“And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.”
God was about to take Moses to Heaven. Because he smote the rock instead of speaking to it, he would not be able to enter the Promised Land. God commanded Moses to get to the top of mount Abarim because He was about to take him to Heaven. Moses’ concern for Israel was that there was nobody appointed to take his place. Moses said that Israel would be like “sheep with have no shepherd” if someone wasn’t delegated to take His place. God honored Moses’ request by telling him to lay his hands on Joshua and “put some of thine honour upon him.” God knew that Joshua needed to earn the honor that Moses had earned.
One of the greatest mistakes people make is they give honor to someone instead of making them earn it because of their parents or because they inherited a position. Many good people have been ruined by giving them honor without them earning it. I have watched men take their father’s pulpit throughout the years and ruin the church and himself because he had not earned the honor that his father earned over the years. Earning honor makes you value your position and makes you hungry to do something for God. Let me share some thoughts about the importance of earning honor.
First, make people earn the honor, don’t give it to them. You will ruin a person by giving them honor just because they acquired a position. The problem with people acquiring a position is that they have not built what they are acquiring. Honor is earned through building something. If someone has to work from the bottom on up, they will value the honor they earned. Giving someone blanket honor because of their parents or because they worked for someone great results in an entitlement mentality. If they learn to work for their honor by building something themselves, they will always know how to rebuild something is tragedy strikes.
Second, give the young person who is working hard a chance to earn honor. God told Moses to give Joshua “some” of his honor. In other words, don’t be unrealistic with someone who is earning their stripes. Give them a chance to make some mistakes along the way. It would be sad that you discourage someone who is trying because you are expecting them to be like you, their parents, or someone for whom they used to work. You will quickly learn if an individual has the drive to work for what they get if you will just give them a chance to earn their honor.
Third, build their confidence so that they can do anything with the LORD. Don’t critique those to death who are earning honor. When they do something good, you need to compliment them. One of the most foolish statements I hear from people is that when they tell people not to brag about someone for an accomplishment because it might go to their head. My friend, if someone is doing something good, compliment them, as that will encourage and motivate them to continue doing what gave them a little success.
Fourth, make them stand on their own; don’t prop them up. Don’t artificially help people earn honor by you doing the work for them, but make them do it on their own. They will make mistakes, but that is how they will learn. You are doing the next generation a favor by making them earn the honor they desire through building something on their own.