1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

DANIEL - Reputation On the Line


It's an important thing.

The dictionary defines the word this way:


1. (a): overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general
(b): recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability

2. a place in public esteem or regard; good name

Have you ever been in a position where people spread rumors about you?

Have you ever had your reputation doubted, attacked, soiled?

A long time ago, I did something that was out of character for me, and it affected my reputation.

I was a senior in high school(I told you it was a long time ago!) At the time, I was considering a career as a teacher. So, my good friend and I enrolled in a Teacher Observation class. Once a week, we were allowed to leave campus to visit a local elementary classroom.

It was a pretty big deal – for one thing, my high school was a closed campus. That meant that we weren't allowed to leave school grounds until our day was done. No open lunchno venturing off campus if you happened to have a gap in your schedule.

So, this was a real privilege to be able to leave for a class.

However, after a couple of months, my friend convinced me that we could just tell our teachers that we had an "assembly" at school, and we wouldn't be coming to the classroom that day. Then, we'd go eat and have some fun.

After awhile, my mentor teacher caught on (I suppose he questioned two or three assemblies a month, always on the same day of the week)and he reported us.


Our supervisor called us into her office and read us the riot act.

The worst thing was all the accusations she threw at me about my character. You see, I was a VERY. GOOD. GIRL. A solid citizen, an honor student, a pretty compliant and rule-following person.

And she accused me, among other things, of being a slacker, a cheater, a liar.

It hurt.

I flashed back on this incident when I read today's "Bible Pick 'Ems." It's found in the book of Daniel.

First, a little background information.

It is the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede – (the son of Ahasuerus) – who had become the king of the Babylonian Empire. During this first year, Daniel learned that Jerusalem must lie desolate for 70 years.

I love how Daniel says it, in his very own words:

"…I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the LORD, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting…I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed…"

You know, you gotta love Daniel.

Here he is, trapped in exile, and yet he is faithful to his God, and to the reading of His Word. And, not only does he read the Word, he is responsive and obedient to it – he does NOT stop at reading – he acts in faith.

His prayer is beautiful.

But it's this particular passage that has me pondering:

"'Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary. O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city – the city that bears your name – lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.'"
(Daniel 9:17-19)

And here's what I'm pondering.

It's the way that Daniel prays. He prays for himself and his people, yes. But it's not what he prays for that is interesting to me – it's how he prays for it.

He calls on God's reputation.

Do you see it?!

Phrases –

For YOUR own sake, Lord, smile again…

See how YOUR city – the city that bears YOUR name…

We make this plea…because of YOUR mercy…

For YOUR own sake, do not delay…

For YOUR people and YOUR city bear YOUR name…

I've read passages like this before in the Bible. Where someone calls upon God's own reputation to move Him to act. I've often wondered about this.

Is it manipulative?

Is it self-serving?

Is it wrong?

It doesn't seem to be. At least if it's done from the proper heart-position. So, what am I missing?

I try to think of a human corollary. For instance, let's say hypothetically my son says something to me like this:

"Hey Mom, you might not want to wear your sweatpants outfit to pick me up, for your own sake."

Is he thinking about me? Or about HIS reputation – and the possible embarrassment from a sweatpants-wearing mom? Or is it somehow a combination of both?

I'm not sure I have the answers on this one, but I'm pondering.

God seems to welcome these kinds of prayers. Sometimes He even honors them.


I think it's that heart-position thing.

Daniel started his prayer with confession and repentance. He started with a humble heart, and a spirit willing to be obedient. He called on God's reputation, because he held God in such HIGH esteem. He KNEW God – and He didn't want God's reputation to be soiled because of His faulty and flawed people.

That makes sense to me.

Maybe if I begin to align my heart more truly with the God that I so highly admire and esteem – the LORD who inspires awe and reverent fear in me – then I can also ask for answered prayers for the sake of HIS honor – (of course, always yielding to His Sovereign will).

Lord, we bear Your name. Sometimes we don't wear it very well. But, in spite of all our failings, make us better ambassadors for Christ.

And for the sake of YOUR reputation, please show us mercy.

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, FOR MY OWN SAKE, and remembers your sins no more." (Isaiah 43:25, NIV)

What do you think about this? What does it mean to call on God's reputation in prayer?

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. I always learn something when I visit. I love this idea of Daniel calling on God's reputation. He was honest with God -- "not that we deserve help." And then the "because of your mercy." I struggle with being worthy to ask God for help. Daniel felt unworthy, too, but asked. This post is going to stay in my heart for a while to ponder and make the truths my own.

    Have a blessed Sabbath,

  2. Blessings my saintly Sharon... I'm still on those characters of thoughts in the committee in your head from last week's pick'ems... so as a pesky, pondering, presumptuous(?)Peggy...

    This is suppose to be my private BP'ems place, so any other readers out there, Don't read the following!

    I'm gonna throw a wrench in this one, although there are so many great insights and thoughts, and I learn so much from you and your process, backed up with solid ideas here on Daniel's praying style... and probably my problem is not so much semantics but oh no, spiritual supposition... (who knows what I'm talking about here? trying to set up my first premise by saying yours was not the right word)...

    First off, Thanks for sharing your mischievous side, VERY.GOOD.GIRL.(saintly) not sinner and all those other vicious lies and accusations... (a bit dramatic those self righteous high school supervisors) but that's my contention... as in 'aye there's the rub'

    Even though you defined reputation andwho am I to question a dictionary... I have to start there, which throws everything in the washer for me as I read on... I generally think 'reputation' is used when it's tarnished or in a negative sense... so before you go dissecting this (at least with me)(am I being nasty here? or worse, the devil's advocate...I won't receive that)... I don't mean to be but
    I don't think God has a rep... because God is all good, His reputation is never in question... so you can't say Daniel was calling on God's reputation. (Does this make any sense?)

    (too long, continued in next comment...this should have been the clue for me to give up my points but it was already typed)

    1. I'm just wrapping this up like a bowl of spaghetti, me thinks. I could just let this go,
      and just remark on the great writing of this, but all you wrote was based on this word. And I think you pointed out clearly about Daniel's phrases in his prayer that affirm God's character as good... but I'm wondering does that mean we are "calling on God's 'reputation'in prayer"? or are we standing on His highly favorable attributes and requiring God to prove who He is, "for His own sake"... all of those phrases are great, in telling God, because this is who I see You as and You declare You are...
      then... show Yourself! After all "this city bears Your name"...after all, we are Your people. True or not? Show me! Now I don't feel worthy to speak with God like this (that's probably my problem... and I do admit my prayers in my closet are pretty casual. I do need some more humility like Daniel and show more reverence and respect for God with all His mighty power, attributes, and supernatural character,His Holiness and Divinity go far beyond me pointing out His 'reputation'when it is mine that is in question, not His.

      However, it does show us Daniel's boldness in his prayers. It took me quite a while before I felt I was able to express my negative feelings with God, like anger. Just didn't seem right? But He knew I was feeling that way, so bear all Peggy... be honest.tell it like it is... but question God's reputation. N.E.V.E.R. nor do I think Daniel is in making his appeal. (Sorry)

      I loved so many good points here like the heart position... the human corollary... and the easiest way to highlight the rest is everything after the word WHY? Because just as you questioned "Where someone calls upon God's own reputation to move Him to act" with very legitimate questions, to which I would say YES.
      So that's why I don't call on God's rep but on His Promises, His Word, His attributes as God, not seeking His answer or consideration from "calling on His reputation" because that is established and not debatable, it's good, it's the best, it's what we aim for or "strive" to behold in us... to reflect the best of Him.

      I guess I just dug myself in here because I missed something (again)but I don't think for God's sake, I would embarrass Him, but my 'sweats' (bad behavior and unhealthy choices) is
      a bad reflection on His image... and stinks; I am embarrassed before Him for my own failings and faults but it had nothing to do with Him, except for how I BIG TIME tarnish His Name sake
      and who I say He is...when I do not reflect the good in Him. So is that His reputation or mine?

      Not meant to debate Sharon... just forgive me and my rambling but I was sorting out or trying to come up with an answer to those last questions... and I had alot of thoughts, obviously stemming from 'reputation' and I don't think I call on God's reputation in prayer nor did I think Daniel's great prayer does that...

      Love me still, thanks for the Bible Pick 'ems FOR HIS OWN SAKE (love Isaiah) and always my love and hugs... Peggy
      (do you have a new blogger interface and that's how you can do this REPLY...)I like this... for future reference, I read about it on another blog but could not find it in my Design settings, etc. I'm using the old.
      Gotta go to Blogger help forum I guess...

    2. I would totally agree that God doesn't have a "reputation" in the way that you have talked about - because He is perfect and holy - a fact of His character that is unchanging and undiminished by anything we humans might think of Him. I suppose I was thinking more about the very high regard He is held in by those of us who worship Him (our God of great repute, so to speak).

      To the world, He often has a bad "reputation" based on their judgments of His behavior or characteristics. I think that perhaps Daniel was making an appeal to the innate goodness of the God he KNEW - and wanted God to make His goodness apparent to those who did not know Him - (or maybe at least that was part of it?)

      My thoughts correlated with yours - perhaps I just lost something *in translation*!

      As to the reply thing, it just showed up on my blog about a week ago. I haven't changed a thing. It just seemed like it was something Blogger altered with their comment formatting. I also noticed that it switched my little comment message to the bottom of the comments section - instead of before the comment box.

      GOD BLESS, Peggy!

  3. Thanks for those thoughts, Dear. I have hear prayers reminding God of His promises. Thanks for sharing those Words. Blessings ~


"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!