Summary: This is a sermond on the fifth Commandment. It tells what the bible means and how to use it. Also what comes with obeying GOD.
Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Introduction: Most of us while growing up will admit that one of the boundaries of social behavior was what we called “playing the dozens”. In most instances we were most sensitive when it came to our mothers, many fights were fought following the words “Your momma wears combat boots”. But this social violation and incitement to action could happen when you talked about either of a person’s parents. How many times have you heard a person say, talk about me, but don’t you talk about my parents.
The book of Exodus contains a series of verses that we readily refer to as the Ten Commandments. The Hebrew word “Torah” which literally means “the law” was originally used in connection with these specific commandments. These commandments represents the will and way of God delivered to Moses to govern the children of Israel once they had left Egypt and was on their way to the land that God had promised them.
It was given to regulate their behavior and cement their covenant with God who had not only delivered them but was now directing them to a place that he God had prepared for them. Scholars have divided the Ten Commandments into two sections or what they prefer to call the first and the second table.
The first table, which includes verses one through four, are those things that define our relationship to God. The second table, which includes verses five through ten, are commandments that define our social relationship with other human beings. This fifth commandment is the first commandment of the second table and interestingly enough suggest that our relationship with our fellow human beings begins at home with our family. In other words, you cannot have a good relationship with other people if you do not have a good relationship with people in your home first. If you can’t get along with the people in your home, chances are you will not get along with people in the streets either.
I suppose that is why social scientist today are saying that dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional people. What modern psychology and sociology have come to today the Bible knew centuries ago. That is why here in the Ten Commandments before you are told what not to do to your neighbor, you are told how to treat the authority in your immediate family.
Through Moses God is instructing his people on what it is going to take in order to maintain a good relationship with him and what it is going to take to maintain a good relationship with each other. If this maintenance holds fast then God will deliver to them the land that he has promised and prepared for them.
Before I leave this item permit me to point out that of all of the commandments that are found in the table of the Ten Commandments only this particular verse identifies what will happen if you choose to keep this commandment.
Notice the Bible says either do this or do not do that, but when it comes to the fifth commandment, God adds a provision in the verse by saying that if you do this look at what will happen.
Serving God comes with benefits. If you serve him:
He will take care of you
He will provide for you
He will protect you
He will guide you
He will direct you
He will make a way out of no way for you
He will make your enemies leave you alone
He will comfort you
He will console you
The Hebrew word that we translate as “honor” has several connotations and meanings. Among them are esteem, model and obey. So in fact, when the Bible says to honor your father, it is saying to esteem your father, to model your father and to obey your father.
1. Model Means to Esteem
To esteem literally means to hold in high regard. It is a word that is a little more than “ignore” and a little less than “worship” to esteem your father does not mean that you worship him, because only God is worthy of your worship but it does not mean that you do not ignore him either.
I suppose the best word that represents esteem is respect. Esteem is probably best defined as a whole lot of respect with a pinch of fear. I say fear because as a child you fear the consequences until you learn to respect their word.
I will not lie to you as a kid I could handle momma’s fusing but there was a whole different kind of feeling that came over my body when Momma or somebody else said “I am going to tell you father” or “you just wait until your father gets home”.