Tag Archives: honor
Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #36 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 8
√Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
Today’s Challenge: Which servant-leader deserves to be honored by you? And what steps will you take to fulfill that challenge?
29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me. (ch. 2)
How we treat fellow believers is really critical, according to Paul. Epaphroditus had been sent by these Christians to minister to Paul, to “take care of [his] needs.” And while Epaphroditus had gone to help Paul, he (Epaphroditus) had become sick — almost to the point of death!
It is interesting that Paul didn’t tell Epaphroditus to “claim his healing in Jesus” or demand his “birthright” as a child of God. Paul was not a prosperity preacher! He says that “God had mercy on him” and spared Epaphroditus’ life. And now Paul is sending him back to these Philippian believers.
How are we to treat such dedicated workers and soldiers? We are to welcome them “with great JOY” and to “honor people like him” (v. 30). This “brother, co-worker and fellow soldier” is to be respected and held in high esteem.
How do we treat those who serve the Lord in similar ways? In many ways today’s missionaries are contemporary examples of Epaphroditus. They are to be welcomed “in the Lord with great JOY!”
As we continue our study of 2 Samuel 11 and the rape of Bathsheba, let us read over the text before we make some comments:
Several further observations of this text:
1. David now has to develop a plan to cover up his sin of raping Bathsheba. When she says, “I am pregnant,” David comes up with the brilliant idea of granting a military leave to Uriah.
2. David sends for Uriah, a command which Joab immediately obeys (v. 6). The coming home of a soldier is often used today to sell everything from cell phone plans to American flags. Patriotism is honorable (but David dishonors it here).
3. David engages Uriah in conversation. He asks him how Joab was, how the soldiers were doing, how the war was going (v. 7). Those weren’t the reason David had Uriah leave the battle front. Those questions are virtually small talk in David’s plan of earning Uriah’s trust.
4. David sends Uriah home to “wash his feet” (hoping that he would sleep with his wife and when the child is born everyone would say, “Ahh. It was when Uriah came back home for a little R&R! But doesn’t the baby’s nose look a little like King David’s?!”) David even has a gift sent after Uriah, but his cursed loyalty had him sleep at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants! (v. 9).
5. Uriah’s answer to David’s question why he did not go home reveals the heart of a loyal soldier: “How could I go home to eat and drink and make love to my wife when the ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents in the open country?! I swear to you, King David, I won’t do such a thing!” (v. 11).
6. So Plan A doesn’t work. David has to move to Plan B — get Uriah drunk. Drunk people do things they normally would not do (or so I’m told by others). But even in his inebriated state, Uriah sleeps on a mat with his master’s servants and does not go home. David has to move to Plan C.
(to be continued)
Some takeaways for me:
1. Never underestimate the deceitfulness and diabolical nature of sin.
2. We should honor those who serve their country and not take advantage of them when they are not at home.
3. We should be grateful for the unvarnished reporting of Scripture about David and his efforts to cover up his sin. The Bible does not sugarcoat human depravity.
As we continue our study of I Samuel, our text this morning is a bit long. Let’s read — and think through — I Samuel 9 . . .
Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, has a son who was a model for the magazine GQ. Not really, but Saul was “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel” (v. 2). And he was also taller than everyone else.
It is in the course of everyday life — the episode of some lost donkeys — that Saul’s life will dramatically change! The search for the missing donkeys was coming up empty-handed (vv. 3-4), so Saul was fearful his father would stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about them (v. 5). The servant suggested they consult a nearby “man of God” for advice. Saul agrees and realizes they have no gift for the man. The servant offers his own money and they set out to find the man of God (vv. 6-10).
Receiving some advice about the “seer,” they meet Samuel on his way to the high place. Just the day before the Lord had instructed Samuel to anoint “a man from the land of Benjamin”! “He will deliver Israel from the Philistines . . . for their cry has reached me” (v. 16). When he sees Saul, Samuel is told by the Lord that “this is the man I spoke to you about” (v. 17).
Samuel invites Saul and his servant to eat with him and promises to tell him “all that is in [his] heart” (v. 19). “And don’t worry about the donkeys,” he says! (v. 20). God must have given Samuel supernatural insight into the whereabouts of the donkeys! Samuel then says, “And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” (v. 20).
Saul responds in humility, for he came from the least of Israel’s tribes — “Why do you say such a thing to me?” (v. 21). Samuel sits Saul and his servant at the head of the table to which 30 others were invited and instructs the cook to bring the designated piece of meat for Saul. Samuel tells him that this meat was reserved specifically for him! (v. 24).
Around daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof to get ready to leave. At the edge of town, Samuel asks Saul to send his servant ahead and for Saul to stay “that I may give you a message from God” (v. 27).
My, how the Lord uses simple things to accomplish His purposes! A couple of lost donkeys! And searching for them leads to Saul meeting the prophet Samuel who will anoint him as Israel’s first king!
We also see how the Lord had supernaturally communicated to Samuel what He wanted him to do. God told Samuel where the donkeys were and to speak some incredible words to Saul: “to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line” (v. 20).
We must be impressed with Saul’s humility and his openness to hearing “a message of God” which Samuel will give him.