(Words of Divine Comfort- Octavius Winslow, 1872)
“The Lord says, Those who honor Me I will honor.”–1 Sam. 2:30
How necessary for our instruction and God’s glory that we should accept His Word just as we find it, and not as interpreted by a fallible church, or as reflected from a human standard. It is perilous to study the Bible in any other light than its own, or to recognize any other interpreter than its Divine Author. Guided by this precept, let us consider the words of God which suggest our present meditation–“Those who honor Me I will honor.” They were originally spoken to Eli on the occasion of his preferring the sinful indulgence of his sons to the command and glory of God. By retaining them in the priests’ offices, polluted by their iniquity and scandalized by their sacrilege, Eli had greatly dishonored God. It was on this solemn occasion that He spoke these words–“Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”
The subject is solemn–searching–instructive. God keep us from Eli’s sin! May His glory be our first and supreme object. God is justly jealous of His honor. He would not be God, righteous and pure, were He to part with one scintillation of His glory. “My glory will I not give to another.” How, then, may I–trusting that, through electing love and sovereign grace, I am His adopted child, His chosen servant–best honor Him?
First. By fully believing in the divinity of His revealed Word. In magnifying His Word above His Name, God has demonstrated how closely entwined are His honor and His truth. To cast, then, a doubt upon the truth of God’s Word, is to cast the highest dishonor upon God himself. My soul, beware of low views of inspiration, of tampering with the Bible, of caviling at any revealed truth; but, stand in awe of its divinity, adore its majesty, and bow unquestioningly to its authority. Then will God honor you, by making His Word your light in darkness, your joy in grief, your strength in service, your hope in despondency and despair. Thus, the Gospel you do implicitly and fully accept, will soothe you in life, support you in death, and be your glory and song through eternity. Thus honoring God in His Word, God will honor you by making that Word the joy and rejoicing of your soul.
I honor God by trusting Him. As there is not a more God-dishonoring principle than unbelief, so there is not a more God-glorifying grace than the faith that reposes in Him, with a childlike and unquestioning confidence–a faith that trusts His veracity to fulfill, and His power to perform all that He is pledged in His covenant and Word to do. My soul, you are tried, burdened, and in need. Have faith in God! Now is the time to bring honor and glory to His great Name by a simple, unhesitating trust in His power, faithfulness, and love–to comfort your sorrow, to counsel your perplexity, and to bring you out of trouble, with the richest blessing springing therefrom. Then will your God honor you. The faith that trusts the all-sufficiency of God, believing that the promise, though not yet performed, and that the prayer, though not yet answered, still will be, shall be crowned with a full realization of all it needed, all it asked, and all it hoped. God will say, “You have crowned My faithfulness by trusting Me, I will now crown your faith by giving to you.”
Let me honor Christ by fully accepting His salvation. O my soul, beware of placing your sin, and guilt, and unworthiness, beyond the limit of Christ’s ability and willingness to save. Oh! what dishonor to the Savior–a dishonor with which even devils are not chargeable–to doubt the efficacy of His blood to pardon, and the merit of His righteousness to justify the very chief of sinners.
Lord! what honor have You put upon me, to ask me to believe–to accept–to be saved! What marvelous condescension and grace that, in doing this, You should receive it as an honor done to You at my worthless hands. Blessed Lord! I will trample my own honor in the dust, if Yours be but reared upon its utter ruin. Self shall be uncrowned, that upon Your head the crown may flourish!