Listen to sermons at




Sermon #2088[i]                                                              Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:         The Most Certain of All Laws


      Text:                                  1 Samuel 2:30

      Subject:               Honoring God



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 1 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 caused the people of Israel to abhor the offering of the Lord (v. 17). They were guilty of three horrible evils.

  1. They used the priests office to enrich themselves, for their own ease, indulgence, and gratification.
  2. They committed adultery with women who came to worship God at the very door of the tabernacle.
  3. They taught Israel to despise God’s sacrifice, to despise the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God represented in the sacrifice.

When Eli heard the report of his son’s wickedness he restrained them not (3:13).


Read verses 22-25.


1 Samuel 2:22-25 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.


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 dogmatism and boldness 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 (was determined 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.


The Priesthood and Christ


Eli was descended from Aaron's youngest son, Ithamar, not Eleazar his eldest. We are not told how the priesthood had been transferred from the family of Eleazar to Ithamar's family; but it obviously was, for Eli, Ithamar’s descendant, was the priest. It is also obvious that God’s original gift of the priesthood to Aaron and his sons was conditional. God never intended that it should continue forever. The law was a temporary thing, typifying and foreshadowing Christ. God never intended that it continue forever. — “Christ is the end of the law!

  • Its Ordinance
  • Its Ceremonies
  • Its Sacrifices
  • Its Priesthood
  • Its Covenant
  • Its Holy Days
  • Its Sabbaths
  • Its Curse
  • Its Covenant
  • Its Rule
  • Its Power


In the passage before us (1 Samuel 2) the object of God the Holy Ghost was to convey to Eli and Israel the certain and total abolition of the Levitical dispensation, by the Lord Jesus (cf verses 30 and 35).


1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.


1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever.


Christ is the great High Priest of God’s Israel. He magnified the law and made it honorable as our great High Priest by his obedience and death, by his sin-atoning sacrifice for our sins. As such, because he is that One who honored God, God has honored him (Philippians 2:5-11).


Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


In and by Christ Jesus, God’s Priest, all his sons are made kings and priests to God. Blessed Savior, “Thou art a priest forever,” a priest with an everlasting priesthood! And you have made us, your redeemed, your “chosen generation, an holy nation and a royal priesthood!As such, in Christ, by his merit, we are accepted of God and all our offerings to God are accepted! Christ our is the Priest, and the Offering, and the Altar, which sanctifies us and our gifts.


Thank God for Christ our Priest by whom God is honored and by whom we honor God! But let’s go back to our text. The Lord God said to Eli, — “Them that honour me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”


God Dishonored


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 known 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.” (Malachi 1:6).


I repeat, there is no middle ground between honoring God and despising him.


I have no doubt that 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 in his wrath and took the priesthood from him and his house forever.


I want us to see this. This is The Most Certain of All Laws. — “Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”


Proposition: 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.


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.

  • Abraham honored God; and God honored Abraham.
  • Lot was a righteous man, every bit as righteous as Abraham; but he failed to honor God, and suffered the consequences in his family.
  • Job honored God; and God honored Job.
  • David was a righteous man, a man after God’s own heart; but he failed to honor God in the matter of Uriah and suffered the consequences in his family.
  • Jephthah honored God; and God honored Jephthah.
  • Eli was a righteous man; but he failed to honor God, and suffered the consequences in his family.


Our Duty


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.


Children of God, we must make the honor of God the supreme concern of our 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 regard of others concerning him. You and I are an occasion of God being either honored or blasphemed by those we influence. How careful we ought to be!


Our God deserves to be honored by us! Does he not? He has done exceeding abundantly for us above all that we could ever ask or think ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 19-20).

1.     He has chosen us!

2.     He has redeemed us!

3.     He has called us!

4.     He has forgiven us and forgives us!

5.     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 (2 Corinthians 4:6).


2 Corinthians 4:3-6 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.


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)


John 5:22-24 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.


2.     By Confessing Your Sin and Glorifying His Justice and His Grace (Psalm 51:1-4)


Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.


1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


3.     By Submitting to the Rule of Christ as Your Lord (Philippians 2:9-11)


Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


4.     By Trusting His Unerring Providence (Romans 8:28-32)


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


Romans 8:28-32 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?


5.     By Extolling His Greatness (Psalms 30:1; 68:4; 145:1; Daniel 4:37 — “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God!” Deuteronomy 32:3)


Psalm 30:1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.


Psalm 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.


Psalm 145:1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name forever and ever.


Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.


Let us ever extol God’s greatness. — “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God!

·      In Your Doctrine!

·      In Your Praise!

·      In Your Prayers!

·      In Your Preaching!


6.     By Rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4)


Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


God’s elect ought to be the happiest people beneath the sky.

·      You are forgiven!

·      You are an heir of God!

·      His Spirit dwells in You!


7.     By Consecrating Yourself to Him Alone (Luke 14:26; Romans 12:1-2)


Luke 14:25-26 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.


Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


·      Obey his Word — All His Teaching! — All His Ordinances! Worship, Baptism, The Supper.

·      Seek his will (Proverbs 3:5-6).

·      Honor him with your time, talents, and opportunities. — “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

·      Honor him with your substance (Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:8-14).


Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.


Malachi 3:8-14 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?


·      Love one another (1 John 3:23).


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.

·          Civil magistrates are responsible to promote God’s honor in society.

·          Parents are responsible to demand God’s honor among their children.


Illustration:            Abraham (Genesis 18:19).

                                                                              Joshua (Joshua 24:15).


  • Pastors are responsible to maintain God’s honor in his church.


God’s Promise


Here is the promise of God to all his saints — “Them that honor me I will honor!”

  • This is God’s promise to his servants.
  • This is God’s promise to every household.
  • This is God’s promise to his church.
  • 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 (Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:30 – “Lacked ye anything” Luke 22:35).


Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.


Mark 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.


Luke 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing.


Illustration: 1 Samuel 2:20-21 – “God always pays good interest on his loans.” (Spurgeon) – (Luke 6:38).


1 Samuel 2:20-21 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.


Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.


NOTE: You will never impoverish yourself by serving God’s honor in this world (John 12:26).


John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.


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!”

·       God will give you respect among men (Mark 6:20). — “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.”

·       God will give you influence in this world for good – The Martyr.

·       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!

Ø  Among the Angels!

Ø  Among the Saints in Glory!

Ø  Among the Devils!


  • God will give you honor in the end (Matthew 25:34) – “Well done!


Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

God’s Warning


Here is a warning I hope you will hear: – “They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

  • In Life!
  • In Death!
  • For Eternity!


There is no middle ground between honoring God and despising him — Which will it be for you?

  • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and honor God.
  • Set your heart on things above, on Christ the Lord, and live for the honor of God your Savior.


Illustration: The Preacher and the Businessman.






Don Fortner








Pastor Fortner’s


Audio Sermons

Video Sermons


Event Calendar





[i]        Danville — Sunday Morning — July 14, 2013

     Sovereign Grace Church — San Diego, CA — Wednesday - July 3, 2013

     Rescue Baptist Church — Rescue, CA — (Friday – July 5, 2013)


     Recording:     BB-36

     Readings:       1 Samuel 2:1-36