“Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
This is the first commandment with a promise attached. To live in peace for generations in the Promised Land, the Israelites would need to respect authority and build strong families. But what does it mean to “honour” parents? Partly, it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). It means following their teaching and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honour them. (Life Applications Study Bible)
I have to admit we tend to spend more time in New Testament studying the Gospels than in the Old. To me, this is a reminder how amazing the Bible is. The words are so strong and impactful that I had to go read and study Exodus again.
Its an account of the people of Isreal being freed from the Egyptian slavery, led by Moses. A couple of interesting facts the original amount of people that went to Egypt, Jacob and his family was 70. When they eventually left 430 years later, the head count was 2.4 million people. Big herds of livestock also accompanied them. Many non-Israelites followed as well. Can you imagine the job Moses had? History tells us, the Israelites roamed the Wilderness for 40 years, a lost nation on their way to the promised land.
After two months into their travels, Moses on God instruction led them to Mount Senai. It is here that God revealed Himself to the nation in the form of a thundercloud together with quakes fire and lighting. By all accounts, the nation was petrified. Moses parted to the Mountain and received the Ten Commandments from God. Intended for the Israelites to live by.(Exodus 19/20)
As the commentator says, this was the first commandment given with a promise. It reminds me that Bible makes around 8300 promises. I can bear witness that God delivers on all of the promises in His Word. Observe however that most of them have a call to action. There is a saying ” God helps those who help themselves.” Like “love” is a verb, it’s about doing.
“Honour your Father and Mother.” I am always amazed at how simple things are, just honour and things will fall into place. One can always take that instruction a step further, that is, we too honour our leaders around us. John Bevere in his book “Under Cover.” he expands on that principle. He says we should submit to all authority wrong or right as God places all. If wrong we should pray for that authority and trust in God to fix.
Honour your Father and Mother, peers and leaders, goes hand in hand with those words Holy Humble and Pure.
“Lord, I thank you for instruction and wisdom. Holy Spirit guide me every day. Amen.”