I will be honored
Context: Leviticus 10:1-7
Lev 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the Lord spoke, saying, 'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'" So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.
There are many uses of the words honor or honorable. Most have to do with esteem, glory merit, worth or respect. “Your honor” is a deferential title of respect. Nadab and Abihu had dishonored God by the offering of the strange fire upon the altar of incense. As priests of God, honoring God before all Israel was their place. But their transgression dishonored God; it showed disrespect! So God, in his wrath, struck them dead by fire from the altar. Their relatives are commanded to not even put on the normal clothes of mourning; because to show such respect for Nadab and Abihu would again be disrespectful to God.
We consider first that (1): God will be honored. Honor (respect, esteem) is due Him by all men under all circumstances. To God there must be honor (1 Tim 1:17; 6:16). God is honored in heaven (Rev 4:9-11; Rev 7:12). Whenever we honor God, we follow the example of Jesus Christ (John 8:49). The same honor is given to Jesus Christ, the Son of God by His Father (Heb 2:9; 2 Pet 1:17). Again in heaven, the Lamb receives honor (Rev 5:12-13). Since God is to be honored, esteemed, respected in all our lives and everything we do; how much more important it is that He be treated with honor in our worship. We must never show disrespect for God in our service of God as did Nadab and Abihu.
However as we study our Bibles, we quickly discover that honor is not at all limited to God! If we were enjoined to honor God and nothing else was mentioned, we might think that God is the only one to whom honor is due. But the obligation to give proper honor goes much farther than to God. In fact, we are required to give honor to all to whom it is due. Romans 13:7; “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
The context of Romans 13:7 is civil governors. We must (2): honor those who rule. We are subject to governing authorities because God has established their place (Rom 13:1). We honor God’s authority by honoring those whom God has placed in such positions of authority.
1 Peter 2:17; “Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” If we do not honor him who rules, we do not fear God.
(3) We are to honor our fathers and mothers. This was one of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:120. It is also a concept which was repeated in the teachings of our Lord (Matt 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; and Luke 18:20). It has been explicitly repeated in the perfect law of liberty (Eph 6:2-3). The principle of honor as applied by children to parents still reflects upon honor for God. Children, honor your parents; because to not do so is to disrespect God’s law of honor. This principle was horribly violated by the Pharisaic custom of Corban (Mark 7:9-13). You cannot dishonor your parents for any reason; and justify your failure to honor them. There is no reason, no excuse, no logic which allows the dishonoring of parents. So, when children do not honor their parents, their actions dishonor God. Their tradition of Corban set aside God commandment (Mark 7:9). It invalidated the word of God (Mark 7:13).
Again, the proper application of honor extends to the (4) husband and wife relationship. Eph 5:33; “Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” The word “respect” is an even stronger word than honor. It actually means to frighten, in the sense of awe, fear, or reverence. Surely any wife who reveres her husband will give him honor. And, likewise “honor” is to be given to wives by husbands (1 Peter 3:7). The wife honored “as a fellow heir of the grace of life” is not the husband’s property, possession, slave or dog. This mutual husband-wife relationship of honor extends even to the institution of marriage itself (Heb 13:4). When people live together outside of marriage, they do not esteem marriage. When the relationship first begins with fornication; do not be surprised when the next thing after marriage is divorce. Those who do not hold marriage in honor; do not respect the state of marriage, or esteem their own bodies, or honor the bodies of their mates! When we do not rebuke the sin of fornication, we are not holding marriage in honor. And when we do not honor marriage; we are not honoring the God who gave us the state of marriage. Within that honorable state of marriage, the man’s vessel (body or wife) is held in sanctification and honor (1 Thess 4:3-4; Eph 5:28-29).
Honor is demanded of God in the realm of (5) honor among God’s people. Honor is bestowed by the Father upon him who serves Christ (John 12:26). Surely there will come to the faithful saint of God on the judgment day an honor which is almost beyond our comprehension.
When the Christian has been tested and tried, and found faithful, he awaits the praise and glory and honor due him (1 Peter 1:7). The believer who as a vessel "useful to the Master" doing the good works of Christianity is a vessel for honor (2 Tim 2:21). In fact, our perseverance in doing good is done in our seeking for the honor in eternal life (Romans 2:7, 10).
Therefore, honor is that which is to be given by believers one to another (Rom 12:10). Instead of claiming honor for one’s self; as Christians we are to seek to honor one another (Luke 14:10-11). In honoring one another, we do not count ourselves as more important than another (Phil 2:3-4).
I see how citizens dishonor the civil authorities; and I am alarmed at the state of the nation. I see how children do not honor or respect their parents and I am even more alarmed at the state of the home. But when I look at God’s people and I see how the children of God often disrespect and do not esteem one another, it scares me to death. Brothers and sisters, if God Himself honors him who serves Christ (John 12:26); who do we think we are to not demonstrate our honor, esteem, and respect for one another.
John 4:44: “For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.” Maybe, the root of the problem is that with our familiarity of one another, we become complacent in attitude and behavior. Then before long, we do not treat one another with the honor which their place in Christ demands.
1 Timothy 5:3, “Honor widows who are widows indeed.” The passage authorizes material assistance to " widows indeed." But in the word honor is more than just writing a check from the treasury. The word honor means that she is to be respected, esteemed, treated with dignity and … honor! Why? Who is this needy saint so worthy that she is to be enrolled? 1 Tim 5:5-11 describes not only a widow, but a widow who is qualified because of the wonderful works she has been known to do as a Christian (v 10). Yes, she deserves material assistance; but, more than that, she deserves honor for her work’s sake.
When I see a faithful, godly, righteous, zealous, busy Christian; I seeing a Christian bound for the glory land. When I see a Christian to whom God gives glory and will give the glory on that last day and I show him dishonor, shame on me! If I treat my brother with disrespect, who do I think I am?
We close with one last thought about honoring God. The mere lip profession of "honor" to God is not adequate (Matt 15:7-9). It is not enough to say I honor God; my life must honor Him. Will you honor God today, by obeying his will?