Ex 20:12: Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Man has taken this command and twisted it to suit her/his desires even the so-called ‘men of God’ are not spared.
Honor your father and your mother does not talk or speak in any way about or of our earthly (biological) fathers and mothers. There is no place in this command we find the words ‘children honor your biological father and mother…’
The command says the reason of honoring your father and mother is ‘that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you’. Three things come out clearly in that line;
- It is God who gives you the land to live upon not your biological or earthly father and mother
- You live long in the land which God gives you not land given by your biological mother and father (they do not even give a land)
- Living long on the land which God gives us depends on our obedience not our biological father and mother
- It is God’s promise to give us a land
Honor your father and your mother a command to Jews
The commandment was first given specifically to the children of Israel in Mount Sinai on their way to the Promised Land. God had delivered them from the Egyptians and He stopped them in the wilderness to talk and command them.
In this commandment, God was telling the children of Israel that:-
- Although they are in wilderness with no land, He will surely give them a land as He promised Abraham. Gen 13:15: For all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever.
- He was showing them direction, advising them that if they wanted to live long in the land He gives them (Canaan), they have to honor their father and mother.
We know that biologically, father and mother give birth to children but God is the ultimate parent. He is the creator of every person and our biological fathers and mothers are only vessels used by God. Therefore, we are all children of God; God is our father reason He calls Himself the father. As you look in the Holy Trinity, there is God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. So God being a father has children and we are the children.
So the children of Israel are children of God. In the bible we see severally God calling the children of Israel His children.
Jer 10:20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me.
Lam 1:16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runs down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
Eze 16:21 That you has slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?
Consequence of not honoring our your father and your mother
From this command we see that there is a consequence of not honoring your father and your mother. The children of Israel severally did not honor God, who is their creator and the consequence was death.
Many of the children of Israel did not live long not even see the land God was going to give them (the Promised Land). God’s plans were that the children of Israel pass fast through the wilderness to the Promised Land but because of their disobedience, not honoring their father and mother, a whole generation died in the wilderness. 1 Col 10:5: But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
We also see that when Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, and the people saw that he delayed to come, the children of Israel made a golden calf; an idol (Exodus 30). And God said to Moses, ‘Go down; for your people, which you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it (Ex 32:7-8).
Which way did God command them; to honor their father and your mother: that their days may be long upon the land which the LORD their God gives them (Ex 20:12). Due to them not keeping this command, not honoring God has their father and mother, the consequence followed. About three thousand men died that day (they did not live long). Ex 32:28… and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
Apart from the children of Israel, the command was given to us Christians. See honor your father and your mother part-2.