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Summary: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Two Sides of Honor

Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV)

[3] You shall have no other gods before me.

[4] You shall not make for yourself an idol. . .

[7] You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. . .

[8] Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . .

[12] Honor your father and your mother. . .

[13] You shall not murder.

[14] You shall not commit adultery.

[15] You shall not steal.

[16] You shall not give false testimony . . .

[17] You shall not covet.


Have you ever heard the story about the man who never made a decision without flipping a coin? Whenever he was confronted with a choice he would listen to what others would suggest. He was always willing to listen to the advice of others; he would read books and even pray. But when all was said and done and it was time to make a choice he would just end up flipping a coin.

One day a friend asked him, “Why do you always leave everything to chance? Why don’t you stop flipping coins and just start making your own decisions?”

The man replied, “All right but give it a try. Here you flip a coin. ‘Heads’ I won’t make decisions by chance; ‘tales’ I’ll just flip a coin.”

The friend flips the client and what and you know what it came up heads. “Well I guess you won’t be flipping a coin any longer!”

The man said, “Ahh, but you’re wrong! I been using this same coin years. Take a look and see for yourself BOTH SIDES ARE HEADS.”

For this guy what appeared to be a chance was really a deliberate choice. Now unless you happen to have a two sided coin, there are two sides to everything. This morning were going to continue our look at the Ten Commandments with commandment number five, Honor your father and mother,” and we’ll see that there are two sides to honor.

The fifth commandment brings a transition in thought or emphasis. The first four commandments are vertical; they deal with our relationship to God. The last six commandments are horizontal; they deal with our relationships to other people.

 You can not be in right relationship with others until you are first in right relationship with God. And you can’t develop the ability to relate with others until you first learn to get along with the people in your own family.

I. Why should we try to obey the fifth commandment? Not everyone may be a parent in their lifetime, but everyone is a child. We all have parents, so why honor her parents?

Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

1. The 5th commandment is one of promise.

Ephesians 6:2-3 (NIV)

[2] "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise—[3] "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

a) Paul is quoting here from Deuteronomy 5:16 where Moses restates the commandments to those who are about to enter into the Promised Land. Moses wanted them to know that God had promised them blessing if they would honor their parents. God is kind of like the mother who looks at her son and says, “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out.”

b) The promise is CONDITIONAL. Just because you’re living in the Promised Land does not guarantee you the blessing of God and long life. You received the blessing only through obedience to the commandments of God.

c) The promise is COLLECTIVE. God’s promise of blessing and long life was not given to an individual but to a nation. This means that as the nation obeys God’s commandments many of the people but not all would receive the promise. Within the nation you could find some whose life might be cut short even though they had obeyed God’s commandment to honor their parents. The same is true for us today. If as a nation we honor God and obey his commandments, we too will enjoy the blessing of His promises. But the further we as a nation drift from God and obedience to Him the more we will see the consequences of death and destruction as God’s promise of blessing is removed from our land.

2. We also honor our father and mother because IT IS RIGHT and PLEASES THE LORD.

Ephesians 6:1 (NIV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

a) If our relationship with God is right and our faith in Christ is real, then it will be demonstrated by how we live from day to day in our homes. If the relationships between parents and children are fractured or strained than our relationship with God is likewise broken.

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