Donnels Creek Church of the Brethren
Hobert’s Homily: “Honor and Brotherhood”
“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor,” Romans 13:7.
Sadly, it is no longer uncommon for speakers or writers to refer to the President of the United States or anyone in a position of leadership in a dishonoring or disrespectful manner. There is a lack of decorum when courtesy, honor, and propriety take precedence over personal desires. But honor should be preserved.
King Saul of Israel was a king who failed in his responsibilities as king because of bad choices. After Saul’s death in battle, David could have pointed out the flaws of Saul. But David wrote a gracious eulogy for Saul (2 Samuel 1:17-27) in which he pointed out Saul’s strengths: his bravery in battle and his esteem among his subjects. David found ways to honor God’s anointed. Just as God put Saul in place in Israel, He puts civil rulers in place as well (Romans 13:1-7). Regardless of what we think of God’s appointees, we honor them because we honor Him.
If there is someone in whom you have lost confidence or by whom you have been hurt, look for ways to honor that person as a way to honor God. The image of God in others makes everyone worthy of honor. We should be people who are marked by kindness and respect.
Concerning brotherhood the term “blood brother” can refer to people related by birth or to people related by a promise. Years ago, a covenant was ratified by the parties nicking a hand or finger with a knife, then pressing their wounds together and “mixing” their blood and making them “blood brothers.”
In the Old Testament, it was more often the blood of a sacrificial animal slain when a covenant of friendship was made as in Genesis 15. David and Jonathan were covenant brothers, united by their willingness to shed their own blood symbolized by the exchange of weapons (1 Samuel 18:1-4). Proverbs 18:24b says, “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Jonathan demonstrated his loyalty to David (1 Samuel 19:1) and David even reciprocated loyalty to Jonathan’s son after Jonathan died (2 Samuel 9:1-2). And Jesus showed that same loyalty to His disciples (John15:13-15). Be a loyal friend to a brother or sister by helping them with their burdens. (Adapted from David Jeremiah)