My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty. Daniel 6:22 (NLT).
The English critic and writer, Samuel Johnson said, “It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”
How are you living? The reason why Daniel wasn’t gobbled up by the lions was because he was found blameless before God and man. When the word “blameless” is used in reference to Daniel it means to be innocent of any charges that may be laid against him should there be a public investigation.
Now we’re all sinners and all fall short. But our inclination to sin isn’t an excuse to sin. In Romans 16:19 God says, “… I want you to see clearly what is right and to stay innocent of any wrong” (NLT). Are you “innocent of any wrong”? When the boss at work complains because the telephone bill is disproportionately high due to unauthorized long distance calls, are you innocent? When rumours are flying and gossip is spreading like wildfire, are you innocent? When tempers flare and things are said that shouldn’t be said, are you innocent? When the poor are oppressed and the weak exploited, are you innocent?
It’s tough living in a dark world among crooked, depraved or twisted individuals. We experience struggles at home, challenges at work, and battles that we fight in our bodies, minds and hearts. Life isn’t a bed of roses. It can be a real slog at times. Sometimes life’s tough because we’ve made the wrong choices. And sometimes it’s tough because the devil doesn’t want us to live blamelessly. He goes all out to tempt and trick us. Remember, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10 (NLT). But here’s the good news. Because of Christ, because of His victory over sin and death at the cross of Calvary, “You have already won your fight … because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” 1 John 4:4 (NLT).
Are you aiming to live blamelessly? It won’t happen if you try to do it in your own strength. You’ll fail if you go it alone. Self reliance is problematic. In 1994 a sixty-three-year-old London accountant knew he needed bladder surgery but couldn’t overcome his fear of doctors and hospitals so he tried to perform the surgery on himself. Tragically, he got an infection and later died. Self-reliance destroyed him.
Daniel was found blameless before God and man because he trusted in God. Maybe one of the reasons why he prayed three times a day was because he knew he needed all the help he could get. So let’s try to be like Daniel. Let’s get all the help we can get. And let’s get that help from God – He’s the only One who can give us all what we really need.