A Commandment with a Promise

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September 15- A Commandment with a Promise

Read Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 6

The fifth commandment is the only commandment that comes with a promise, “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” As God’s chosen people, the Israelites looked forward to entering Canaan, the land God promised them.  However, their prosperity in the land was contingent on their obedience to the Lord.

The Israelite families had a key responsibility to teach the Israelite children about the Lord and why He deserved to be feared and obeyed. For the Israelites to prosper for generations to come and to be set apart as a holy nation, they had to teach and train their children to be Godly.  Only children that “honored their father and mother” would be submissive enough to receive and put into practice the godly counsel they received from their parents. As a result, these children would grow to be godly individuals that could teach the next generation to be godly. The Israelite nation as whole stood to benefit from obedience to this command.  Considering the importance of the family unit to the spiritual health of the nation, one can see why disobedience to this command was not taken lightly (Exodus 21:15).

A New Testament Look at the Fifth Commandment

In Ephesians 6:1-3, Paul pointed out that children should obey their parents because it is right. Obedience to parents is right because when children obey their earthly parents, they are essentially obeying their heavenly Father’s commands.  The ESV Study Bible says, “The obedience of children is evidence that they know God, and it results in receiving blessings from God.” Again we see a promise of blessing for those who honor their parents and keep the commands of God. Now, however, instead of looking forward to a promised land on earth, believers (God’s chosen ones) look forward to their eternal inheritance of living with God forever in Heaven. Also, in the here and now, those who are not rebellious to those in authority are blessed by avoiding the negative consequences of disobedience.

How can obedience or disobedience to one’s parent affect his/her life?

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