Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011 … Integrity Is Consistent

Passage of the Day: Daniel 6: 1 - 3 … 1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

My Journal for Today: As we move to Chapter 6 of the book of Daniel, the topic of note concerning INTEGRITY is “consistency,” …that is in this context, steadiness and long-term faithfulness in standing for what one believes. And Daniel is certainly a role model when it comes to being consistent and faithful in his long-standing role as quasi prime minister for over 70 years under three kings and two empires (the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires). All three kings, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar’s son), and Darius (a.k.a., “Cyrus”), saw the God-given integrity and talents which set Daniel apart to be able to administer leadership in those kingdoms (see Daniel 2: 48; 5: 29; and today’s passage).

By the way, for some of you Bible scholars who know ancient history, you may ask why there seems to be a discrepancy between the name of Darius, The Mede, who was named as ruler to the Medo-Persian kingdom in the Bible account of Daniel and the name of Cyrus, who was named in history books as the king of this empire at this time in history. According to my reading of John MacArthur and a little personal study, there are two explanations for this so-called inconsistency. First, as was the custom in those times, especially in those cultures, kings often changed names during their rule to increase their standing with their subjects – like a self-proclaimed promotion. Secondly, there is the possibility that Darius was appointed by Cyrus to rule the portion of the Medo-Persian empire where Daniel lived. According to most scholars, the first alternative is the most logical. [see Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985]

At any rate, each of the three kings over seven decades had recognized the consistently superior leadership skills which Daniel exhibited and kept him on as the “prime minister” of the kingdom under the rule of Darius (Cyrus). John MacArthur, in his devotional book Strength for Today on this date, posits that it was likely the influence of Daniel on king Darius [the one from Daniel 6] actually led to the release of the Jews to return to return to Judah (see Ezra 1: 1 – 3). And MacArthur charges all believers, “… despite any political, social, or economic changes that might come, (Christians must) remain faithful to Christ; and He will use you in ways that are exceeding abundantly beyond all you ask or think (see Eph. 3: 20).”

My Prayer Today:
Lord, may I remain steadfast in and for You. Amen

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