It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;…
Daniel shows us that the law of life is this — character shall be honoured with respect, confidence, high place, and success. If the law does not work out these results, in any particular case, it must be because of some special hindrance. Sooner or later every man finds his place, and gets what he is worth. Life is not a lottery. In speaking of Daniel's honour, it will at once appear that it was political, And we need more Godly men in high places. Daniel did not reach his position by any sudden spring. He had lesser offices first, in which his faithfulness was proved. Daniel won his position because "an excellent spirit was in him." Before dealing with the honours that wait on character, a word must be said on the relation between talent and character. These two things are often separated. Men of genius are not always men of character. Byron is an extreme instance of this. And men of character are not always men of talent. We have very often to say, "Yes, he is a very good man, but not very clever." No man of genius can afford to despise character; and no man of character should rest until he has added to it ability and skill. Daniel took every advantage of Persian culture, and in him we find talent and character blended. With what honour then will God, and the world, crown good character?
I. THE WORLD HONOURS CHARACTER WITH ITS RESPECT. And that is far better thing than position, riches, and fame. Have character rooted in God, and if men mock you to the face, you may be sure that in your deep heart they think of you as Balaam did of Sarah. The respect in which the good man is held comes out when he is dead.
II. THE WORLD HONOURS CHARACTER WITH ITS MATERIAL BLESSINGS. This is not an invariable rule. Some cannot bear the risks of prosperity. Many of us do well to pray, "Give me neither poverty nor riches." Yet it is generally true that character wins the places of trust, and character keeps the places it gains. Illustrated by Joseph and Obadiah. But how does God honour character? With His approval, and with the sense of that approval in a man's own soul. With His special acceptance in the world to come. By making it witness for him here on earth; as in this case of Daniel God makes the men of character to be in His world as "salt," as "cities on hills," and as the "Light." Their highest honour lies in their influence, their witness, and their work.
(Robert Tuck, B.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;