The Father's Honor
Honor is a social term that describes how people within a society evaluate each other. Especially in the Old Testament honor meant to give “kabod” i.e. give weight to someone. Under the New Testament it was used to ascribe awe and due regard. Typically, honor is granted on the basis of achievement, position, status, wealth or character. Honor is an internal attitude of respect, courtesy and reverence. It should be accompanied by appropriate attitude and obedience. Honor without such action is incomplete and merely lip service. To honor someone, then, is to give weight or to grant a person a position of respect and even authority in one's life. It is a decision to show, manifest, display, exhibit a patent act of appreciation and celebration. 2 Chronicles 26 depicts the story of Uzziah’s rise as King of Judah. Verse 4 and 5 states Uzziah “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.” Uzziah’s greatness is based on a three-pronged fatherhood. Uzziah honored his Heavenly Father, Adonai; his natural father, Amaziah and Spiritual father Zechariah.
The success of King Uzziah is revealed in verse 4& 5. He sought and pursued the Lord. He allowed himself to be guided in the ways of his father. He also consulted Zechariah for spiritual mentorship, but above all maintained a relation with his heavenly father. In your pursuit of God, you will encounter success. Matt. 6:33- seek first His Kingdom & His righteousness and all these things shall be added to it. In other words, pursue the Kingdom agenda with all that is in you. Seeking the Lord implies to “honor” God. Obedience, compliance and faith attest to honor for God. Disobedience, disregard and abandoning of God’s purpose do not honor God.
In John 4:44, Jesus himself, pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country. When honor is lacking, expect to gain no blessings. Matt.13:53-58 states, “When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Faith is a mark of honor. Honor indicates acceptance and expectation. Virtue does not flow where no value is placed.
Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?' When we fail to do things God’s way, how he prescribes it, we dishonor him. It’s the same with your father; spiritual and physical. A father’s glory is his son(s)’ success. Fathers make sacrifices for the well-being of sons. Your father is your prophet; don’t dishonor your father and expect a blessing. God decided your natural father but leads you to a spiritual father. The unveiling or unlocking of greatness and destiny is tied to a spiritual father; a certain, designated man. Fatherhood is a force not to be trifled with. Disobedience is a sign of dishonor, as is disrespect or disregard.
The source of all honor is God based on his position as sovereign Creator and of his character as a loving Father. God the Father has bestowed honor on his Son, Jesus Christ (John 5:23). He bestowed honor on humanity by creating man a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5-6). He has also created spheres of authority within human government, the church, and the home. The positions of authority in those spheres are to receive honor implicitly. The granting of honor to others is an essential experience in the believer's life. Christians are to bestow honor on those for whom honor is due. The believer is to honor God, for he is the sovereign head of the universe and his character is unsurpassed. The believer is to honor those in positions of earthly authority, such as governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7), masters (1 Tim 6:1), and parents (Exodus 20:12). As a participant in the church, the believer is also called to honor Jesus Christ, the head of the church (John 5:23), fellow believers (Rom 12:10), and widows (1 Tim 5:3).
God is honored in our obedience, just like fathers are honored in sons’ obedience. Obedience is expressed in one’s compliance with instructions. Attitude, how a person conducts himself and communication are also indicative of one’s obedience. The way you speak can bring honor or dishonor. The quality of one’s sacrifice conveys honor. Honor is an imperative, yet a choice. Dishonor breaks covenants (Mal.1:6). Dishonor can cause the loss of blessings or usurpation of a position. i.e. Vashti (Esther 1).
We are commanded to honor fathers and mothers. There are many kinds of honor, but we narrow down to the honor of father or the Father’s honor. Isaac’s demand from his son Esau was not merely for food, but for honor from his son. The need and desire of the father can only be known by a relationship. The statement “come closer my son” in Genesis 27 amplifies the need for relationship before pronouncement of the blessing. Honor satisfies the father’s soul but only relationship reveals the revelation of the Father’s heart. What is that one thing that he desires and perceives as honor? Proximity prompts relationship and revelation, a revealing of the father’s heart.
Honor can cause displacement. In John 12:1-8, a dinner was held in Jesus’ honor. His acceptance and presence were his honor to the host. The third level of honor was expected at the table but the host did not give it. Mary’s demonstration of honor with the bottle of expensive nard caused her to be the most notable of the guests in attendance. Jesus said of her that her actions would be eternally remembered wherever the gospel was preached. Honor etched her in to the annals of the books of divine remembrance. Judas of a select band of 12 handpicked men in Jesus’ entourage is mentioned as despising the act in his heart (v4-6); he becomes the conduit of dishonor and is given over to Satan with no reprieve. He loses his position in divine memorials even though his name Judas meant praise. He ends up with a name that evokes disdain and dishonor. The thief at the cross also used honor to change the narrative of his life.
Honor can cause displacement & overtaking. Honor can alter destiny and realign destination. Honor creates eternal memorials. Honor is always reciprocated by God. Honor to God brings honor to us.
Offerings, tithes and sacrifices rightly given, honor the Lord (Pro. 3:9-12). God’s servants deserve honor (1 Tim. 5:17-18) “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” As we focus on the pursuit of God through understanding purpose, may we honor Him in all we do.