They’re Watching!  

Bill Brinkworth

“Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; butthey could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” Dan. 6:4

As Daniel aged, his movements and actions were continually watched. Possibly because he appeared to be “too good to be true,” and partly because his excellent character convicted onlookers of their lying, cheating, and their lack of testimony. The princes and other local officials observed the man. However, they could not find any flaw in Daniel’s character. His good attitude, even amidst difficult circumstances the 90-year old leader faced, infuriated them more. Daniel’s outstanding testimony was flawless, as far as anyone could see (Daniel 6:3-4).

Daniel’s testimony did not impress his fellow statesmen, as it should have.  His behavior only led them to devise a conspiracy to force him to fall.  Perhaps eliminating the outstanding leader would not only open his political position for them to occupy, but would also get rid of an example that daily convicted them of their short-comings.

They devised a plan (Dan. 6:7-9) which involved duping King Darius to pass a law forbidding anyone to ask any God or man, except the King, for anything for 30 days.  The King passed the decree. They knew very well that Daniel would not stop his prayer time with the Lord under any circumstances (Dan. 6:5).  The rulers were hoping that Daniel’s love and commitment to God would be his downfall.

Their plan did work.  Although Daniel knew of the law, he boldly opened the windows of his prayer chamber; so all could see that no law of man, or anything else, would deter him from his daily conversations with God Almighty. He did get caught, and was thrown into a den of lions as punishment for breaking their law and not going to the government only for his needs and fellowship.

The story did not end there.  An angel of the Lord closed the mouths of the carnivores, and Daniel was unharmed.  The king, seeing the protection of God and realizing he had been manipulated into trying to get rid of the man of God, had the conspirators thrown into the same den.  They were not protected, and they perished.

Although Daniel’s experience in the lions’ den occurred over 2,500 years ago, man has not changed much.  There are still those that watch people that claim to be the children of God.  Perhaps, it is because deep down in their hearts they know there is a God, and they want to see some reflection of a living God in others’ lives.  Those that they observe making mistakes (it is curious how an unspiritual person thinks he can judge one that is trying to live spiritually) are often quickly labeled as “hypocrites.”  Those that “pass” their scrupulous observations are their proof that there is a God, and His way works.  However, too many, instead of changing their lifestyle to a godly one that brings joy and peace, even after watching a good Christian testimony, will often ridicule and persecute those that have a successful, God-approved life.

This type of persecution happened to other biblical people, including: Paul, John, and even Jesus.   We can expect this persecution even today, and it continues. It has been estimated that 163,000 Christans die every year for their faith in countries such as: Myanmar, China, Egypt, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. In America it is common for some to make derogatory remarks against Christians. Often they are the brunt of unkind jokes.

However, those that have not found the peace of God that passes all understanding are still watching.  Since not many read the Word of God for themselves, a good Christian testimony may be all of God onlookers ever see.

If you are a Christian, your testimony is under observation. When you get mad, do others see that you behave just like the unsaved? On Sunday, do they observe you in the same places the unsaved go on the Lord’s day, rather than the house of God? At work, do they see you stealing time from your employer? At leisure, are you spotted doing things that even the unsaved know are not right?  Is your language improper and scrutinized as language inappropriate for a believer? Does your example give those considering obeying God an excuse for not following God’s commands, or does examination of your testimony lead others to the same conclusion they came to about Daniel’s life, they “… could not find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (Dan. 6:4).

Christians are not perfect because they are still made of the same sinful flesh they were born with. They will still fall short of living a perfectly godly life.  They may face persecution, but the same God that protected Daniel can protect them. No matter their situation, their Christian example is important.  They must dare to be like Daniel, because there are many that are watching! Their upright behavior may be the link to someone’s turning to Christ.

“A good example has twice the value of good advice.”

This article was featured in The Bible View #383.

dftb 7/16

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