Honor God

1 Samuel 2:30  Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

A woman named Hannah wanted a child. Her husband Elkinah loved her, and she loved him, but for some reason they just could not have any children. So one day Hannah prayed to the Lord and she told Him (1 Samuel 1:11 NLT):

… “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime ….

God heard her prayer and gave her a child. How happy Hannah was! She had promised the Lord to give that child to Him, so Hannah started by naming him “Samuel” which meant in the Hebrew language “God answered my prayer”. Hannah bore Samuel and raised him to be a toddler. But when he was old enough Hannah honored her promise to God. She took Samuel to the Temple and asked the Priest Eli to raise him. When Hannah took her child to the Lord and turned him over to the High Priest Eli she honored God by praising Him. She prayed:

1 Samuel 2:1-10 …. My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine hornstrength is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.  [2]   There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.  [3]  Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.  [4]  The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.  [5]   They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.  [6]  The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.  [7]  The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.  [8]  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.  [9]  He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.  [10]  The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

What a wonderful prayer! You may not have understood every word in this prayer, but you must have understood that Hannah honored God. She was not like the Pharisee praying to be heard of men, but she prayed and loved and glorified the Lord her God. So she left little Samuel with the High Priest Eli, trusting that God would raise her son.

Eli raised and trained Samuel – Hannah’s son – but he had two sons himself who he had NOT raised. While Samuel ministered to the Lord, honoring God the Bible tells us the Eli’s own sons were sons of Belial – sons of the devil – for they knew not the Lord nor honored Him (see 2 Samuel 2:11). These two young men were called Hophni and Phinehas.

Whereas “Samuel” means “God has heard my prayer” the name “Hophni” means “a fighter” and “Phinehas” means “smart mouth”. What did God say about these young men?

1 Samuel 2:17-18  Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.  [18]  But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

So you have a picture here of two young men and a child. The two young men “abhorred or despised the offering of the Lord” but Samuel though a child ministered before the Lord. Two who were older mocked God, but the child Samuel loved God.

When The High Priest Eli heard what his sons were doing he tried talking to them but they would not hear. They kept on dishonoring God – and rather than disown them Eli tried covering up or ignoring their wrong. So one day God sent His Word to Eli. God asked:

1 Samuel 2:29  Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

God told Eli “I made you the High Priest. You were supposed to honor me – but you did not. You honor your sons above Me.” God went on to tell Eli:

1 Samuel 2:30 … I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before Me for ever: BUT NOW THE LORD SAITH, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

God told Eli “I told you I would bless you and your family BUT NOW that is not the case. THOSE THAT HONOR ME I WILL HONOR, but THOSE THAT DESPISE ME SHALL BE LIGHTLY ESTEEMED.” Another version – the New Living Translation – puts it this way:

I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.

God went on to tell the High Priest:

1 Samuel 2:34-35  And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.  [35]  And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

Just two chapters later we read that the sons of Eli both die in the same day – and Eli also dies that day from a tragic accident. Those who despised the Lord were despised. But Samuel the young child of Hannah loved the Lord, and fulfilled the prophecy God made of him. He became the greatest Priest of God in that era, the priest that anointed the first King of Israel Saul and the Messianic King of Israel the Shepherd David.

Samuel honored God and was blessed. Those who honor God will be blessed.

1 We Honor God By Loving Him Above All Else. The very first commandment of the Scripture is:

Exodus 20:3 You must not have any other god but Me.

We dishonor the God of the Bible when we put any other god before Him. It is God Who made us. Each person is created by God. God made each and every one of us, and made us unique. Your DNA is like no other person’s DNA. Your fingerprint is like no other person’s fingerprint. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 199:3 Know ye that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. …

You did not make yourself – God made you. The Doctor may have delivered you, but “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). We owe the life we have to God. He made us and sustains us. This is why God tells us in ..

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

And in the New Testament, our Lord Jesus declared:

Matthew 22:37 (NLT) You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

You are to love God first and foremost, and all others as secondary loves. We are to love and honor our parents, our spouses, our friends – but we are to love God most. We honor Him when we love Him.

a We Love God By Serving Him With Our Hands. The Bible says:

Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB) Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Ephesians 6:7-8 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord…

God said “If you will honor Me I will honor you”. We honor God by doing everything for HIS glory, not for ours. Hophni and Phinehas did what they did for themselves – not for God. Eli did what he did for his sons – not for God. In the end they received what God promised. Dishonor God, be dishonored. What you reap you will sow.

b We Serve God By Using Our Tongues To Praise Him. The Third Commandment of the Scripture is:

Exodus 20:7 (NLT) You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

God gave us tongues to praise Him not to curse Him. He gave us tongues so that we could pray to Him and talk with Him and have a relationship with Him. To paraphrase ….

Psalm 91:14-15 … Because {you have} set your love upon Me {says the Lord}, therefore will I deliver {you}; I will set {you}on high because {you have} known My Name. {You} shall call upon Me and I will answer {you}: I will be with {you} in trouble; I will deliver {you} and honor {you}.

We were not given tongues to curse nor to backbite, but to use that tongue in giving glory to God. We are told in:

1 Peter 3:10 (ESV) Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

God will not bless those who misuse their tongues. Honor God by loving God with all that you have.

2 Honor God By Living With God. Hophni and Phinehas lived in the Temple just as Samuel did, but they did not live with God. They failed to believe God. They refused to try and have a relationship with God. The Bible tells us that we are all broken things – but God loves us all. He calls us to walk with Him.

There’s an interesting story about Samuel’s life. His mother Hannah had turned him over to Eli the High Priest to be raised. The Bible tells us that:

1 Samuel 3:1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

Eli had grown old, and he was nearly blind. Samuel laid down to sleep one night and the Bible says:

1 Samuel 3:4  That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

Samuel ran to Eli, thinking it was Eli calling him. He woke Eli up and Eli said “I didn’t call you – go back to sleep!” So Samuel went back to bed. But then God called him again, and Samuel cried out “Here I am!”. But he ran to Eli because he thought it was Eli calling. Eli told him again “It wasn’t me … go back to sleep”. The third time this happened Eli realized it was God calling Samuel. He told the child “If you hear the call again say ‘Speak Lord, for Your servant hears’ “. Sure enough God called again, and the Lord spoke to Samuel.

God calls to people today, but many refuse to hear His Voice. They are so busy listening to their own voice or to the voices of the world aroud them. God calls each and every one of you to come to Him. He says:

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God doesn’t say “Come unto Me just in the bad times”. He doesn’t say “Come unto Me like you come unto a Doctor and get a shot or some medicine”. Jesus says “Come unto Me – take My Yoke upon you”. A “Yoke” is something that binds two together. A Yoke was put on a horse or a mule long ago to help control it.

You honor God when you recognize that God is God and we are not. You honor God when you trust Him with your life, and promise to follow Him and hear His Word, the Holy Bible.

Little Samuel followed God and, following Him, was blessed. God called Samuel and Samuel came. I love that Word of God “Come”. I end with the words of a great preacher called C.H. Spurgeon, who said:

I love that word “Come.” To me it seems full of grace, mercy and encouragement. “Come now,” says the Lord in Isaiah, “and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

  • Come is the word put in the mouth of the king’s messenger in the parable of the guest-supper: “All is now ready; come unto the marriage.”
  • Come is the last word in the Bible to sinners. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.”
  • Jesus does not say, “Go and get ready.” This is the word of the Pharisee and self-righteous. “Go and work out a righteousness. Do this and that and be saved.” Jesus says, Come.
  • Jesus does not say “Send.” This is the poor Roman Catholic’s word. “Put your soul in the hand of the priest. Commit your affairs to saints and angels, and not to Christ.” Jesus says Come.
  • Jesus does not say “Wait.” This is the word of the enthusiast and the fanatic. “You can do nothing. You must not ask; you cannot pray; you must sit still.” Cold comfort for troubled souls. Jesus says come.
  • Come is a word of merciful invitation. It seems to say, “I want you to escape the wrath to come. I am not willing that any should perish. I have no pleasure in death. I would gladly have all men saved, and I offer all the water of life freely. So come to Me.”
  • Come is a word of gracious expectation. It seems to say, “I am here waiting for you. I sit on my mercy-seat expecting you to come. I wait to be gracious. I wait for more sinners to come in before I close the door. I want more names written down in the book of life before it is closed forever. So come to Me.”
  • Come is a word of kind encouragement. It seems to say, I have got treasures to bestow if you will only receive them. I have that to give which makes it worth while to come: a free pardon, a robe of righteousness, a new heart, a star of peace. So come to Me.

Brethren, I ask you to hear these words and lay them to heart. I plead for my Master; I stand here an ambassador; I ask you to come and be reconciled to God. I ask you to come with all your sins, however many they may be. If you come to Him they will be taken away. I ask you to come as you are. You feel unfit; you say you are not good enough. The worse you think yourself, the better prepared you are. Christ is not a Savior of those who think they are righteous—but of sinners. I ask you to come now. No other time is your own. The opportunity past, the door will be shut, and yourself dead. Come now. Come to Christ.”

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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