I started writing about how Yahweh honoured Ezra and the connection to his spiritual heritage. More broadly I want to look at what the scriptures tell us about the concept of honour.
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. Romans 13:7 (NKJV)
This verse tells us that honour is important, yet an interesting inference here is that not everyone deserves to receive honour. Paul’s statement above comes across as a command rather than a suggestion and it follows in a tradition of another command.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)
2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: Ephesians 6:2 (NKJV)
We are commanded to honour our parents and we are to honour them because Yahweh has delegated authority to them and when we respect His delegated authority in our lives the Lord honours the respect we give to them. When we walk in honour we release something in the spirit realm and position ourselves to receive. So while we have the command to honour our parents the command illustrates the principle Paul expressed. We are to honour those to whom authority has been given.
In context we can see how important Paul’s exhortation is when we look at his lead in to Romans 13:7.
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1 (NKJV)
Paul was writing to Christians in Rome who lived under a brutal emperor. Didn’t he make a mistake here? Well no he actually took it further in Ephesians. In addition to telling us to honour our parents he said the following.
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:5-9 (NKJV)
When Paul said bondservants he was referring to slaves. His point is that whatever authority we have over us in our lives we are to treat that authority with honour and respect because it pleases our Father. There is one out, we are not to honour or submit to authority when it is clearly in opposition to the Lord. When Peter and John were brought before the High Priest and leaders in Jerusalem they knew what Paul later taught, the Hebraic concept of honour. Knowing that, when they were commanded to obey these authorities in opposition to what Jesus had commissioned them to do (Matt. 28:18-20, Mk. 16:9-20) they responded in the following way.
19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” Acts 4:19 (NKJV)
Peter, John and the rest of the young church continued to obey Jesus. It later meant further persecution, the martyrdom of Stephen and the scattering of the church (which led to the spreading of the gospel).
So, seeing something of the principle of honour from the perspective of scripture how are we doing with the supervisor at work, the mayor, the Premier, the Prime Minister? Are we interceding or criticizing?