“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine” (I Timothy 5:17).
This advice of Paul’s referred particularly to those elders in the local church who “labored” to teach effectively the great truths of God’s word to their people. Such men surely deserve special honor and appreciation.
And it is not unreasonable to apply the same principle to those “elders” of our great nation who have labored diligently to obtain and preserve the Biblical principles which have so blessed our sweet land of liberty ever since its beginning. There have been many such great leaders, but the two who probably made the most significant contributions were the two presidents whom we specially honor on Presidents’ Day—George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Neither man was particularly “religious” in worship or life-style, yet both men believed in God and creation, and both were men who prayed for wisdom and guidance in the establishment and preservation of our nation.
It is interesting that both were given names with Biblical connotations. “George” is from a Greek word meaning “tiller and dresser of the soil” and “Abraham” from a Hebrew word meaning “father of multitudes.”
In considering these men and their names, we note that the first man Adam was placed by God “into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” whereas the first man ever named Abraham was promised to be “a father of many nations” (Genesis 2:15; 17:5). Yet it was George Washington who is called “the father of his country,” and Abraham Lincoln who was chosen to “keep the union.”
In any case, both presidents (as well as many others) surely “ruled well” and are “worthy of double honor” on what has, sadly, become for most people just another holiday. HMM