When I think of a life of complete integrity, I immediately think of the perfect life of Jesus Christ. As we read scripture, we learn details of the lives of many others who lived. The Lord has purpose in sharing those lives with us. One whose life modeled integrity is that of the prophet Daniel.
The life story of Daniel reveals many details of a man who lived in confidence and integrity, whose life honored the Lord. His life story began much before we learn of him as a young man lead away into captivity to Babylon (Daniel 1:6),it is shown in the way he lived his faith in this foreign land under a pagan ruler, King Nebuchadnezzar.
He and a few companions were chosen to be in the court of this ruler by virtue of their good looks and lineage of royalty (Daniel 1:3-4), but it was Daniel who decided not to give up on the faith instilled in him by his parents, now that they were under foreign rule. (Daniel 1:8-9).It is apparent that his parents instilled in him the proper respect and faith in the Lord no matter where he lived.
This respect developed into a life of uncompromising faith and the Lord used him in many powerful ways. He was an intelligent man and the Lord gave him the ability to interpret dreams of the king; gave him the ability or organized supplies and equipment, and prophesied of impending dangers.
Never once did Daniel even hint that this knowledge was of his own mind, but gave the complete credit to the Lord from where his knowledge came.
During his lifetime, he served under three rulers of Babylon. Although they were pagans, meaning those who did not honor nor worship the One true God, but had many gods, the Lord used Daniel time and time again to prove there is only One God that rules both heaven and earth.
In the final chapters of Daniel’s life is where we find that other powerful positioned men were jealous of Daniel’s integrity and his God. They knew that there was no way to cause Daniel to lose favor in the king’s eyes, so they devised an evil plan against his loyalty to the Lord.
The scripture tells us how they went to the king and played on his ego. These men convinced the king to sign an irrevocable agreement that “no one for thirty days could pray to anyone divine or human –except to pray to the king- the punishment would be thrown to the lions" (Daniel 6:6-9) But no human law would stop Daniel from praying to the Lord three times a day, as he was known to do.
When the king learned the truth, he mourned for Daniel, but Daniel went fearlessly to the lions den, because he knew no matter what happened the Lord reigns over all life and all death. Daniel was protected by the truth of his God and those who sought him harm were killed by the very lions that were meant for Daniel.
This picture of his life is one that we can honor and respect, but can we say the same for ourselves? When we look in the mirror, do we see a person who loves and adores the Lord? Is it a reflection of a person whose heart longs to glorify and bring praise to the King of Kings? Or do are we just giving the Lord lip service?
Everyday is a new day to begin again, start today by asking the Lord to help you develop a life of integrity, one that no one can speak a word against.
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