“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
As was discussed yesterday, we are to respect our parents and to follow in the way they have shown us, assuming that what they taught us is to live according to Godly standards. As a child, that often meant being obedient to them even if we didn’t understand the reason for their instruction. In a nutshell, we are to honor them and one of the primary ways we do that is to live life in a way that doesn’t offend, embarrass or disrespect our parents. Moreover, we should live our lives in a way that honors them even if they aren’t living right. As Scripture records, to honor them in this manner is for our benefit -– that our days may be long in the land.
Perhaps we are to understand that God will reward those who honor their parents by allowing to live long lives in the land that He has given them. While I have no doubt that this could be so, this verse may also hint at something else. I would argue that strong and healthy families are far more important than schools, professions, politics and religious organizations where the future is concerned. Respecting and propagating our heritage — i.e following in the footsteps of Godly ancestors — is the foundation for the future. I cam convinced that what begins with the individual household has national implications.
So when a younger generation exhibits contempt for the past and for their elders, the future will be bleak. One only has to consider what we see going on around us today to know that this is so. Contempt and disdain for those who came before us is running rampant and, along with that disrespect for our heritage, comes an acute spiritual decline and societal chaos. It is one thing to disagree with conclusions of the past — and healthy to right the wrongs of the past — but is another thing entirely to revile our ancestors in the public square. Those who participate in such do not have the promise of long days in the land.
So then, the point today is to remember: if we revile the authority and teaching of those God has placed over us, especially our parents, are we rejecting His authority as well? Just as it was with our parents, the Almighty has a reason for telling us the things He does. We not grasp the entirety of His purpose for some of these instructions but then again, who are we to question His authority and wisdom? It is in our best interests to do what He instructs us to do; to abstain from what He says we are not to do because, in the end, these are instructions from a loving Father who wishes our days to be long in the land that He has given us.
Blessings and Shalom,