About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Honouring Your Parents
20:12 reads as follows:
your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land
which the Lord your God gives you" (NIV).
of us think this command says that if a child honours his parents he will
live a long life, as some say the Apostle Paul alluded to in Ephesians 6:2
and 3. Paul said:
was not to present an exhaustive teaching on this command.
He simply inserted it to encourage children to honour their
parents, because, when
children honour their parents the wealth of knowledge and wisdom
honourable parents pass on to them provides the foundation for them and
their generation's good social well-being.
When children fail to honour their parents; when their generation
rejects the wisdom of the previous generation, that generation fails to
learn many lessons of life, and thus their culture suffers.
the words "the land the Lord your God gives you" in the command.
In context, this command was
directed to a specific generation of Jews to whom God promised a specific
parcel of land. If that
generation honoured their parent's generation that vowed to obey the Lord,
and if this honour was duplicated down through future generations, the
generation of Jews who would eventually receive the land would be a
blessed generation because it would have learned life's lessons from
previous godly generations. They
would in fact live long in the land given to them, as the command states.
idea of Jews living a long time in a blessed land is seen elsewhere in
Scripture. Deuteronomy 5:33
obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may
live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will
decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well
with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the
land the LORD your God gives you for all time" (NIV).
above two verses, and others like them, speak to Jews living a long time
in a blessed land because of their obedience to God, which included
honouring the previous generation. I
believe there is a Biblical principle here that crosses cultural and
historic boundaries. When a
generation respects the previous honourable generation, that generation
will be blessed in its land. When
a generation fails to honour the previous honourable generation as seems
to be the case in our culture today, that generation loses the blessing of
God in the land in which it lives.
13:32 is interesting in light of this.
up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere
your God. I am the LORD" (NIV).
respect for the elderly is linked to reverencing God in this verse.
Respect for the elderly is becoming a lost godly characteristic,
something the Apostle Paul said would be widespread in the last days.
2 Timothy 3:2 states:
be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,
disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy" (NIV).
think Exodus 20:12 is referring to more than a child obeying his parents
so he can live a long life. More
importantly, it speaks to a generation living a long and blessed life in
the land God gives it because it honours God by honouring the previous
generational honour falls apart life's lessons concerning family,
community, and culture are not learned. The resulting broken
families with broken children provide the atmosphere for gun violence,
sexual promiscuity, and other cultural ills that prevail in the West
today. When disrespect replaces honour, social ills replace
blessings. Our culture is losing, or perhaps has already lost, the
blessing of God because it has rejected our Biblical influenced heritage
passed down to us from previous generations.
It is our responsibility as Christians to be the countercultural
community of blessed and obedient people of God in the midst of what the
Apostle Peter called a "corrupt generation" (Acts 2:40).
Let us be that community of people.