Daniel 6:1-5 – “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” NKJV
That which set Daniel apart from his contemporaries is found in the words “because an excellent spirit was in him…” Without attempting to be a Hebrew scholar the word translated excellent means: what hangs over, which is abundant or more than enough. It comes from a root that means: to make plenteous. What was in Daniel stood out, was abundant, and more than enough it was plenteous. It was not an anomaly of character but normal in his life for it proceeded from his spirit. It was who he was!
Those who wanted to destroy Daniel acknowledged this in saying, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel UNLESS we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” [Emphasis mine]. Daniel’s character was such they readily acknowledged his faithfulness and integrity would not offer them a place to accuse him. He not only talked the talk he walked the walk so they had to find another way to bring him down.
Daniel’s integrity would be used against him for they knew that if they could make something within his faith illegal, his integrity and commitment to God would ensnare him. They were right! Daniel’s excellent spirit endeared him to the king but once duped into making a decree he could not safely face and not condemn Daniel for violation of it. This reminds me of the disciples with the Jewish leaders when commanded not to speak anymore in the name of Jesus declared, “Whom shall we obey? You or God?” The Jewish leaders thought they could prevent the disciples from going forward whereas Daniels counterparts hoped for the opposite. They wanted his devotion to God to cause him to disregard the decree of the king and thereby bring him to destruction physically. They were right and they were wrong for we know the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den!
Would to God that we had more today who demonstrated an ‘excellent spirit’ where no fault could be found in our attitude or actions. If we want to see revival, renewal, and restoration in the land we must become more like Daniel having an ‘excellent spirit’ within enabling us to manifest Christ in our lives and interactions with others. That which distinguishes a person or sets them apart is that which emanates from our core being. No wonder David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart and renew in me a right spirit.” He understood that ‘excellence of spirit’ was that which would have the greatest impact on the world in which he lived.
May God be with you as you go through your day!