Our lesson today will be a Bible study on the word "honor." The Scriptures have much to say about the term. The New King James Version uses the word in 173 verses. It is not my intention to read all of these verses at this time, but it would be helpful for us to read about three dozen of them, which have been selected for their uniqueness. As we contemplate these verses, you will see that the Bible speaks of honor in a variety of contexts. Afterward, we will share some summarizing thoughts. The verses we read are listed in book order.
Exodus 20:12 - "Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you."
Leviticus 19:15 - "You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor."
Leviticus 19:32 - "You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God; I am the LORD."
Deuteronomy 26:18,19 - "Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken."
Psalm 111:3 - "His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever."
Proverbs 3:9 - "Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase."
Proverbs 4:7,8 - "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her."
Proverbs 5:1-4,8,9 - "My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword...Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one."
Proverbs 13:18 - "Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored."
Proverbs 15:33 - "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
Proverbs 20:3 - "It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel."
Proverbs 21:21 - "He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor."
Proverbs 22:4 - "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life."
Proverbs 26:1 - "As snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool."
Proverbs 26:8 - "Like one who binds a stone in a sling is he who gives honor to a fool."
Proverbs 29:23 - "A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor."
Ecclesiastes 10:1 - "Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor."
John 5:23 - "All should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
John 8:49 - "Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.'"
John 12:26 - "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."
Romans 12:10 - "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."
Romans 13:7 - "Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."
I Corinthians 12:26 - "And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."
II Corinthians 8:21 - "Providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."
I Thessalonians 4:3,4 - "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor."
I Timothy 1:17 - "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."
I Timothy 5:3 - "Honor widows who are really widows."
I Timothy 5:17 - "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine."
I Timothy 6:1 - "Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed."
Hebrews 2:6-9 - "But one testified in a certain place, saying, 'What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet."
Hebrews 13:4 - "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
I Peter 1:6,7 - "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 4:11 - "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."
Revelation 5:12-14 - "'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!' Then the four living creatures said, 'Amen!' And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever."
Certainly, there are other principles in the Bible pertaining to honor that could be examined, but this is sufficient for our purposes at this time. Let us sum up what we've read as succinctly as possible and take the wisdom of God's word to heart:
We should give honor to whom it is due. We should honor our parents, the elderly, the elders, God the Father, Jesus Christ, our brethren, our masters (or employers), and those who are truly widowed. The work that God does is honorable and worthy of our praise. God has honored man by putting all things on the Earth in subjection to him. Honor belongs to the peacemaker, to the humble, to those who fear God, and to those willing to receive correction. If we are faithful to God's word and willing to serve Jesus with a holy life, God will honor us. We should honor Him by giving of our means. A little foolishness can easily taint one's honor. To be sexually immoral is to lose one's honor, but marriage is honorable. We should not show special honor to the rich because he is rich or to poor because he is poor. We should not give honor to fools. We should seek that which is honorable in the sight of God and men where possible. If we seek wisdom, understanding, righteousness, and mercy, we will find honor too. We should rejoice with one who is honored. The saved will honor God forever in the heavenly abode.
Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.