Key Passage: Proverbs 3:9-10
Key Text: Proverbs 3:10 – “then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”
Honour is a word often misunderstood, misapplied and sometimes misplaced. People who don’t deserve honour are honoured. In Nigeria, there is a real thirst and craze for honour. People pay to be honoured and therefore create a mockery of the word. Biblical honour involved not just respecting or holding someone in high esteem, but much more. It involves giving. Giving of preferences and giving of substances. A person who is honoured is given something by the person honouring him. That’s how it works in God’s kingdom.
Today’s passage instructs us to honour the Lord with our wealth and with the first fruits of all our increase. Let me quickly say here, that this passage could be subject to abuse by Church leaders, who want to fleece the people of God. So they make the demands on the people as if it is compulsory. It is not compulsory, but wise to do. If you decide to honour someone, then you also are inviting that person’s honour into your life.
Scripture speaks about honouring God in many ways, but this issue of the first fruit is most likely a very controversial one. To honour God with our wealth is to esteem God through our giving and what better way to show this by giving God your first fruits.
God is into honour. He is BIG on honour and we need to know this. The issue with Cain and Abel came from this issue. Cain brought the produce of his field and Abel brought some of the first born of his flock. The key word here is first. Who should get the first cut?
As an African, we have a practice in our tradition that made me understand the concept of first fruits a bit better. Once you get your first job and you earn your first pay or salary, it is your responsibility as a well brought up child to bring your whole salary to your parents and present it to them. They in turn divide it up and share among all the elders of the family. (They give you just a small bit to tide you over till the next month). All the elders are now compelled to pray for you that you would be a success. I wonder where they got that from?
God commanded us to “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” You must give to your parents if you honour them. But honouring God is everything. We must see this from His perspective. Please let me take you to a passage of scripture that shows how God views honour and perhaps, we could all gain a heart of understanding. In Malachi 1:6- 9, God said;
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you,
O priests, who despise my name. But you say, How have we despised your name? 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, How have we polluted you? By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil?
Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts.”
This scripture is quite revealing. God asked the questions, If I am a Father and Master where is My Honour? He went on to say, that those who offer lame animals to Him, would they dare offer such to their temporal rulers, their governors etc? So we see that God also looks at the quality of our gifts to Him. We need to think more clearly about what we give to God. Its all about honour.
Now the bible promises that those who honour God with their wealth and first fruits, will have their barns full and their vats overflowing with new wine.
If you decide to honour God in this way, God will make sure you are not broke or in dire need and also, He would ensure nothing will rob you of your joy.
Three years ago, I was about to turn 50 and I decided to honour God with my first salary of the year. That was at the end of January. On the 1st of February, just a week to my 50th birthday, I was coming back from out of town on a speaking engagement, when my 4WD vehicle somersaulted and crashed. We were four in the vehicle and no one was even slightly injured, the jeep was a write off. God saved our lives. But I could not help but relate this escape to the first fruits I gave just a week before. Instead of mourning we had joy and that birthday was gloriously celebrated.
God is into honour and He has promised to honour those who honour Him.
Let’s pray: Father God, I thank you for opening my eyes to the honour issue. Help me to be careful about who and what I honour. Also help me to honour you with my first fruits and my wealth. Help me to remember that this comes with a promise, much the same way that honouring my parents comes with a promise. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
2 thoughts on “God is to be Honoured!”
God bless you sir for this lesson about giving the first fruit. I am really blessed..
This is a Great key.Am blessed.God bless you Sir.