HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER
God is pretty smart! The Ten Commandments are His. Number 5 on the list says, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12). This is “the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2). Among other things, with this commandment God says those who want to stay around for a while had better listen to the wisdom of the ages. While the command is personal, it has a loud message for societies. That people (or nation) which disregards the beliefs, principles and practices that brought it the blessings of God cannot expect continued blessings and longevity once it deserts its heritage. That is true of nations, churches, companies and families. Beware America!
History may call ours the age of dishonor. Like an infectious disease, it’s in vogue to turn from and desert most anything or anyone that is old. Take down the Ten Commandments from courtrooms and schools! We don’t believe them anymore. God is dead; he never was anything more that the invention of man. In an America that was once vintage Christian, where is morality, character, integrity, financial sanity and a strong work ethic? What would old men like Washington, Franklin and Jefferson know about how to govern a nation? We can’t be bound by a fixed Constitution or Bible; they must evolve and become what we want them to be. We will decide what is right. What was right for Moses, Granny and Pa is not right for us.
You’d think the current generation is the only one that has ever known anything. Darwinian Evolutions mock the great scientists of the past who believed God created the heavens and the earth. Parents and people in power are far past Solomon and the Bible: you can go to prison for practicing Bible parenting. Even old but reliable translations of the Bible are shelved in favor of those that reflect a more politically correct and palatable language.
Shortly after contemporary church music burst onto the scene (yes, in my lifetime) a rather progressive brother wrote me a 3 ½ page typed letter. He assured me that we had finally learned how to worship God. Somehow all of God’s people from Adam and Eve had missed it. Yes! David, the churches of the New Testament, Jesus, Paul and all of those saints of God for almost 20 centuries! Nothing but the Blood, Grace that is Greater than all my Sins, He Looked beyond my Fault and Saw my Need, Saved by His Power Divine, I Shall Know Him by the Prints of the Nails in His Hands, The Holy City, Blessed Assurance, Amazing Grace and Holy, Holy, Holy don’t cut it – unless maybe you soup them up and get your hands together or in the air. This brother went so far as to predict to me that all of the old set who failed to get on board would soon be extinct.
Yes. There is a new breed today! It is a breed that smugly holds the past with most of its ways, people, music, values, methods and practices in contempt. Nobody knew how to do it till we got here. Change put our president in the White House (by a landslide) and America has change. Does it ever! Many a couple has thrown out the ideas of mom and dad and the Bible: you don’t need to wait till marriage (or even marry), don’t deprive yourself by being financially responsible, don’t give your children rules and responsibilities, forget sanctification. Most anything from the past must go: music, methods, excellence, standards!
I know God is still right. It is still right to “Honor thy father and thy mother:” to ascribe value and weight to the wisdom of the ages, to be very careful before you write off the generation or generations before you, along with most (if not all) of what they embraced. There never has been a perfect generation which got it all right however nobody, old or young, is smart enough to ignore the wisdom of the ages or shut his ears to God. I suspect that somewhere ahead there is an unpleasant day of reckoning for all who dishonor their father and their mother.