” Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4
That which enables us to carry weight in this world stems from our being precious in His eyes. It speaks of extreme love, a favor surpassing that of men. Indeed, it refers to a choosing, as God did with Israel when He brought them forth from Egypt. This “preciousness” gives us weight in our words, in our countenance, in our judgments — It coincides with our being liberated from our personal bondage.
Un-redeemed mankind seeks honor among its fellows, a formula which may require denigrating ‘dishonor for acceptance’ In dishonoring it’s bodies. These surrender to uncleanness, immerse themselves in heart-lust, become passionate for disgraceful dishonoring, and finally relinquish all discriminatory ability — they find their way back to “shame” as a centering identity.
— and such were some of us… “but we are washed, we are sanctified, we are justified in the nature of Our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”1 Corinthians 6:11
The old Testament story of Joseph helps our understanding. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.” Genesis 37:3
Joseph was the honored son. He dreamed a dream but, “his brethren envied him … “
Websters calls “envy”, “a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”
The brother’s hatred manifested as they betrayed their father’s trust and sold Joseph to slave traders.
Why can’t the nature of man tolerate another person gaining an advantage?
When God singled out the nation of Israel as His chosen, (not because they were the greatest, but the least), did not God shake the world into an uproar?
Yes, in order ‘that sin might become exceedingly sinful,’ God penetrated the human race to reveal the human condition. Subject to the curse levied on mankind through Adam and Eve’s sin, few men find liberty to advance. The other person’s honor achieving feats only remind the mere underling of his inherent lack of power, strength, or ability.
Back to Joseph, we discover that this ‘honored of God’ youngster must be tested, tried and strained before his ultimate honoring as a ruler with power in Egypt.
He was learning of the futility of worldly honor, which carries no authority.
He was dishonored by the brothers, Potiphar’s wife, the chief butler, time, and the jealousy of men.
In the midst of dishonor, God must do the elevating. And He does.
Paul the Apostle spoke to the Corinthian Church, “approving ourselves as the ministers of God … by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report…” 2 Corinthians 6:8
Friends, we must live with both sides. This paradox describes the Christian life of one who seeks to serve God.
Honor of men may come but it is not to be sought after — dishonor of men may also come, but it is not to be despised.
Let honor from men guide and keep us in the place of humility, (selflessness), and there find honor from God.
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33
“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” Proverbs 18:12
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.” Proverbs 22:4
Finally, Paul wrote, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you —
though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. “2 Corinthians 12:15
Beloved, never let the dishonor or seeming honor from men hurt your preciousness before God. Yes it can be a battle.
Run into the arms of Our welcoming Father, who chose us, honored or dishonored. Nothing can change His everlasting love, nor our ‘forever’ standing before Him. Take heart! We are precious in His sight. love ya