Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Fifth Word

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which Yahweh your God is giving you.

Up until this point the commandments have dealt primarily with your responsibilities towards God. Now the commandments teach you about your responsibilities towards your neighbor. God commands you not only to love our parents, but to honor them. Your parents may be complete idiots and unworthy of any honor whatsoever. But God requires you to honor them because of their office. God has placed them in that position over you. They stand in the place of God before you. Children are commanded to honor their parents by obeying them. When people marry and move out of the house, this method of honoring parents no longer applies, but you are still called to honor them. Adults are commanded to honor their parents by taking care of them in their old age.

This commandment extends beyond the family unit and into every aspect of society. You are called to honor the earthly rulers who have authority over you. You are called to honor your boss. You are called to honor those in the church who have authority over you. None of this is dependent upon how well the recipient of the honor carries out his office. Our egalitarian society hates this notion that office means anything.

If you live a life of dishonor to authority you will reap God's temporal and eternal punishment. You will suffer in this life and in the life to come. Those who hate authority lead miserable lives. As John Mellencamp said when "I fight authority, authority always wins." If you fight authority, you end up in jail. If you fight authority, you end up in hell.

The only one who has carried out this commandment perfectly is the Lamb on the Altar who honored His Father to the point of death.

No comments: