Honor and Respect

[Jacob] himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
GENESIS 33:3
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Honor and Respect
Although Esau had previously been reconciled by the power of God through the victory and struggle of prayer and faith, nevertheless, Jacob does not omit the external indication of his goodwill, lest it might seem that he is tempting God or disturbing the peace and concord which has been initiated and offending his brother's heart anew by a kind of pride. Accordingly, Jacob bows down with his wives, maids, and children before Esau, although he himself is the son and heir of a better blessing. For he had the spiritual blessing on account of the promised Christ joined with the bodily blessing. Esau did not have the promise that Christ was to be born from his flesh, and yet he who is greater subjects himself and conducts himself as if he were the lesser one. In this manner we also should be subject to every divine ordinance for God's sake because it is God's creature (cf. 1 Peter 2:13). Superiors should therefore be honored by us with whatever respect we can, but in such a way that we do not reject or deny the Word of Christ and the promise of grace on their account and lose the spiritual blessing. For all respect, honor, and services of every kind are to be paid to magistrates with a good conscience and joyful heart if they remain within the prescribed limits, that is, provided that obedience to God and confession of the Word remain intact.
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