I was seating down at a table in a café, gently sipping on my latte, when I observed a group of six people walk in and go up to the counter to place their orders. When their orders had been filled, only two of the six people carried trays laden with tea pots, cups, saucers, cakes, scones and what have you. Of the four who were carrying absolutely nothing, one was an elderly woman and the other three who were men, judging from their looks, were older than the two ladies who carried the trays.
Now let me say here that I am a black African woman of Yoruba origin, from the Western part of Nigeria and am extremely proud of our rich cultural heritage. We are very big on respecting and honouring our elders; like kneeling down to greet them, letting them take our seat if there are no more seats or carrying their luggage for them.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw these Caucasians act out this show of respect and honour before me and it got me thinking …hmmmmmm…..where exactly did we learn to respect and honour our elders? Is it of African origin?
No! Far from it! It’s all in the word of God………and here is what I found.
Naturally we are commanded by God to honour our parents. The commandment to honour our parents comes with a promise of longevity on this side of eternity. However the instruction to respect or honour goes beyond our parents. God also said; “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32 KJV
Another version puts it this way “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19 : 32 NLT
Clearly, God is very particular about honouring the elderly so much so that He likens it to the “Fear of God”. When we honour the elderly it says a lot about our relationship with God. Remember what it says in Proverbs 9: 10a “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom“; so when we disrespect our elders; we do not fear God and we are not wise. Yet when we honour God, our parents or elders it is really for our own benefit because not only is honour reciprocal there are also subsequent rewards. God honours those who honour Him. Proverbs 3: 9-10.
The humble will be honoured as it is written in Proverbs 15:33b; just as the reverse is the case where those who are not humble will be dishonoured. King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4: 37 was abased because he was proud and refused to honour God.
Something else that has the reward of honour attached to it is serving Jesus Christ. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”. John 12:26 KJV
Intimacy with God is the highest honour. When we spend time studying the word of God; and also in praise; adoration and worship; we open ourselves up for God to pour abundant honour upon us. 2 Chronicles 17:1-5, Psalm 91:14-15
BE WISE THEREFORE AND FEAR GOD!!
GIVE HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE!!!
Oluyinka Ego-Martins ©