For weeks now a powerful phrase has kept going through my spirit over and over again. The phrase is this: No honor, no glory. I've been searching through the Word of God to more fully understand what Holy Spirit is trying to teach me, because I know that "it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter" (Proverbs 25:2). If we want to see and experience the glory of God, then we'll need to build a foundation and determine why it is that if there is no honor, then there is no glory.
In 2 Chronicles 5:11-14, the glory of God falls as the priests worship in the temple:
"When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions ... and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD ... then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God."
We see here that on occasion the glory of God was manifested on the earth, but throughout history it has, for the most part, been veiled. Even when Jesus came to the earth, He carried the glory but it was veiled in human flesh. However, there were – and are – times when God's glory, the shekinah glory, is revealed in a visible and tangible way.
The word shekinah comes from the Hebrew word shekinot, and it is used in the Bible when God would "settle in" or "dwell with" His people. This is the glory that was seen when God's presence filled the temple like a cloud. We also see this glory at the transfiguration on the Mount where Jesus shone brighter than the noonday sun as He spoke with Moses and Elijah. God's glory falls when there is unity, when there is worship that glorifies or honors God, and when all things are lined up with the kingdom of God.
What Is Honor?
Since we are each a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is so crucial to worship and honor the Lord with our lives and thus fill the earth with His glory. But what is honor? As a noun, honor means "esteem, value, or great respect." In the Bible, to honor someone is to value him or her highly.
We are told to express honor and esteem to certain people, such as our parents, the aged, as well as those who are in authority (see Ephesians 6:2; Leviticus 19:32; Romans 13:1). But, at the same time, we must understand that all authority and honor belong to God alone (see 1 Chronicles 29:11; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 5:13). Even though God can delegate His authority to others, it still only belongs to Him (see Ephesians 4:11-12). This means that when we honor someone, because God has commanded us to do so and because we want to, we're really honoring God.
Honor in the New Testament is the Greek word time (tee-may), the literal definition being "a valuing," or something that is attributed as valuable, precious, and weighty, much like gold or precious stones. Even though honor can be displayed as actions, words, or thoughts, all true honor originates from the heart.
In Isaiah 29:13 the Lord says, "These people say they are Mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And their worship of Me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote." It looks like honor, sounds like honor, but it's not true honor – at least not how God defines it. Honor is simply the overflow of the reverential fear of God springing forth in our hearts.
The Bible talks about a noteworthy group of people who are deserving of "double honor," which are the leadership of the church. First Timothy 5:17 says, "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching."
Not only do we attribute double honor to church leaders, but we see that the Word gives us the command to honor one another in our marketplace relationships too (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 6:1; Ephesians 6:5-9), and of course in the marriage relationship between husbands and wives (see Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:23-33).
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