Miscellaneous thoughts on the biographical section of Daniel.
Daniel 2:4b through the end of chapter 7 are written in 3rd person by Daniel in Aramaic.Â These chapters contain the “story” of Daniel and his three friends.Â Within these stories are messages of judgment (related to Gentile kings) wrapped in lesson of conviction, commitment, courage, confidence in God and calm in the face of conflict–all pointing to what integrity is.
This makes we wonder–how did Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah develop this integrity?Â An integrity that did not waver even in the face
–a challenge to their identity and therefore a commitment to their God (Daniel 1)
–a challenge to their lives due to their commitment to their God (Daniel 3 and 6)
–and the other challenges of living and working in a pagan society and maintain their commitment to God–for a life time (see Daniel 1:1 and 27; 6:1-2 and 28).
While I would love to know how their parent raise them (until they were deported to Babylon), we don’t have that information.Â But Daniel does gives us three clues to developing and maintaining integrity.
First, in the early chapters when the four men were faced with a difficult situations and decisions–they stuck together, supporting and praying (Daniel 1; 2:17-18; 3:16-18).
Second, Daniel is a man of prayer.Â We see this when he faces difficulty (Daniel 2:17-18; 9:3-19). But also how being a man of prayer (devoted to God) was the cause for him to encounter difficulty, because prayer was a personal discipline (Daniel 6:5, 10).
Third, Daniel is a man of the Word.Â Even though he held a very significant office (busy?) and was probably in his 70s or 80s, he made time to study God’s Word (9:1-2), it was another of his personal disciplines.
To develop integrity we must spend time with God.
To develop integrity it helps to pursue God with others (2 Timothy 2:22).