Honor: The Final Word
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What my grandmother chose to do still boggles my mind. Taking care of my grandfather, her ex-husband, in her home before he passed away. Doing all she could to serve him as his severe health issues caused him to deteriorate. The grace she showed him could only have come from Jesus, especially knowing their story.
My grandfather had been a wonderful man, serving the Lord and pastoring a Pentecostal church for several years. He was known for his fiery sermons and his passion for the Lord. However, at some point he allowed alcohol to become an idol in his life. He walked away from the Lord and became a full-fledged alcoholic. Being raised to have a tough exterior, rage came naturally to him when he was drinking. My mom has shared many stories of the abuse they endured at his hands. It became so dangerous that my grandmother and her four children had to flee for their lives. They snuck out a side window of the house and hid at a relative’s home, never to return.
If there was any Bible character my grandma could relate to, it was David. He was the recipient of King Saul’s wrath and jealousy, eventually having to flee for his life (1 Samuel 20). He spent several years on the run from Saul, even though he had been anointed by Samuel as the next King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:13). Yet, David kept his heart pure towards King Saul, always choosing to honor him.
Second Samuel tells us that David and his men wept for Saul and Jonathan upon hearing they had been slain in battle. Weeping for the same King Saul who had tried to murder David on multiple occasions. David’s response was one of mourning and fasting. Instead of celebrating that deliverance from Saul had arrived, David composed a song of lament to honor King Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17-27).
Notice the words that David uses to describe King Saul. Four times he refers to him as a “mighty hero” (1:19, 21, 22, 25, 27). Note v. 23:
How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. (NLT)
Beloved and gracious? The same man who had tried to drive a spear through the head of David? Swift? Strong? David’s recollection of Saul was filled with tenderness.
My grandmother exemplified this same type of honor we see with King David. Fast forward two decades: despite the abuse, despite having to operate as a single mother and begin a career, despite enduring unending consequences of his actions, my grandmother chose to see my grandfather in a different light. She took my grandfather into her home to care for him when he could not take care of himself.
My grandfather ended up recommitting himself to Christ on his deathbed. There is no doubt in my mind that the love my grandmother showed him helped soften his heart to turn back to Jesus.
When we see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus, we can extend that same grace to others. We see His forgiveness, His heart of honor towards us. We see others in a different light.
What about you? Is there anyone that you want God to help you see differently? Ask Him today. Do not be surprised if He starts by showing you how He sees you!
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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