Verse of the Day Devotion: Exodus 20:12
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” – Exodus 20:12
In the last Daily Devotion, we looked at not using the name of the Lord in a way that was vain and not honorable and reverent which He is worthy of. The first four commandments were on are found on what is known as the first tablet, addressing our relationship. These next six are found on the second tablet which addresses our relationship with our fellow man. This goes perfectly with what Jesus said to the Sadducee that asked Him what the greatest commandment was. “And He said to him, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend on the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. Note the two parts. “You shall love the Lord your God” goes with the first tablet; commandments 1-4, while “Love you neighbor as yourself” goes with the second tablet; commandments 5-10.
The word “honor” comes from the same Hebrew word from which “glory” does. We are to show them reverence as Moses said in Leviticus. “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:3. This is not to infer that we are to worship them, but that we honor them for who they are, our parents, the ones who gave birth to us and cared for us when we could not care for ourselves. We should come when they call, go where they send us, and do what they bid us to do. We are not to do what they tell us not to do, in all things doing them cheerfully and out of love. We are to respect them and respect their advice, for they desire the best for us.
Paul wrote this to the Church in Ephesus regarding this verse. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” Ephesians 6:1-3. Paul is emphasizing the promise in this commandment, that being “that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12b. We see a clarification of this in Deuteronomy. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 5:16. If they honor them, things will go well for them in the land which the Lord has given them. Long life was considered a blessing in itself. And the wording “that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.” denotes the blessing of a long and fruitful life.
It is important that we honor our parents by following their advice and obeying them. They gave birth to us and they spent many years taking care of us, and preparing us for the life we live now, and will live if we are still at home. Too many kids today do not listen to their parents, and they find themselves getting in trouble from going astray. And as adults, we should still listen to our parents for they can be the source of much wisdom. They can tell us times where they were struggling and help us not to struggle in the same way. Therefore, listen to what they say and do not ignore them Learn from their mistakes and their wisdom. Things will go well if we do.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.