The beginning of 2009, I was led to study the Bible in a new way (to me). I have been writing down the Scriptures (starting at the Genesis 1), Word for Word, and studying as the Lord leads and time allows. This has been such a MAJOR blessing to me! God has revealed so many new, interesting and exciting things from His Word, that I always want to share. I haven't had time to blog, sooo ... I am going to attempt to marry blogging with my morning study. I hope I can, in some way, impart my blessings to you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Exodus 20:12 - Honor Your Parents - Yes Yours!

We have just moved on from a restful rumination on the importance and blessing of observing the LORD's Sabbath. Thanks to Jesus, we are no longer bound by the Mosaic Laws ... but they are laws and they do still carry consequences, one way or the other. This next law carries with it a really delightful promise ... that of length of days!

The Fifth Commandment begins what arBolde commonly called the "laws of the second table;" based on the Second Commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The first part of God's laws concern our duty to Him; the second concern our duty to ourselves and each other.Bold

My parents honored @ the Marine Corps Ball

We will pick up our study in Exodus 20:12 ~

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you."

Wow, this commandment carries with it such a beautiful promise ... and perhaps a warning?! Does it perhaps suggest that we can affect the length of our own lives?

The LORD our GOD used our specific mothers and fathers to bring us into this world and specific parents to raise us up. He endowed them with the serious responsibility of giving birth to and training up His children. Whether, or not, they did a good job of it; He now commands us to honor them. This is particularly important, since He directly links this commandment with the very length of our days on this earth!

God gives us no conditions here, no outs! He does NOT say: Honor your mother and father ... AS LONG AS they are honorable ... ONLY if they are good parents ... UNLESS they have abandoned or mistreated you ... IF they aren't alcholics or drug addicts ... UNLESS you are adopted or fostered ... IF they are believers ...ONLY when they are worthy ... IF you live close enough to them ... WHEN you have time ... IF you feel like it ... au contrere mon frere ... our GOD, the LORD of all the universe, says," HONOR your father and mother" ... period!

His only condition is directed at us! A condition of OUR obedience! Honor them, "THAT your days may be long." I believe that this correlation may well refer to quality, as well as quantity ... a life full of rich and meaningful days.

Jon Courson says that "the two key qualities that will bring fufillment and success to anyone's life are those of humility and submission. And those qualities are born only in the context of family."

Sounds easy, doesn't it? What does honoring our parents involve? It involves much more than we think and yet is much less complicated than we expect.

Let's start with checking into God's idea of honor:

John Wesley notes that HONOR includes:

"1. Inward esteem of them, outwardly expressed upon all occasions in our carriage towards them; fear them, Leviticus 19:3, give them reverence, Hebrews 12:9. The contrary to this would be mocking at them or despising them,

2. Obedience to their lawful commands; so it is expounded, Ephesians 6:1-3. Children obey your parents; come when they call you, go where they send you, do what they bid you, do not what they forbid you; and this cheerfully, and from a principle of love. Though you have said you will not, yet afterwards repent and obey. (As pre and teen agers, my boys used to do this all the stinkin' time!)

3. Submission to their rebukes, instructions and corrections, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

4. Disposing of themselves with the advice, direction and consent of parents, not alienating their property, but with their approbation.

5.Endeavouring in every thing to be the comfort of their parents, and to make their old age easy to them; maintaining them if they stand in need of support.

6.That thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee - This promise, (which is often literally fulfilled) is expounded in a more general sense Ephesians 6:3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayst live long on the earth.

Those that, in conscience towards God, keep this and other of God's commandments, may be sure it shall be well with them, and they shall live as long on the earth as infinite wisdom sees good for, them, and what they may seem to be cut short of on earth, shall be abundantly made up in eternal life, the heavenly Canaan which God will give them."

Well, what can I say after that??? I need to get on the phone and call my father! How about you?

It seemed so much easier for me to comfort my mom in her old age than my dad. Nonetheless, I had better get on the ball ... quit putting it off ... and just call him!

No matter about the past, whether our parents did a great job of raising us or not ... whether it is easy for us to do ... or not ... is not even mentioned here. OUR duty to honor them is assigned by God Himself!!

OK, so basically, to honor our parents, we should:

1. inwardly esteem them ~ outwardly express our esteem, in the way we behave towards them

2. fear them ~ give them reverence

3. do not mock or despise them

4. obey their lawful commands ~ do not do what they forbid

5. come when they call ~ go where they send us ~ do what they bid us ~ cheerfully

6. when we have said that we will not ~ turn around and do it anyway

7. submit to their rebukes, instructions, and corrections (not only to the good and gentle)

8. utilize their advice, direction, and counsel ~ do not alienate them

9. make every effort to be a comfort to them

10. make their old age easy for them

11. maintain them, if they need your support

AAACCCHHHH, the inner rebel in me is rebelling inside like crazy, just reading this! I used to take all of this in such a different sense than the way that God meant it. My gentile teenage mind SO did not understand!! I had overbearing, controlling parents, who did not know Jesus ... so, I did, pretty much, opposite of all these things as a teenager and young adult. I so wish I had known what and Who I know now!

I could not have understood at that time I had virtually no role models and very little training in the Truth. I certainly had no understanding of God or His will for me. It has only been as I mature in Christ and His Word that I can see and agree with the wisdom in this commandment.

This is yet another reason why it is SO important to speak God's Word to your children ... to train them up under loving, consistent, godly instruction. The single most effective way to teach these these life-giving principles to your kids is to intimately maintain your own personal relationship with the LORD and His Living Word. They will learn to believe and trust in God from your model and soon they will be able to rightly interpret His Word themselves.

Looking to Jesus ... Jon Courson points out that He was in perfect submission to His father. We have a tendency to think Jesus' life on earth was so different, because God is His father.

Courson asks us to consider that Jesus experienced more of what has embittered us or angered us than we can ever understand on this side of eternity! Jesus' father allowed all of these things to happen to Him. Jesus was abandoned on the cross ... He knew hunger in tItaliche wilderness ... He was beaten and tortured beyond comprehension, even when Jesus asked for the cup to be removed, He was denied!

Yet, Jesus yielded to His father's perfect will for our sake! He knows what it takes in all circumstances to be humble and submit His will. And because this same Jesus who honored His father and who knows what it is like to be beaten, forsaken, and ignored, He lives in us ... we can trust Him to enable us to honor our father or mother ... regardless of how difficult that may seem to be.

Yeah, uh huh ... here I am, with all my excuses shot out from under me. I must confess that I have not been faithful to this commandment lately :/ ... I think that is why it took so long to complete this study. Time to get serious and ask Jesus to enable me to honor my father, properly. I KNOW He will. God is SO faithful! He showed me how to honor my mother perfectly ... and she ended up getting saved at the age of 88, before she went home to be with the LORD!


One day, we will leave this earth and enter
our Groom's Banquet Room!
My mother has gone on ahead ... probably to set the table!
How about you all??? Any suggestions?
What are some of the ways that you honor your parents?
I will start: OK, I scan old photos from my childhood and make greeting cards for my parents; inside a sentiment of the occasion tied in with a pleasant memory from the picture and a Scripture. I just print them on computer paper and/or photo paper and fold it in half. They love them!

YOUR TURN NOW ... PLEASE?! Even those of you who don't usually comment ....

How do YOU honor YOUR mother and father?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the parents that you chose for us.
Please bless each one, including those
who did not, or could not, raise us:
they are a part of our very being.
YOU knit us in our mother's womb;
YOU have a perfect plan for us.
We do honor YOU
and each of our fathers and mothers.
Please help us to show it
in a way that will bless them
and draw us all closer to You.
Thank You Jesus,

I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent.
Please, let me know if you have been blessed

by the way it was prepared for you this day.