Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exodus 20:12 NASB

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you

As we look at the promises of God, this is an espcially interesting promise that begs our attention in Exodus 20:12, and espcially so because the Apostle Paul makes special note of this in Ephesians 6:1-2, referring to it as "the first commandment with promise".  That, in and of itself, makes it quite important to us, but it's also interesting that Jesus Himself makes a lot of this particular commandment.  In that light, we need to note it with emphasis.  Why is this a stand-out when it comes to commandments?  Because parents are God's picture to us of our relationship with Him, and, like the picture of marriage, it's sacred to Him.  To harm this is to harm the truth behind it.  Here's where the "honor" comes in. What we call "The Lord's Prayer", though using a different word, has a similar thought when Jesus taught us to pray, "Hallowed be your name."  "Hallowed" is an action word and not just something we are to say.  It means "to sanctify His name" or, if you will, "honor Him",  through your very life.  People are to see that we hallow His name through our actions and attitudes. There is a Spanish phrase, often used in Latin America against children who are misbehaving.  They point the finger at them and call them "Mal Criado!"  It means, literally, "Raised badly!" They are actually pointing the finger at some parents because, by this, the child was putting them in bad light.  They were dishonoring and discrediting their parents.  Our behavior, among those of us who call ourselves Christians, points right back to God.  Some of us, in claiming His name, yet living in contradiciton to that name, make Him look bad.  How can this be?  How dare we discredit Him this way?  We will either honor Him or dishonor Him by what we say and do.  Ghandi said, "I like your Jesus, but I don't like your Christians."  What an indicement of much of Christianity.  It ought not to be so!  It's totally unacceptable to God.  As our Father, pictured in earthly parents, He says, "Honor your parents!"  "This is the first commandment with promise!" The implication is very clear.  If we don't, we won't live long in the land.   The security, strength  and blessing of our walk with God is in hallowing His name. Let's do it, in thought, word and deed, everyday.  The promises of this kind of relationship are enormous eternally.

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