"Then Daniel spoke to the king, 'O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime." (Daniel 6:21-22)
What would you do if you had to take responsibility for mistakes you didn't make or if you were falsely accused of something you didn't do? What is a good reaction in such a case? Do you think you should plead innocence right away and try to prove the truth?
Wise and good men don't harm others or react with evil even when they have to bear disadvantages. They just wait for the truth to be revealed and try to solve the matter in a method of goodness. This is because they believe that God, who is truly alive, holds the hands of men of goodness. Daniel wasn't worried that he would be faced with loss when he walked the right way following goodness.
1. Daniel kept his faith
When the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, invaded the kingdom of Judah in 605 B.C. Daniel, who was from the noble family of Judah, was taken as one of the captives to Babylon. The king of Babylon tried to integrate them into the society. He brought in some of the Israelites without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well-informed, and quick to understand. He taught them the language and literature of the Babylonians for three years and assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. Daniel's three friends were also included with them.
However at times there would be some food that had been offered to idols or meat that had been regarded detestable to God. Daniel asked the chief of court officials to permit him and his friends to eat vegetables for ten days and then compare them with other young men who chose to eat the food assigned from the king.
After the ten days, they looked healthier and better-nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. From then on they did not have to eat the food that was offered to idols.
It was difficult for captives to reject the food assigned by the king. Without love and faith towards God, they couldn't have firmly resisted things God hates and serve God in the country filled with the Gentile culture.
God was so pleased with Daniel and his three friends who kept their faith firmly that He let them be appointed at the king's court and gave them understanding in every literature and wisdom. He also gave Daniel ability to understand all kinds of visions and dreams.
2. Daniel didn't harm people who tried to kill him with groundless accusations
Among the three commissioners, King Darius the Mede appointed Daniel as the chief because he was faithful and possessed an extraordinary spirit. The commissioners and satraps envied him and tried to find some grounds of accusation to bring against Daniel. But no evidence of negligence or corruption was to be found in him in regard to both ethics and government affairs.
They devised a scheme with regard to the law of God. They drew up a statute that basically said that anyone who prayed to any god or man except to the king during the next thirty days would be thrown into the lions' den. They then brought it to the king and asked him to sign the document. That statute was a plot of the wicked officials to be able to bring accusation against Daniel, who knelt and prayed three times a day with windows open toward Jerusalem.
Even when Daniel knew that the document was signed by the king, he continued kneeling to pray three times a day. He ended up being thrown into the lions' den. Daniel could have told their evil plan to the king because the king trusted Daniel. But, from his goodness he didn't want to give harm to others. So, he didn't tell the king about it and took no stand against the evil people.
He wouldn't bring harm to them even if it meant he would lose his life as a result of those who had falsely accused him. He completely believed that it is only God who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune.
Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions' den. The king shouted, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
What a surprise! Daniel replied, "O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime" (Daniel 6:21-22).
In such a tense situation, Daniel expressed respect to the king saying, "O king, live forever!" Even though it was because of the statute, most people would have had some resentment toward the king or hated him for being cast into the lions' den. But Daniel had no such feeling because he had no evil.
Men of goodness like Daniel never say anything that might embarrass their superiors even when they made a big mistake. It may be an awkward situation but nobody should say anything, since one should never reveal a superior's mistake to establish personal innocence. Instead, you have to understand their situation where they had no other choice but to do what they had done.
3. Blessings given to innocent men like Daniel
Unlike Daniel, the reason why people profess to believe in God but cannot believe Him completely comes from sin. If you don't commit sins, you have no fear of death no matter how extreme the situation. This is because you believe God the Almighty will protect you and provide the way of escape. Even if you suffer loss, you completely believe that God will cause all things to work together for good and lead you to the way of blessing.
Daniel also said God had saved him because he was found innocent before Him. It showed us the justice of God who doesn't cause loss to the innocent. Meanwhile, those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought before the king and he had them cast into the lions' den. They had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones (Daniel 6:24).
Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language who were living in all the land and made the living God who had saved Daniel known to them. He proclaimed the glory of God (Daniel 6:26-27). Through this, we should realize that guilty men are destined to destruction but innocent men like Daniel are free from death, hardship, and obstacles.
4. To become a man who doesn't do harm to anybody
Daniel didn't do harm to anybody under any circumstances because he has no hard-feeling and no evil. Here, not doing any harm refers to not only doing no harm to others and causing no conflicts to arise with them, but it is also practicing the truth actively.
In order to become a man who doesn't do any harm to others like Daniel, we have to get rid of all the feelings that are against the truth. If Daniel had stopped praying for just the 30 days or he had prayed secretly with the windows closed, he wouldn't have been thrown into the lions' den. But Daniel firmly kept his faith even if it meant the loss of his authority and his life.
He actively practiced the truth even when he could have avoided the situation. He wouldn't spare his life to follow the will of God. He didn't blame God at all or feel any ill-feeling, but just gave thanks and followed in the ways of goodness to all people. When you have such a heart, you can become one who doesn't do any harm. Then, you can receive God's blessings.