Thursday, October 31, 2019


Daniel had quite a reputation in Babylon. It's not clear whether anyone in Israel knew him, but the higher-ups in Babylon certainly did some of those lower-downs trying to climb the ladder. 

He was known for his wisdom, which he always attributed to God. He was known for his integrity, which he attributed to his faith. He was known for his insight, which he credited to God. He was known as a man of God, which led to his problems. 

See, Daniel passed up a lot of Babylonians on his quick ascent to the top. He comes in as an exile as is basically given the kingdom, so of course a lot of guys who have been working their lives away to get there are upset that this...this foreigner...just stole it right out from under them. And they decide they've had enough. They decide the best thing to do is to get rid of this Daniel. 

Now, usually, if you want to plot and scheme against someone, you set a trap for them. You get them to show their weakness, their fallibility. You get them to mess up and mess up good...and publicly...and then you shame them and drive them into the ground for it until the image of this upstanding, incredible, amazing person is shattered. You set them up to do wrong and then you tempt them into it until they take the bait. 

Except even Daniel's enemies knew that wouldn't work on him. 

The only way to get Daniel to do wrong...was to make doing right...wrong. It was to make his righteousness illegal, to make his goodness cause him problems. Big problems. 

He was known so much for being a faithful, righteous, humble man of God that the only way to get him was to make his faithful, righteous, humble life look like a threat. They had no other choice.

Which begs the question:

What are you known for?

I know, ouch. But it's worth thinking about. What do your enemies know you for that they could use against you if they wanted you to fall? Would you be an easy person to set a trap for? Would you be an easy one to snare? 

The answer, for every one of us, is that there's something. There's something you could set out in front of us that would cause us to break stride, that would make us stop and stumble. There's something you could draw us in with that would get us to turn our eyes, even for just a few seconds. There's something you could say or do or offer that we would honestly consider, or maybe we wouldn't even consider it, we'd just jump right in. 

We're fallible, every one of us. We've got our weaknesses, every one of us. We're not perfect, not one of us. And I'm going to say, the same is true of Daniel. 

But the witness of faith was so strong in his life that no one looking in on him could figure out what he would fall for. No one trying to trip him up knew where to tie the strings. He was so thoroughly authentic in his righteousness that when they decided to come against him, that was all they had to go on. It was not the only true thing about him, but it was the truest thing about him. 

What's the truest thing about you? You have to know the answer to this question because I'm telling you, that's the thing that your enemy is going to use against you. That's the thing you have to be on guard about. Is it goodness? Is it righteousness? Then that's the thing you have to guard. Whatever it is, that's what your enemy is coming for, so you better know for yourself before the trap is set. 

Then, at least, you know what you're getting into and where you're most likely to fall. 

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