Text: Daniel 6
I. Daniel’s Background
A. Daniel was a young man when Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. He was among those carried off into exile.
B. Because of his abilities, Daniel rose to prominence in the Babylonian kingdom serving under the conqueror, Nebuchadnezzar, his son and his grandson.
C. When the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, Daniel had the unusual distinction of rising to power under this conqueror as well - Daniel 5:30-6:2
D. Daniel was so good at governing, that Darius planned to put him in charge of the entire kingdom - Daniel 6:3
II. Daniel remained faithful in prosperity
A. We expect difficult times to challenge our faith, to try us by fire, and to show our true character - Romans 5:3-5
B. But prosperity is also a challenge to the follower of God - Proverbs 30:7-9
1. When we lose sight of our need for God, it is so easy to stray - Deuteronomy 32:15
2. There is a danger of thinking that what you have is because of your own ability - Deuteronomy 8:17
C. Daniel remained faithful to God even in his prosperity
III. Daniel had integrity that showed - Daniel 6:4
A. Imagine this in our current government. How likely do you think it possible that if other politicians wanted to bring another down would not be able to find something somewhere to pin on the one they despised?
B. Daniel had integrity
1. It means to be complete, upright, innocent of willful wrong doing, a person with a clear conscience.
2. Job was such a man - Job 1:1
a. Even when Satan tried to bring him down, he held to his integrity - Job 2:3
b. Job would not let go - Job 27:3-6
C. There are two other words, closely related to this idea of integrity: upright and blameless
1. None are saying that such a person lives a perfect life and never sins
2. Rather we are seeing an attitude or character of the person. They choose not to degrade themselves and walk the path of sin
3. Psalm 27 - David knew where he stood before God, he knew the direction he was heading, he has kept his innocence.
a. David was a man of integrity, both in man’s eyes and God’s - I Kings 3:6; 9:4
b. Yet we know about David’s sins. It isn’t a lack of sin that defines the upright man, but his attitude toward sin.
4. Too often we put more demands of perfection on ourselves and our fellow man than God requires.
a. It is not that we tolerate or expect sin
b. But we should never expect or demand sinlessness
c. What we should demand is true integrity, true uprightness, and true blamelessness from ourselves and others - Philippians 2:14-16; Colossians 1:21-23; I Thessalonians 3:12-13
d. You see, this is not some lofty goal that only elders obtain. It is a characteristic which ought to be displayed in every Christian
5. A beautiful description of integrity - Isaiah 33:15-17
IV. Notice also that the wicked don’t like those with integrity
A. Those with integrity become a target - Psalm 11:2; 37:14; 64:4
B. They don’t get along - Proverbs 29:27
C. There is hatred - Proverbs 29:10
1. They don’t like the concept of sin, so they mock those who avoid sin - Proverbs 14:9
2. They don’t like being told they are wrong, even indirectly - Amos 5:10
3. In other words, they can’t stand that there is someone successful at living better than themselves.
V. Having found no fault, they turned to another scheme, they make being right a “wrong” - Daniel 6:5-9
A. Woe to those who call good evil - Isaiah 5:20
B. It is an abomination - Proverbs 17:15
C. Today society calls this “political correctness.” Something that once was right is declared to be a wrong for political reasons, not moral reasons.
VI. Daniel maintained his integrity - Daniel 6:10
A. Integrity is not defined by others. It is the choice of following God’s ways - Proverbs 10:29
B. Integrity guides a person into making the correct decisions - Proverbs 11:3
C. It is a clear marked highway - Proverbs 15:19
1. A highway that leads away from evil - Proverbs 16:17
D. There was no question as to how Daniel would respond. He did not compromise his principles simply because others declared them to be wrong.
VII. Daniel was reported, and the punishment handed down, but the king’s response is interesting - Daniel 6:14-16
A. Daniel’s integrity made an impression on the king. The king knew that Daniel constantly served God.
B. The nature of walking in integrity influences people around you - Proverbs 20:7
C. It is why integrity is important in a preacher - Titus 2:7-8
VIII. Daniel was saved because of his integrity - Daniel 6:17-23
A. Integrity is a source of security - Proverbs 10:9
B. It preserves a person - Psalm 25:21
C. Not so for those who sought Daniel’s death - Daniel 6:24
D. Such is the nature of our God - Daniel 6:25-28
E. Knowing this, is integrity the path you choose to walk? - II Peter 3:13-14