Sermon #1050 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: THE MOST CERTAIN OF ALL LAWS
Text: I Samuel 2:30
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:6; 2:3, 7; 3:13-14
Subject: Honoring God
Date: Sunday Morning – November 8, 1992
There is no middle ground between honoring God and despising him. If God is not honored, something else is honored above him and God is despised. Either we honor God, or we despise him. There is no middle ground.
The title of my message is The Most Certain Of All Laws. My text is found in I Samuel 2:30 – These are the words of God to Eli the priest. “Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
We are told that Eli honored his sons above God (v. 29). His sons, Hophni and Phinehas, used their office as priests in Israel to serve themselves. They cause the people to abhor the offer of the Lord (v. 17). When Eli heard the report of his son’s wickedness he restrained them not (3:13).
Read verses 22-25 – That is the way Eli rebuked his sons. Perhaps you think “The old man had learned to be gentle and tender.” But God saw it differently! God calls his “gentleness” despising him! There are other virtues in true manhood besides gentleness. Sometimes a firm word of rebuke is required. Sometimes severity is required. When the honor of God is at stake, gentleness is treason. Men call it bigotry and sectarianism. The world praises the preacher who never offends anyone. But God blames him.
Did you notice how Eli’s sons responded to his gentle persuasion? “They hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would (desired to) slay them.” They had gone so far in their sin that God permitted them to go further still, because he was determined to kill them.
Eli’s actions were considered by God to be direct and absolute contempt of him. The same thing is true of every act of disobedience and every neglect of know duty. All disobedience, all neglect of duty implies a preference to our will, our interests, or our pleasures above the will of God and the honor of God.
· To neglect his salvation is to despise his Son!
· To resist his will is to despise his Dominion!
· To disregard his Word is to despise his Word!
Eli preferred his sons to his God. He preferred their harmony to God’s honor. He preferred their smile to God’s sacrifice. He preferred their pleasure to God’s praise. Therefore God killed his sons and took the priesthood from the house of Eli forever.
God demands that we honor him. Hear him, “A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if I then be a father, where is mine honor? And if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lord of hosts unto you that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name.” (Mal. 1:6).
I repeat, there is no middle ground between honoring God and despising him.
Without question, Eli was a true believer. He judged Israel for forty years. And “his heart trembled for the ark of God.” Yet, he failed to honor God in the matter of his two sons. Therefore God took both his sons and the priesthood from him.
I want us to see this. This is The Most Certain of All Laws. “Then that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
Sooner or later, God will reward all men according to this rule of infallible justice.
In the light of that fact, I pray that we will each judge ourselves that we be not judged. Many a man, whose life and family have been plagued with sorrow and grief, can trace the bitter stream of woe to this cause – He has not honored God. Spurgeon said, “If we had seen the sin that was hidden from human eyes, we should have understood the sorrow that was evident to all.”
Here is a law that will never be broken – If we honor God he will honor us; and if we despise him we shall be lightly esteemed.
· Lot was a righteous man; but he failed to honor God, and suffered the consequences in his family.
· David was a righteous man; but he failed to honor God in the matter of Uriah and suffered the consequences in his family.
· Eli was a righteous man; but he failed to honor God, and suffered the consequences in his family.
I. Here is Our Duty in All Things – Honor God!
That seems to me to be simple enough. Every Sunday School child has been taught that the chief duty of man is to glorify God. The one thing that God will have from all his creatures, one way or another, is honor.
Here Eli failed miserably. He did reprove his sons for their wickedness; but he neglected to exert the authority God had given him to correct them. He manifested more regard for the feelings of his sons than for the honor of his God.
A. Children of God, make the Honor of God the Supreme Concern of Your Lives.
None of us can add to or diminish, in the least, the honor of God. He is glorious with or without us! However, we do greatly affect the regards of others toward him. You and I are an occasion of God being either honored or blasphemed by those we influence. How careful we ought to be!
B. Our God deserves to be honored by us!
Does he not? He has done exceeding abundantly for us above what we could ever ask or think – ( I Cor. 6:9-11, 19-20).
1. He has chosen us!
2. He has redeemed us!
3. He has called us!
4. He has kept us!
Our God has made himself known to us in a way that he has not made himself known to others (John 14:22). All the world may behold the glory of his wisdom and power in creation but you and I have been made to see the glory of his grace in the face of Jesus Christ – (II Cor. 4:6).
C. Let me speak plainly and tell you how we are to honor God.
Because we declare the believer’s absolute freedom from the law in Christ and refuse to place the yoke of bondage upon the necks of God’s saints, because we refuse all attempts to lay upon God’s children any system of rules and regulations to control their lives, we are often accused of being ambiguous. So let me be perfectly clear. Honor God…
1. By Believing On The Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22-24).
2. By Confessing Your Sin and Glorifying His Justice (Ps. 51:1-4).
3. By Submitting to the Rule of Christ as Your Lord (Phil. 2:9-11).
4. By Trusting His Unerring Providence (Rom. 8:28-32).
5. By Extolling His Greatness (Ps. 30:1; 68:4; 145:1; Dan. 4:37).
o In Your Doctrine!
o In Your Praise!
o In Your Prayers!
6. By Rejoicing in the Lord (Phil 4:4).
God’s elect ought to be the happiest people beneath the sky.
a. You are Forgiven!
b. You are an Heir of God!
c. His Spirit Dwells in You!
7. By Consecrating Yourself To Him Alone (Luke 14:26).
a. Obey His Word
§ All His Teaching!
§ All His Ordinances! Worship, Baptism, The Supper.
b. Seek His Will (Pro. 3:5-6).
c. Honor Him With Your Substance (Pro. 3:9; Mal. 3:8-14).
d. Love One Another (I John 3:23).
D. Not Only Are We To Honor God Ourselves, God Requires Each of Us To Promote His Honor In The World.
Eli honored the Lord personally; but he failed to use the power God had given him to require his sons to honor God.
1. Civil Magistrates are Responsible to Promote God’s Honor In Society.
2. Parents are Responsible to Demand God’s Honor Among Their Children.
Illustration: Abraham (Gen. 18:19).
Joshua (Jos. 24:15).
3. Pastors are Responsible to Maintain God’s Honor in His Church.
II. Here is The Promise of God to All His Saints – “Them that honor me I will honor!”
A. This is God’s Promise to His Servants.
B. This is God’s Promise to Every Household.
C. This is God’s Promise to His Church.
D. This is God’s Promise to Every Believer.
Our God promises us that if we honor him he will honor us, even in this present life (Matt. 19:29; Mk. 10:30 – “Lacked ye anything” Lk. 22:35).
Illustration: I Samuel 2:20-21 – “God always pays good interest on his loans.” (Spurgeon) – (Luke 6:38).
NOTE: You will never impoverish yourself by serving God’s honor in this world (John 12:26).
Illustration: Queen Elizabeth said to a businessman in London, “I want you to go to Hamburg to attend to some business for me.” “But, your Majesty,” he said, “my own business will suffer in my absence.” “No,” she replied, “it will not. If you attend to my business, I will attend to yours!”
1. God will give you respect among men (Mk. 6:20)
2. God will give you influence in this world for good – The Martyr.
3. God will give you peace of conscience.
NOTE: None of us ever knows how much God is honoring us at anytime. There is a fame greater than that spoken by the breath of man!
o Among the Angels!
o Among the Saints in Glory!
o Among the Devils!
4. God will give you honor in the end (Matt. 25:34; Mal. 3:1) – “Well done!”
III. Here is A Warning I Hope You will Hear – “They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
· In Life!
· In Death!
· In Eternity!
There is no middle ground between honoring God and despising him – Which will it be for you?
Illustration: The Preacher and The Businessman.