There was a time when men were willing to give their life to maintain honor – honor for God, honor for their country, honor for their family. Honor is a word that is rarely used today. Yet the definition is still the same:
- high respect; great esteem."his portrait hangs in the place of hono regard with great respect."they honor their parents in all they do
- fulfill (an obligation or keep (an agreement).
Honor has a lot to do with respect – the criteria does’t have to be that the one given respect deserves it, or earns it. Honor stems from the individual who extols the honor more so than the one that they honor. In our contemporary culture, disrespect is as common as the sun rising in the east. We feel that our freedom entitles us to say anything about anybody. Even to the extent that we reflect the behavior of the one we are criticizing; after all if the person you are defaming is so ill-mannered, and if you blurt out angry obscenities to them, aren’t you just as bad? In just a few years, our culture has shifted to extolling things that were once blatantly wrong, and turning against people who uphold values that have been right for hundreds, even thousands of years.
There are many scriptures that speak to honor, but one that I want to begin with is in Exodus 1:19-21: (MSG)
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women; they’re vigorous. Before the midwife can get there, they’ve already had the baby."
20-21 God was pleased with the midwives. The people continued to increase in number—a very strong people. And because the midwives honored God, God gave them families of their own.
We see in this passage that the midwives defied the law of the land to kill the male babies born to the Hebrew women. In doing so, they honored God, who wants all babies in the womb to live. It’s interesting what coms next in this verse, ""because they honored God, God gave them families of their own".
Honor goes against the grain of our society today when it is given to those the society shuns. The Hebrew children were shunned by the Egyptians, the life of the males thought to be of no value. Yet when they were spared by the midwives, God blessed those midwives in ways that only He could. He’ll do that for you too!