The Best Way to Become a Man or a Woman of Honour, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye
Honour comes when one enjoys high regard or one is greatly esteemed in life. Honour is good. Honour is godly: God receives and bestows honour. God wants us His people to be people of honour. Sadly many of us live and die without attaining to the honour or to the level at which God had envisaged for us.
Generally honour can come in three ways:
- By birth. People can be born into honour, which is not a surprise. The descendants of: royals, the clergy, the wealthy and even the academia can enter into honour they have not worked for. E.g Queen, Ophni & Phinehas, students of Socrates, Gamaliel, etc. Very few are privileged to be in this category. The downward side to this honour is that it can be easily misused.
- By cheating. It is possible for people to bribe or pay their way into honour. Especially in developing, world many people are called honourable gentlemen who have used money or some other dubious means to attain that position. E.g. Politicians, public officers, etc. Adonijah in Israel combined by birth & by cheating.
- By doing a honourable deed. This is the easy and the most remarkable way to enter into honour. Deed of honour confers position of honour on those who did it. It is by performing a feat that is more than ordinary, this will enable one to be considered for accolade of honour. Anyone can enjoy this E.g. Medal of honour in the military – it is an awarded for personal act of valour above and beyond the call of duty given by the Commander in chief of Armed Forces.
There were many instances in the bible where people devoted themselves to deeds of honour and were able to receive rewards that put them into position of honour:
For many years, the Ark of the covenant was dwelling in the tent in a village in Israel, so when David became the King and finished his city, he thought it would be a good thing to bring the Ark of God into a befitting place in his city.
II Sam. 6:1-11, the bible says David’s men used oxen driven cart to draw the Ark, which stumbled along the way, Uzzah that quickly stretched out his hand to stabilise the Ark was struck dead by God instantly! David became very fearful and displeased that he had to look for an alternative place for the Ark to rest.
Obededom name then came up and the Ark was taken there. What a deed of honour he embarked upon. He sacrificed his life and that of his family to host the Ark and removed shame from Jehovah’s emblem. He did not decline for safety as his wife or his children might touch it and die.
His honourable service paid off greatly. In three months, it was reported to David that God had blessed Obededom household exceedingly. Throughout his life, Obededom was a blessed man. He had 8 sons; 62 grandsons; all of who were special in the service of God (I Chro. 26:4-8). For God blessed him with men of Valour, valiant, able men in strength for service.
- A quick way of becoming a man of honour is to for one to make daring sacrifices, when one is faced with death, sacrificing one’s life will generate reward of honour.
- You must be a man/woman that is very responsible and accountable to what has been committed into your hands. (Father with boss in civil service).
- You must be someone who refused to be overwhelmed with difficulty. David was engrossed with the death of Uzzah, Obededom was considering how to please God. David – thinking of the mess, Obededom – thinking of the way out.
In another account, it was David that demonstrated a deed that accorded him a position of great honour in Israel. In I Sam. 17:1-54, the Israelites and Philistines were at war and their armies encamped against each other. It happened that the battle will be fought by just two people only, one from each side, the country of the individual that won was to be the conqueror and the country of the loser to become slaves. The Philistines had the Goliath of Gath to represent them, the Israelites had no one.
Goliath taunted, challenged, abused and cursed the nation of Israel for 40 days, yet no one had the courage to confront him. It took David (who was at the war by Divine arrangement) to remove the shame and reproach from Israel.
David became very wealthy, became an in-law to the King, his family was exempted from tax and he became a man of national honour at just 17 years of age!
- Those that want to become honourable must be prepared to take great risk. David charged at lion, bear and then Goliath. We all have instances when we face ‘lions, bears and goliaths’ of life, your reaction to them can confer honours on you or relegate you to shame.
- Saul and all his commanders were sore afraid for 40 days, only God knows how long that would have continued if David had not appeared. People who put their hands on their chin and watch can hardly become honourable.
- Those that must attain a position of honour must be very good at whatever skill they have learnt. David was exceptionally good in slinging a stone. It brought him into stardom. What are skills you have learnt? How good are you in them?
- Those to enter into position of honour must trust wholly in Jehovah. Though, David knew he was very good with his sling, his statement however was that he was taking the giant on in the name of the Almighty God. How much trust do you have in Jesus name.
In Numbers 13 & 14, Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the Promise Land and to bring back report. The people chosen were leaders in their tribes, who were already occupying a certain level of honour. When they came back, 10 of them brought back sad news and just 2 brought good news.
The action of the 10 dishonoured God greatly, so they and everyone above the age of 20 years died in the wilderness. Joshua and Caleb however entered the Promised Land and became men of great honour till today!
- Those who will become honourable must be able to see beyond what their natural eyes can see.
- They must have faith in the word of God.
- They must be people who will prefer to press forward rather than withdraw when faced with hardship.
- They must be people who can inspire the courage of others.
In II Sam. 23:8-14, the bible talked about certain men who were followers of David (Josheb, Eleazer and Shammah), they overheard David said that he longed to drink water from the well at gate of Bethlehem. These men took it upon themselves to go to after this water without any instruction to do so.
The well was guarded at the time by a garrison of Philistine soldiers, just 3 of them were able to break through the whole garrison, fetched the water and made their way to safety!
The sacrifice they paid was so great for David to bear, he refused to drink the water, it was like blood to him, he had to pour it as a sacrifice before the Lord.
These guys later became David’s mighty men of valour, commanding division of the Army.
- Those who will be honourable in life must be able to demonstrate exceptional loyalty and due regard to their leader, as the leader rises in honour, they will also rise.
- They must be fearless and be able to do what many will consider unthinkable.
- The fact that no one has done it before does not mean it can’t be done.
In Luke 7:1-10, the bible records the act of a foreigner in Israel whom his deed brought him reward of honour by Jesus. He was a Centurion, possibly a Roman soldier whom his servant was gravely sick. He thought Jesus might not come to him as a foreigner, so he sent the elders of the Jews to Him.
When the elders got to Jesus, what they said regarding the Centurion was so moving that Jesus could not resist going. The man loved the people of Israel and had built a temple for them!
The words in the mouth of the Centurion even brought him more rewards of honour.
- Those who wants to be men and women of honour must be able to spend their resources sacrificially for the things of God.
- They must be able to devote their time, energy and finance to the service of humanity.
- The man was a soldier who was earning salary. Though he was a company commander, which will earn him a higher pay, but he must have used significant amount to build a temple. (Historian said a ruin of a temple built with marble was in Capernaum).
- How much can you spend for God? What percentage of your income is spent for God? How much do you sow into the gospel? Apart from the tax deducted from you by govt, what is your personal contribution to humanity? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela became honourable in this way. What will you do?
Someone might say, forget works, that they only need to have faith in God to make it to heaven. Truly, faith makes us candidates of heaven, but without good works a believer may not enter.
- In Mt. 25:31-46 sheep and goat separated because (hungered, thirst, stranger, naked, sick).
- In James 2:14-26 (faith without works is dead being alone) Abraham, Rahab.
- II Cor. 5:10 (appear before Christ to receive reward done in flesh, whether is deed of honour or dishonour?)
What will yours and mine be?
In conclusion, do you really want to be a man or woman of honour in this life and in the life to come?
- Live a life of sacrifice;
- be prepared to take huge risks in order to glorify God;
- be extremely good at whatever you do;
- put your trust solely on Jehovah;
- be someone of exceptional loyalty;
- give due honours to people ahead of you;
- spend and be spent for God;
- be sold out to the cause of humanity;
- be able to see beyond the natural;
- be determined to go forward despite choking hardship; and
- you must be able to inspire and lead others to their promised land.
Today we still have the opportunity to embark on good deeds and be certain our name is in the book of life. If you have not been involved in good deeds, please start today..
- Father, help me to pay the price of my predestined honour.
- Father, let not my honour be given to another.
- Father, make me a honourable fellow in this life; in the Millennial reign and in the New Earth.
The sermon, The Best Way to Become a Man or a Woman of Honour, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on April 10, 2016.