Displeasure with self
Our text for study is Daniel 6:14: “Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” The king mentioned in this verse is Darius of the Persian Empire. Darius thought to elevate Daniel over the whole kingdom. (Daniel 6:1-3) Other evil men sought to prevent Daniel from receiving this position by having the king to pass a law forbidding anyone from petitioning any god or man for thirty days other than Darius himself. The penalty for breaking this law would be death. (Daniel 6:4-9) Daniel, who prayed to God three times a day, was caught praying by these evil men who demanded his death. (Daniel 6:10-13)
It is as this point, we are told in verse 14 that the king was “sore displeased with himself”. Once a law was made by the Persians it could not be changed. He tried to deliver Daniel but to no avail. God kept Daniel safe from the lions, but the king had reason to be upset with himself. If he had not been vain and filled with pride so as to make such a law, Daniel’s life would not have been endangered.
Have you ever been displeased with yourself? I wonder how much of the melancholy, depression and anger that people have today is because they are displeased with themselves.
Some are displeased with themselves over things which are really insignificant and do not warrant such reaction. Some think they would feel better about themselves if they had more money and material things. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15)
Others are displeased by their physical looks. If a person were good looking, would that make them better than other people? Beauty in itself doesn’t mean that you will be more liked by others. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) One’s behavior is a greater determining factor of likeability.
However, bad behavior can, like Darius, make us sore displeased with ourselves. Our sins can cause us to loathe ourselves. We ask, “Why did I say those mean things to my children?” “Why did I gossip about my friends and tell things which were not true?” “How could I have been unfaithful to my spouse?” The guilt for our sins can haunt our conscience and remind us of our misdeeds. Think of the following things about which people are displeased with themselves such as drunkenness, murder, gambling, abuse of spouse, etc…
Judas’ displeasure with himself for betraying the Lord caused him to hang himself. (Matthew 27:3-5) Peter was displeased with himself for denying the Lord three times. Peter’s displeasure with himself may have continued for many years to come if not for a resurrected Savior who has the power to forgive all sins. When God forgives us, He is no longer displeased with us as when we were in sin. (James 4:4) Once forgiven, why should we any longer be displeased with ourselves?
Sadly, many people don’t want to be told or condemned about their bad behavior. Such an attitude will not make you feel any better about yourself. You just add self-deceit and rebellion to your list of bad behaviors. Avail yourself of God’s forgiveness and correct your behavior and you will feel much better about yourself. (Romans 7:24-25; 8:1)