Doing our best, as I wrote about yesterday, gives us a good name. What does the Bible say about a good name?
A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
A good name is better than fine perfume.
(Prov 22:1; Eccl 7:1)
I read this morning about Daniel and was fascinated by the way an angelical visitor addressed him.
Daniel had been praying, confessing his sins and the sins of his people. As soon as he started praying an answer was given, which God sent to him through the angel Gabriel.
“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed” (Dan 9:23).
I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude” (Dan 10:2).
Watch this: “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come” (Dan 10:11-14).
Daniel was speechless. He lost his strength and could hardly breathe. But the heavenly visitor touched him and gave him strength. “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong” (Dan 10:19).
Those who study the Bible and prophesies know that Daniel received detailed instructions on things to come, things that are coming to pass in our days, amazing details. What caught my attention is the way Daniel was addressed, as highly esteemed.
I said to God that I wanted to be highly esteemed. And then I realized I am highly esteemed. You are, too. To be esteemed means to be loved, and God loved us so much that he became man to take upon himself the sins of the world and offer us forgiveness and life eternal.
My highly esteemed friend, have you thanked him today for that boundless love? Maybe you’re in a “low” today, and you do not feel very much as highly esteemed. In the eyes of God there is nothing you can do to earn his esteem. You cannot make him love you more or love you less. He just loves you! It’s grace, bountiful (plentiful, abundant, generous, copious, ample, overflowing) grace!
A good name is more desirable than riches, it’s better than fine perfume. Do your best and keep a good name. It will open many door of opportunity for you. But as for being esteemed by God— good name, bad name, no name—, you are esteemed because of his loving grace.
Work on bringing honor to God’s name by keeping a good name. People are not like God. They tend to esteem you based on performance. Let’s do our best to keep a good name, because that way we honor God’s name. It’s sort of a circle effect.
I’d love to have an angel address me as highly esteemed. Mary, the young girl that would be the mother of Jesus was addressed, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen 6:8).
“Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God” (Ex 32:1).
“Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the LORD and is full of his blessing” (Deut 33:23).
“Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD listened to him” (2 Kings 13:4).
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless” (Ps 84:11).
“A good man obtains favor from the LORD” (Prov 12:2).
The favor of God will give you a good name and you will be esteemed in heaven and on earth. Probably not below the earth, but I’m sure you’re not looking for approval from those quarters!
You have God’s esteem. I wish you his favor. May His Name by exalted through our good names!