The Right Way of Honouring God
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…

These words were spoken by a prophet of the Lord to Eli, upon occasion of the wickedness of his sons, and the dishonour brought upon religion thereby.

1. That their sins were of a scandalous nature, being an open affront both to the ceremonial and moral law. The offering of the Lord was that which Himself had appointed in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 7:31; v. Leviticus 7:33,34). But these sons of Eli thought themselves too great to be tied up to such a strict observance of the niceties of the law. God will and ought to be served in his own way, and they, who thought to be wiser than his laws, smarted for their folly.

2. That the house of Eli was advanced to that dignity which it then enjoyed by an extraordinary method of providence.

3. That although God was justly provoked by the sins of the house of Eli; yet there was a concurrence of the people's sins in bringing down such severe judgments.


II. The rules and measures whereby God bestows honour on mankind. "Them that honour me I will honour; and they that despise me," etc. There are three sorts of men to be considered with respect to the honour due to God.

1. There are such as despise him instead of honouring him. Such as the sons of Eli here mentioned, who are said to be the sons of Belial, who knew not the Lord.

2. There are such who pretend to honour God, but do not. He that would give true honour to another must have a just apprehension of his worth and excellency, and give it in such a manner as is most becoming and agreeable to him.Now, there are two ways whereby men may be guilty of dishonouring God under a pretence of honouring him.

1. By false notions of God in their minds, when persons form in their minds false imaginations or conceptions of him; and so give their worship not to the true God, but to an idol of their own fancy. And when our minds are fixed herein, the next thing is to exclude all mean and unworthy thoughts of him, as inconsistent with his Divine perfections.

2. Men dishonour God, when they pretend to honour him, not according to His will, but their own intentions and imaginations.

3. But certainly there is a way left to give to God that honour which is due to Him.What are the most likely means to be effectual —

1. An universal discountenancing of all sorts of vice and profane. nose, be the persons of what rank or quality soever.

2. An even, steady, vigorous and impartial execution of the laws against looseness and debauchery.

3. A wise choice of fit instruments to pursue so good an end.

4. Lastly, a diligent inspection into the behaviour of those who are the proper and immediate instruments for carrying on so good a design.

II. THE RULES AND MEASURES WHICH GOD OBSERVES IN DISTRIBUTING HONOUR AMONG MEN. "Them that honour Me, I will honour; but they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed." Which may be understood two ways.

1. As to such societies of men, which have one common interest. And so it implies, that the welfare and flourishing condition of such depends upon their zeal and concernment for God and religion.. God takes care of His own honour by methods we are not able to comprehend. And if we cannot know the number and aggravation of a people's sins we can never fix the measures and degrees of their punishment.But, however, some things are certain;

1. That the sins of a nation do naturally tend to the weakness and dishonour of it.

2. Sometimes God steps out of his ordinary method and course of Providence, either in a way of judgment or mercy. And then he more particularly shows that those that honour him, he will honour; and those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

2. As to particular persons, how far this holds will appear by these things.

1. That esteem and honour naturally follows the opinion of another's desert or excellency.

2. The sincere practice of piety and virtue doth command esteem and reverence.

(Bishop Stillingfleet.)

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 Reward of Honouring God
Top of Page
Top of Page