GOD WILL HONOR THOSE WHO HONOR HIM
“Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’ 30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1Samuel 2:29—30)
Hophni and Phinehas were supposed to be priests unto God alongside their fathers. But they were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. They scorn the sacrifice and the offering that only God was supposed to receive from his people. God points out to Eli, the horrendous action of his sons. However, according to Samuel, Eli did not discipline them. Eli honors his sons more than God.
There is a time, even in our own lives, when we honor others and ourselves more than God. For Hophni and Phineas, they dishonor God by taking the best part of the people’s offering and consuming it for themselves. They slept with the women of the temple. They refused to listen to their father’s rebuke.
It is dreadful to serve God and not honoring him for who he is. We, too, have areas where we do not honor God. We make choices and decisions to please ourselves without obeying God’s urging. Many ignored what is honorable to God for the praises of men. Many keep the best of everything they have and give God less of what he deserves and is honorable to him.
God promised Eli that his family would serve in the priesthood for a long time. However, God changed what he promised to Eli. God said, “I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ BUT NOW, the Lord declares, FAR BE IT FROM ME! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despite me will be disdained.”
The promises of God are always conditional. How does one, despite God? How does one dishonor God? It’s quite easy to see from the life of the two sons of Eli. They rob God of the best things that belong to him. They abuse the authority of their offices and priests to give them permission to sin. They live their lives in pleasures that are unacceptable as a priest of God. They despise and serve God with contemptuous hearts.
I, too, am in danger and vulnerable to the same attitude before the Lord. I am no different from the two sons of Eli. In fact, all believers are not far away from committing the same sin before God. It is a good and proper thing for all of us to examine our own hearts if we are not serving God with a contemptuous heart.
I see that I am not that far away from committing the same sin. I want to honor God by making right and honoring decisions in life. I am reminded to prioritize the things of God in my daily schedule and plans. I open my heart to godly advice and counsel. In all that I do, I will honor Jesus. My prayer daily is that I will never abuse the authority of the office as a leader of God’s people to do sinful acts against those I lead.
Jesus, I thank you for your grace and mercy in my life. I know that there are times that I may have dishonored you with my attitude toward your word and work. I ask for your forgiveness and cleansing from a rebellious spirit in me. Please help me to be a servant that honors you before your people and before you. I want to honor you with all of my days and ways. Teach me and guide me in your name I pray, Amen!