Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” Isaiah 66:2b “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
Another of my favorite movies is Fiddler on the Roof. It is a musical about the life of a family in the small Jewish village of Anatevka, Russia Set in 1905 it tells the story of Tevye, his wife, Golde, and their five daughters and how they cope with the difficult realities under Tsarist Russia. It is filled with wonderful music and many moving scenes.
Among the most moving for me are the wedding scenes for their oldest daughter, Tzeitel. She fell in love with Motel, the young tailor and her father, against tradition, has agreed to let her marry him. In the Jewish ceremony, the couple stands underneath a wedding canopy. The scene struck me as being very special – particularly the canopy.
This scene of the canopy came to mind when I was studying these verses. Humility comes before honor. God esteems the one who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at His word. Honor is not something we can give ourselves. It is given to those whose lives merit it. It is something that is bestowed – and will remain as long as the life is consistent with what God requires.
Here is where the picture of a canopy is such a blessing. Think of the honor and esteem that come from God as a canopy that is lowered down over us when our lives meet God’s requirements for it. It will abide with us and over us as long as we are faithful. The only control we have over it is to live lives that God considers worthy of it. In John 12:26b Jesus says, “My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
The wedding scene also includes the very special and moving song, “Sunrise, Sunset” sung by the family. Towards the end of it, Perchik & Hodel, two of their daughters wanting to be married too, sing the line, ‘Is there a canopy in store for me?’ Let us think of the canopy not in terms of a wedding, but in terms of living such a life that God bestows His canopy of honor over each one of us.