Jeremy Stopford photo
Rev. Jeremy Stopford

“HONOR” SERIES, Message #1

Originally preached February 12, 2012

Rev. Jeremy Stopford, Retired Pastor

Today’s “Special”: “Ethel“

An elderly man lay in a hospital, with his wife of 55 years sitting at his bedside. “Is that you, Ethel, at my side again?” he whispered.

“Yes, dear,” she answered.

He softly said to her, “Remember years ago when I was in the Veteran’s Hospital? You were with me then. You were with me when we lost everything in a fire. And Ethel, when we were poor—you stuck with me then too.” The man sighed and said, “I tell you, Ethel, you are bad luck!”


Today’s passage has a 5 letter word that we may use a lot, but may be surprised that it’s original intent, it’s highest purpose, is to be used in reference to God.

To “honor” means to give the highest respect. We call judges, “Your Honor” as a means of respect. To place high. To give the place that only they deserve. To honor.

Israel needed to learn what it means. We need to learn how to apply it to our lives.


I Samuel 2:27: Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and HONOR your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who HONOR Me I will HONOR, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age” (1 Samuel 2:27-33).


a. The encouraged heritage of Aaron, vs. 27,28

b. The disgraced heritage of Eli, vs. 29-31a

c. The potential to age “gracefully”, vs. 31b-33

Gen. 21:7: “(Sarah) borne him a son in his old age.”

Gen. 24:1: “(Abraham)..old, well advanced in age, the Lord had blessed Abe)… in all things”

Gen. 25:8: “(Abe) breathed his last and died in a good old age, full of years…”

Gen. 37:3: “Israel loved Joseph…because he was the son of his old age.”

2 Sam. 19:32: “Barzillai…aged man, eighty years old, he had provided the king with supplies.”

1 Kings 15:23: “Asa…in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.”

Ps. 92:13,14: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord…shall still bear fruit in old age…”

How about us?

II. IT’S AN HONOR THING, vs. 29-30

  1. Who did Eli honor more than God? His sons!
  2. Who will God honor if we honor Him? Us!

c. How does God like to be honored?

* By honoring our parents (Ex. 20:12)

  • By honoring the presence of the gray headed (Lev. 19:32)
  • By honoring God with our possessions and our increase (Prov. 3:9,10)
  • By exalting wisdom (Prov. 4:8)
  • By regarding a rebuke (Prov. 13:18)
  • By having mercy on the needy (Prov. 14:31)
  • By the testing of our faith (1 Pet. 1:7)

* By our singing (Ps. 66:2)

* By our worship (Rev. 5:12, 13)

* By our seeing Him in the sanctuary (Ps. 96:6)

* By extolling Him Who is clothed with HONOR (Ps.. 104:1)

* By our worship of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 2:9)


Eric Liddell, 1924 Olympic champion in Paris. Eric, representing Great Britain, was training for the Olympics in the 100 meter dash. When he was advised that his heats would be on Sunday at the Olympics, he withdrew even though he was the favored to win. He said, “that is the Lord’s Day – I will rest on His day.” He was ridiculed greatly throughout the world, much less his nation, for that stand. He was invited to compete in the 400 meter dash, an event for which he had never competed. Just before the race, a friend handed him a note. It read in part, “The Old Book says, ‘those who HONOR Me, I will HONOR.”

Eric ran like the wind, came in first place, setting a world record.

He later was martyred as a missionary to China.