved man Daniel but had let him be thrown into the lions’ den. The king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. At the first light of dawn, the king went out and hurried to the lions’ den.

When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” The king expected that Daniel had already lost his life and that his body had been torn into pieces and eaten by the lions. He didn’t call to Daniel because he thought Daniel was alive. But to his amazement, Daniel’s voice was heard from the inside of the den.

Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”

Each word that Daniel confessed comforted and pleased the heart of the king. If Daniel had felt that he had been mistreated, he probably would not have confessed with this kind of goodness. Rather he would probably have responded with complaints and ill feelings, “O King, I have never harmed the king or anybody, but why did you listen to the words of wicked people and sentence me to death? Look! My God sent His angels and shut the mouths of lions so that none of them would harm me.”

Then, the king would have been at a loss and greatly embarrassed. But in fact Daniel had no complaints nor did he have any ill feelings toward the king at all. Instead he worried that the king might feel pain and sorrow after he had been thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel wanted to let the king know he had survived in the terrible den as soon as he was able so that he could stop lamenting. When the king hurried to the lions’ den at the break of day, Daniel said to the king, “O King, live forever!” and comforted him. And then he spoke about the work of God.

If you were in Daniel’s shoes, could you confess those good words like Daniel? When your opinions had been rejected and all you had done seemed to go wrong, what would you have said? Have you encouraged other members in real-life situations to rely on God steadfastly saying, “Now, let’s look for a better way? If we depend on God even past the end, God will work for the good.” Or, have you pointed out others’ errors, offended them and hurt their feelings, saying, “Well, you did not follow my advice, so the job we had to do has gone wrong like this because of you.”

People would already feel like hiding. If you say something like this, how terrible would they feel? No matter how true your words are, if the words burden them and hurt their feelings you must abstain from it. A good-hearted person will control words like these in his heart. He will understand their place and say and act so that they might not feel so disheartened.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if you serve one another in the church and act the same in your home as well, it will be like living in Heaven. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will seek to serve others first rather than to be the first to be served, and comfort them so that wherever you do, you will do it to accomplish the good heart of God.




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