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Archive for September 25th, 2010

Introduction:

“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren…” — I Chronicles 4.9 KJV

In reading through the beginning of I Chronicles, we see a list of genealogies; the list of sons from Jacob-Israel on down. In the list of names there are kings and princes, patriarchs and pariahs. They are all just listed. Then we come to Jabez. It is as if God stopped everyone and said, “Take a longer look at this one.” Jabez is only mentioned here and not again through out the rest of the Bible. What makes Jabez stand out?
Jabez was more honorable that those with whom he was listed. He was listed with kings and princes, yet Jabez was said to be more honorable than they.
In this study, we will look at ‘honor’ and why practicing it will make you stand out; even among kings and princes.

Foundation:
Honor [Latin] Official dignity, repute, esteem; the esteem due or paid to worth; one who or that which is a source of glory or esteem; he who or that which confers dignity; glory
Glory [Latin] Fame, honor, pride, boasting; worship adoration, praise; splendor, magnificence, radiance; to exult with joy, to rejoice in
tanah [Hebrew] To present, bargain, hire; attributing honor, ascribe praise
hadar [Hebrew] To swell up; to favor or honor; glorify; majesty; ornament or splendor:— beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor, majesty
howd [Hebrew] grandeur (i.e. an imposing form and appearance):— beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor, majesty
yqar [Hebrew] Value, wealth; costliness, dignity; honor, precious things, price; valuable; brightness, clear, costly, excellent, fat, honorable women, precious, reputation
kabed [Hebrew] to be heavy; numerous, rich, honorable [good]; burdensome, severe, dull [bad]; to make weighty; prevail, promote, be rich; great
doáxa [Greek] glory; dignity; honor, praise, worship;
doáxazoµ [Greek] to render glorious or esteem glorious; to glorify, make full of glory, honor, magnify
timaoµ [Greek] to prize, fix a valuation upon; revere, honor, value
timeµ[Greek] a value, valuables; esteem of the highest degree; dignity itself, honor, precious, price
timioáteµs [Greek] expensive, magnificence, costliness

Points:
I. Importance

That which you honor you ascribe importance. Who you honor you ascribe importance.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20.3 KJV

In this verse, which is the first Commandment, God is establishing importance; who and what is important; what should be ‘first things’ in our lives.
Q: What is of first importance in your life?
Q: Our actions speak louder than words. What do your actions evidence?
Who do you honor first? Who do you make important in your life?

II. Parental Honor

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” – Exodus 20.12 KJV

Paul observes in his letter to the Ephesians that this is the first commandment with a promise. If you want your life to go well and you live a good, long life; honor your father and mother.
Q: Your parents are a type and shadow of your relationship with God Almighty. Does your ‘honor’ to your parents reflect your relationship with the God of Israel?
Q: Parents, you are examples of God to your children. Are you receiving your children’s honor as unto God? What are you doing to earn that honor? Are you demanding respect and insisting on honor? Are you showing yourself Godly?

III. Preference

Mordecai, the uncle of Hadassah who becomes Queen Esther, honored and respected King Ahasuerus. A plot to kill the king was made known to Mordecai and he passed that information to Esther who brought it before the king in Mordecai’s name. The trial and all transpired were written in the Chronicles of the Kings of Persia and Media.
On a sleepless night, King Ahasuerus had the chronicles read to him. He came to the note of Mordecai’s service to him. The king asked if anything had been done to recognize the service rendered. His chief scribes said nothing had been done yet for Mordecai. The king asked Haman, the king’s chief counselor, what would be recommended to honor someone in whom the king delighted. Haman responded with what he personally would like, thinking the king meant him. The king said do all of that which was said, but do it for Mordecai the Jew. Haman hated Mordecai and deceived King Ahasuerus in plot to destroy all of the Jews.

Q: Mordecai was a king’s scribe, who sat in the gate as a leader. Mordecai was respectful to and honored the king. Who do you honor? Who do you actively seek to protect?
Q: Haman was jealous and self-serving. Has there been a time when you made plans to receive someone else’s honor?
Q: Mordecai preferred to serve and protect his king and was honored by the king eventually. Have you preferred someone without thought to your role or immediate personal benefit?

IV. Deference

Queen Vashti lost her position of honor because she placed her honor above that of the king’s. She was holding a feast and declined to come when the king asked for her. The queen was removed from her role and a new queen was sought.
A young Jewish girl name Hadassah went through the process in preparation of meeting King Ahasuerus. The young women were given anything they wanted to adorn themselves to meet the king. Hadassah, now called Esther, adorned herself in only what was given her by the chamberlain. Esther received favor in the sight of all and in the king’s sight. King Ahasuerus made Esther his queen.

Q: Queen Vashti enjoyed being queen, but failed to recall her role in deference to the king’s role. Consider your current position in life. Is there someone in authority over you that you have disrespected? And, chose your own ways of doing things?
Q: Hadassah became Queen Esther out of the honor she showed her uncle Mordecai, Hegai the king’s chamberlain, and King Ahasuerus. When have you deferred to the guidance of others out of respect, to honor their wisdom, or to honor their authority? What was the result?

V. Position

On a visit to one of the chief Pharisees, Jesus observed how everyone picked their places to sit. After they had settled Jesus spoke to them a parable on how picking the best place to sit was not the best idea. What if someone came a long that was more important and you were asked to take a lower or worst seat? [Luke 14.1-11]
Jesus said it is better to take the lower seat and for the manager of the meal to come find you and bring you up to a seat of honor.
Q: Have you preferred your own position and importance over another?
Q: Have you ever been asked to take a lower seat, a less important seat?
Q: Have you ever been asked to take a better, more honored seat by the host?

VI. Sacrifice

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; … For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6.38 KJV

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
— Galatians 6.7 KJV

Jesus pointed out, and Paul mirrored, that whatsoever you give out you will get back. If judgment, you will be judged. If condemnation, you will be condemned. If mercy, you will receive mercy. If honor, you will receive honor.
There may be times in your life that are like Mordecai’s. It is your honor to serve your leader, but there is this ‘Haman’ in your life that is causing you much grief. You may not have a good relationship with your parents, or manager at work, or your co-workers. It is your challenge then to ‘honor’ them. Sow it as a sacrifice. It will come back to you … pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing. Just be patient and chose to honor those around you.

Q: What ‘honor’ are you sowing?
Q: Who do you ‘honor’?

Review:
The weight of importance and state of ‘specialness’ you give to others reflects back on you; and, it is their testimony of what God must really be like. Jesus said, “They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.”

Key Points:
 That which you honor you ascribe importance. Who you honor you ascribe importance.
 Let your actions speak louder than words. Let your actions become your evidence of honor.
 Let your ‘honor’ to your parents reflect your relationship with the God of Israel.
 Prefer someone without thought to your role or immediate personal benefit.
 Defer to the guidance of others out of respect, to honor their wisdom, or to honor their authority.
Check the result. Wait for it.
 Take the lower seat or the lower place. Let the Lord find you out and promote you.
 God is not mocked. Whatsoever you sow, including honor, you shall also reap.

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