Oh, Danny Boy!
Whenever we move from one year to another there are lists all over media…Top Stories, Funniest Moments, Most Influential People, etc. etc. you’ve seen them. I don’t mind confessing that I like lists; not only do I like these re-cap lists but I like the ones that tell you 10 Ways to Organize Your Closet, 6 Foods to Eat Now and I also like making lists. I make grocery lists, vacation lists, I have lists of restaurants I want to visit, books I have read, books I want to read – yep, I’m one of those!
Lists help me stay organized and focused, help me set personal goals, let me find things easily and, most important, remember stuff. A well-written list is clear, exact, and brief. When life is very busy and chaotic, a list helps me feel like I have been productive as I cross off the “dones”.
Perhaps my little OLM (Obsessive List Making) may seem weird to you but it works for me and I think God must like lists too because His Word is full of them. The Ten Commandments comes to mind as one of God’s most well known lists but recently I found an amazing list in the Book of Daniel.
As a young Israelite man, Daniel was taken to the land of Babylon to serve in the household of the king. He served for about 70 years and, in the Book of Daniel, he describes his experiences.
In Chapter 10, Daniel had been mourning, fasting and praying for 3 weeks. He sees a vision of an amazing man dressed in linen with a face like lightening. The man speaks to him, calling him a man of high esteem (v11)…How did Daniel become “a man of high esteem”?!
Ready? Here’s the list, Daniel was:
DETERMINED – Daniel “made up his mind that he would not defile himself” – Daniel was a man of firm resolve, strong in mind, determined.
OBEDIENT – He seeks permission from the commander to not defile himself – he obeyed earthly authority! He was bold, not afraid to speak to the authority over him when he knew he answered to God.
WISE – When the commander said he was afraid of his leaders, Daniel had a wise solution, “lets do a test!”
DEPENDED ON GOD – Daniel is asked to interpret the Kings dreams. By asking for time to consider the dream – he demonstrates wisdom. He consults his friends, he knows he needs support, together they ask God, he depends completely on God to supply. Chapter 2 has a wonderful prayer of praise to God, he was a man who knew the source of wisdom and blessing, he was humble.
GOOD INFLUENCE – Daniel’s three friends face a horrible test when they are ordered to worship a statue. Daniel’s example of strength much have been a good influence. Shadrach, Meshach and Abnego refuse to worship the statue and are thrown into a raging inferno, they trust God to deliver them.
COMPASSIONATE – The king has a dream and God gives Daniel the interpretation. Daniel is appalled by the meaning of this dream and wishes, for Nebuchadnezzer’s sake, that the dream did not apply to him, a man of caring and compassion!
HONORABLE AND HARD WORKING – There’s a new king on the throne. It was common for a new ruler to kill any servants that might possibly be loyal to the old king. Not only did Daniel serve well, he distinguished himself. Daniel was accomplished, and worked hard with excellence.
PRAYERFUL – When the order is given to pray to the King, Daniel is found making his usual petitions and supplication to the Lord. Daniel was a man of consistent and disciplined prayer.
GUARDED HIS TONGUE – Daniel never speaks against those who plotted against him; he was a man of honor. He does not cry out or plead for mercy when put into the lion’s den, he trusted his God. When the pit is opened, he still honors the king who put him in there and gives glory to God. Daniels example caused this pagan king to praise the one true God and give the order that all should honor God.
KNEW THE WORD – Daniel read the Word (Chapter 9 – he reads the words of Jeremiah). He was a man of prayer and fasting. He was a man of confession who humbled himself before God and confessed the sins of the people. He was deeply grieved over sin. He knows God has allowed these difficult days and knows that God has the power to because of His great compassion.
Daniel, the man of high esteem, is given a wonderful promise. The angelic being tells him to “go your way to the end, then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” Daniel 12:13
Daniel obeyed and honored God all his life. There is no record of his ever asking for anything for himself yet God gifted him with great wisdom, gave him favor with 3 different rulers/kings and preserved his life. Over and over Daniel consistently demonstrates wisdom, integrity, humility, obedience and devotion to God.
Want to be a person of High Esteem? Be a Daniel!