TEN COMMANDMENTS CONTINUED
The next commandment has to do with our relationship with ourselves and it says “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” God now directs the children of Israel to living a life that honors their parents. This commandment proves to us that our God is a relational God that cares about the family. When he made Adam , He says it is not good for Adam to be alone so He created Eve to be his help-meet. Then He blessed them and decreed upon them to bring forth their kind, that is their children. These children will be nurtured by their parents in the way of the Lord until they too can pass on the same baton to their own children. Therefore it is important to God that these parents are given the honor that is due unto them. They are the ones they can see physically and they actually represent their first contact into the world they are being introduced to. God expects the parents to guide them, train them, just like God Himself the Author of all things have given us guidelines of what to do and not to do. From the Garden of Eden, God instructed Adam and Eve to be free in the Garden He placed them and to eat all types of fruits except the one in the middle of the Garden, which is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God knows the consequences of doing what is wrong and so He warned them ahead of time. This is nurturing and guidance. The same thing is expected from all parents to nurture and guide all their children so that they too can turn out the way God intended them to. Therefore God now focuses on the children to honor their father and their mother, that is they should pay them respect, and esteem them highly because God has used them to bring them to this world. If a child honors his father and mother, it is easy for such a child to honor God that he cannot see. This is why Proverbs 22:6 says, ” Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Therefore we can see that so many ills in the society today is because many of us lack parental guidance, or those that were guided did not follow the path of righteousness. The family unit is the foundation of every society. If the home is not properly built on the foundation of God, there will be problems in such homes and it will affect the society.
Let us see the set up in a particular family and how it affects the entire nation. In 1 Samuel the story of Eli, the priest and his two sons were told. These two sons were referred to as sons of Belial who had no respect for their father nor the Lord. Because their father was old, they were acting as priests in their father’s place. and they treated the sacrifices brought to the Lord with contempt, and the Lord was not happy with them nor with Eli their father. A man of God was sent to Eli to tell him that God was going to take the priesthood from their lineage and give it to those that will do His will. Let’s read ” One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the Lord: “I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel! The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age. You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days. The few not cut off from serving at my altar will survive, but only so their eyes can go blind and their hearts break, and their children will die a violent death. And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day! (1 Samuel 2:27-29, 31-34).
As the man of God said, shortly after this there was war between the children of Israel and the Philistines and the children of Israel were defeated and thousands of them were killed in the battle including the two sons of Eli and also the Ark of the Covenant was taken. When the news got to Eli he also collapsed and died, and the wife of one of the sons also died while giving birth to her son. What a tragedy!. The family is the backbone of the society. Let us do our duty as God commanded us, children obey your parents, and parents discipline your children and train them in the way of the Lord. If children honor their parents, the verse concludes that they will live long in the land that God is giving to them.The consequences of their sins brought untimely death to the two sons of Eli and also to many Israelites that went to battle with them.
So brothers and sisters, let us honor our parents and train our children very well in the way they would go so that it can be well with them May the Lord bless us in Jesus name, Amen.