“BUT YOUR HONOR!” (“honor” as in Psalms)

Message #3 in the “Honor Series,” originally preached March 4, 2012

Jeremy Stopford photo
Jeremy Stopford

By Rev. Jeremy Stopford, Retired Pastor

TODAY’S SPECIAL  “A taxi funny“:

The passenger tapped the cab driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the sidewalk, and stopped inches from a department store window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, “Look mister, don’t ever do that again. You scared me half to death!”

The passenger apologized and said he didn’t realize that a little tap could scare him so much.

The driver replied, “You’re right. I’m sorry. Really, it’s not your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver. I’ve been driving a hearse for 25 years.”


Today’s message continues our series on “honoring God”.  We have learned that God wants to be honored at every age – especially as we grow older and seemingly more frail.  We learned that God wants to be honored in our daily lives and our worship. Last week we learned that honor is a choice – and when we chose to dishonor God we actually are despising Him.  

Out of the 179 times that the word “honor” appears in Scripture, twelve of those are in Psalms.  Today we are going to zero in on the use of “honor” in Psalms.

ILLUSTRATION:  “Judge Joe Brown”, “Judge Judy”, “Judge Alex”, “People’s Court”: These programs all show the defendants and plaintiffs at their worst, and, especially in “Judge Joe Brown”, a witness is often heard crying out, “But your Honor!”. 

Can we so protest against God Himself?  PRAYER


“Sing out the honor of His name;

Make His praise glorious.”

In this verse, the word “honor” means “glory to God alone” !!!

This psalm resonates with PRAISE!

What a JOY to HONOR our God this way! Let’s SING OUT His HONOR today!

2.    MAN IS HEAVY – BE HUMBLED  (Ps. 7:5)

“Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, And lay my honor in the dust. Selah”

In this verse, the word “honor” means “to be heavy, to get glory [in contrast to being despised]”.

Did you notice the word “Selah” at the end of the verse? Do you simply skip over that word when you see it in Scripture? DON’T!!! It means, “PAUSE! THINK ABOUT THAT!”

The Psalmist wants his reader to pause. Why? Well, if we read the previous verses, David is concerned with two things, as we should be! First (vs. 1-2), he reminds God in prayer that God is HIS trust, and his only Hope in the battle.

But having said that, David spends a moment – as should we! – in self-inspection (vs. 3-5). He asks God to check him out – and if there is iniquity in him, if he has repaid evil to the one who was at peace with him, or if he has plundered his enemy without cause – THEN “LAY MY HONOR IN THE DUST!” Let it get heavy! Let my honor be so heavy in the dust that it can’t get up. David saw relationships with all people – especially with those who didn’t agree with him – as vital in his walk with the Lord. Whoa! Do we? Do I?

3.  GOD IS ON DISPLAY – BE SAFE  (Ps. 91:15)

[God speaking] “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him and honor him.”

Here, “honor” means “safety in abiding in God’s presence”

How?  by God’s glory on display in His child!

*  Note the tender verses of intimacy, vs. 1-4,14-16. Verse 1 was one of the theme verses of Elizabeth Eliot in her radio program:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” 

The Psalmist hungered to know God in a most intimate way – and so should we! And in turn, the Lord promised that vessel that His child would “safely abide in God’s presence”.

Wow! I sure need to hear that today! Don’t you?

4.  MAN IS AT WAR – BE SERVING  (Ps. 149:6,9)

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand…

To execute on them [God’s enemies] the written judgment –

This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!”

God’s people are to have high praises of God. That I understand. But to have a two-edged sword in my hand? To execute judgment on God’s enemies? This is my honor to do?

In this verse, “honor” means “majesty”, on display like a Christmas ornament!

God should be praised in our service!

Did you note the “two-edged sword” in verse 6? Should be a familiar item for battle!

Let’s see Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

So for the New Testament saint, the war against those that don’t know God is won through our wise use of…His Word! Are we in the Word of God daily? Are we being instructed personally from Him on a regular basis? Are we equipped to use God’s two-edged sword?

For further study!!! Look up: Psalms 15:4; 21:5; 49:12,20; 96:6; 104:1; 112:9


“For You [the Father] have made Him [the Son] a little lower than the angels, And You [the Father] have crowned Him [the Son] with glory and honor.”

The word “honor” here takes on a special meaning: “an object of reverence or majesty”.

The author of Hebrews notes the fulfillment in Hebrews 2:6,9 in the Lord Jesus!

Honor! He is THE Object of reverence and majesty for all eternity!!!

Is Jesus the Object – the Goal, the One and ONLY Center – of reverence and majesty in your heart today?