The Service of God the Only True Dignity
1 Samuel 2:30
Why the LORD God of Israel said, I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me for ever…

I. WHAT IT IS TO HONOUR GOD. I need not, I trust, use may words to show you the sole supremacy of the God of heaven and earth. In order to honour this great Being aright, He requires that we love Him with all the heart, and soul, and strength, and mind — that we entertain towards Him, supreme reverence and affection, that, whatsoever we do, we do it to His glory. To honour God then as a sinner, you must first do homage to His Son as a Saviour.

II. TO ILLUSTRATE THE PROMISE AND THE THREATENING IN THE TEXT. Many and great are the blessings promised in the Scriptures of truth, to the righteous, to them that fear God. Of all the subordinate principles of action in the human breast, there is perhaps none of more universal influence or of more powerful efficacy than the desire of honour. There is no class of men so high as to despise it, and none so low as to be incapable of feeling it. Princes and nobles, statesmen and warriors, lawyers and merchants, philosophers and poets, peasants and mechanics, are all sensible of its influence. To obtain it they will submit to the heaviest toils, the greatest risks, the severest hardships, the most wasting anxieties, and the most alarming dangers. Under its influence have the most formidable obstacles been surmounted, and the greatest results effected. A principle, then, so universal and so powerful, may justly be considered a principle of oar original constitution, and intended to serve the most important and beneficial purposes; and yet it is not to be concealed, that being directed to foolish, vain, unsatisfactory, and forbidden objects, it has been productive of dissatisfaction, disappointment, and bitter remorse to him who was actuated by it, as well as gross injustice, cruelty, and oppression to others. To gratify it, strange as it may seem, many have been guilty of the most contemptible meanness. Though a principle of our nature, then, and capable of producing the most extensive results, it is plain that before these results can be beneficial or allowable, as means of acquiring honour, they must be such as the laws of God, the principles of justice, truth, and goodness will allow; hence God says, "Let not the rich man glory in his riches," etc. If you seek, then, the honour that cometh from God in those pursuits which are agreeable to righteousness, truth, and mercy, which alone reason and conscience can commend, which promote the glory of Him who is all in all, the good of mankind, and the salvation and happiness of your own immortal souls, then assuredly it is a lawful, and proper, and dignified, principle of action. But if the honour that cometh from God be the object of your desire, and pursued in the way we have pointed out, you cannot be disappointed. The word of the living God is thus passed that if you honour Him, in other words devote yourselves to a life of faith and holiness, He will honour you. And He who is God over all, almighty in His power, and infinite in His resources, cannot want the means of fulfilling His promise — "Riches and honour come of Him, for he ruleth over all: in his hand is power and might: in his hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all." It is considered an honour to be made associates of the illustrious great, and men covet, even to a weakness, to be thought persons of illustrious extraction and rank; now God promotes those who honour Him to the rank of His children, makes them "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." The Almighty so arranges His providence that at the last, and often in this world, the character of the righteous is duly appreciated. "They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." While there is nothing that men, especially the young, desire so much as honour, there is nothing they so much dread as disgrace and contempt — but this shall infallibly be the portion of all who neglect or despise God. But is it possible, we would ask, to despise God?

(J. Gibson, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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 honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

WEB: "Therefore Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, 'I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever.' But now Yahweh says, 'Be it far from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

The Road to Honour
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