Exodus 20: The Fifth Command
My gracious Heavenly Father, I pray that you would give your people here this morning an understanding in your word. I pray that you would help each one of us to understand the importance of your 10 commandments and to look to you, look to Jesus to give us victory and obedience and the grace that we need to obey. I pray that you would now, as we examine your word, that you would open on hearts and our minds incline us to want to listen, to want to obey, not to just be passive this morning, but to have an aggressiveness, a zeal for obedience. Lord, be working in us now. I pray this in your precious name, Amen.
Would you open your Bibles with me, please, to Exodus Chapter 20. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we finished the first four commands, which are widely regarded as the commands that are given for our relationship to God, and the next six commands of the 10 commandments are a relationship with one another, so first four, vertical than the other 6 horizontal. First four love God. Other Six, love neighbor is the idea- the picture behind it.
So we took a break last week to address some current events and a biblical view of justice. Hope that was encouraging for you, it’s good for you to consider some of those things, and then this week, we’re back into it and we’re starting with the fifth command, and it is the command that we find in verse number 12 of the Exodus, and we’re gonna read this out loud for you here.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord, your God is giving you. And all of the parents out there said, Amen.
There you go, now, that’ll be the last time we make that joke, because it is good for all of us to be working at obeying God in these commands and have humility towards those who struggle with it, including parents, including if your kids are, it is obedient to you, but we’re gonna work a way through this command today, kids, this is a sermon that is a lot of… It’s for you, it’s to help you understand how important this command is and that it’s good, but it’s not just for kids, it’s for all of us, we’re gonna find in a minute, this command never really stops being a command in our life.
Right, ’cause when does a parent stop being a parent? It doesn’t really happen.
So we’re gonna walk through this here in just a moment, now, I have been racking my brain this week to try to think and find appropriate helpful illustrations of me as a child to and whether I… That I obeyed my father and my mother, and whether or not I honored their words, and I think probably that one of the only examples that I could come up that was helpful was, Oh, oftentimes, my parents, my mom and dad would both to tell me something along the lines of dating is stupid, you shouldn’t do it, and they would tell me that consistently in different ways at different times, don’t date in high school. There’s no point to it. Then I can honestly tell you that I did not care about what they said in that area, I did not regard them, I dishonored them in this area, and I thought in my mind, you might say that, But I think dating is pretty cool, and I’ll tell you, we read in my own personal life to years of emotional struggles to use a depression anxiety type things that… It took me a long time to get over. You could call them something along the lines of like, fear of man, I wanted people to like me, whether it was a God like me, or whether it was something else, like a people to just think well with me, ’cause I was dating or whatever, I had this craving instead of being secure and my God… And I did not listen to my parents. And what I found from that is, if I had listened to my parents, it would have been better for me… Right.
Kids? Anyone ever tried that? Anyone ever disobey your parents, and then when you disobeyed, you think to yourself, You know what, it probably would have been better if I obeyed.
Anyone ever think that way?… And not just because of the consequences, but because of what happens when you disobey… Right.
Maybe your parents tell you, Don’t lie, don’t lie, you need to be asked with your friends, it’d be nice with your friends, and you hear them and you don’t listen and you’re mean your friends, you lie to your friends, you… You do bad things and over time, you don’t have any friends left and you think, Huh, maybe my parents were on to something there, maybe I should have listened to them, and that’s what we’re gonna kinda look at today, so I’m gonna have four main points today you guys, can write these down, kids, you can write these down, I know you all, many of you have gotten notes out there, these would be good for you to write down, and I promise you, whether you’re grown up or not here this morning, this will culminate in an application for every single one of you today.
Okay, so stay with me. The second thing I would say is these principles about honoring parents can be applied to all leadership structures.
Okay, so this might be specifically addressing parents, but maybe you today, your parents aren’t alive anymore, and so you can honor their memory maybe, but you’re not really honoring them, well, what are the other leadership structures that you have in place, because the Bible also says to honor the over-governing authorities, the Bible also says to on or one another, give honor to one another as a… So I’ll just encourage you to think through -What are the authority structures in your life that you can show on or two… So first of all, we need to think about what the word honor means, have you ever… When you think about, or in your mind, what do you think of… Respect, ok-… Okay, you… What’s that?
Military service. Okay, interesting. What do you think of when you think of the word honor?
One of the first things I think of is like bowing down. Anyone else? Kissing the ring on somebody’s finger, bowing down. Do you think that’s what this word means when it says To honor your parents, kids, how many of you bow down to your parents, anyone… So the Old Testament word for this word Honor, I’m gonna probably pronounce a wrong, it’s B’khavod or something to that effect. You could say it’s like glorify, it’s to value, to give way to… To harden, you think of it as great or Here’s how I’ll say it, your parents should matter to you… Your parents should matter to you, the word should matter to you, who they are, should matter to you, their advice and what they say to do should matter to you, that is what honoring your parents looks like.
Is the thing about this word is its use in the Old Testament, it’s not just used of respect, it’s a word that can be used a lot of different ways. I’m gonna read a few verses. You tell me which word in this verse is a word that’s translated honor in Exodus 20, you tell me… Here’s the first one, Genesis 18-20, Then the Lord said, Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and their sin is grave. Where is honor there?
It’s a good guess.
Yeah, so here’s another one, “The eyes of Israel, Jacob, at that time, the eyes of Jacob were dim with age so that he could not see, so Joseph brought them near and he kissed them and embraced them”, which, which is the word for honor there, our word….dim…. to see well, it’s the word in. Literally, his eyes were heavy.
He couldn’t see, well, how about this one?
Exodus 59, let heavier work be laid on the men that they may later at it and pay no regard to lying words regard, but it’s not that… What labor? It’s not that…….heavier… Yeah, heavier.
But how about the… When Pharoah saw there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said, Where is honor there? Hardened, very good. Good guess, that’s it. That’s the right one. Now, my point, obviously, one can be used a lot of different ways, including in Hebrew, but when you start to realize that this word literal meaning has this idea of happiness, like waiting is when it’s used. Not literally, but more like an idea, you start to think of… And understand what this means, it means that in your mind, your parents should be the heaviest thing… Should be the thing that matters to you the most. We say it like this, the thing that has the most gravity in your life, you ever hear that. So honoring your parents should be a thing that really matters to you because they are significant and hearing them in the New Testament, we’re commanded to honor a lot of different types of people. For instance, 1 Timothy 5:3, honor widows indeed, who are trully widows indeed. How about this first Peter 2:7, honor everyone, love the brotherhood, fear God or the Emperor.
It’s the same word that’s used in the Greek.
How about this, this is an interesting one. What about within a marriage? Husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to them… that it’s the same word.
So it has the idea of value, what is the thing that’s most important to you, listen, kids, in your life, when you want to do something and your parents tell you, No, don’t do that thing, what is more important to you, is it what your parents say or is it what you want? ’cause the idea here is that you’re gonna… Your parents and what they say is, what matters the most to you, honor is not just a good feeling. How many of you love your parents…
Okay, let’s try this again. How many of you love your parents… Okay. Yeah, everybody would say they love their parents, right. Here’s the thing, it’s not just about having good feelings towards them, it’s not just about caring about them or liking that… No, honoring your parents is different, honoring your parents means you listen to what they say, and it’s important to you what they say, honoring your parents is not bowing down to them, it’s not being the slave, and it’s also not doing what they say while rolling your eyes in grumbling, how many of you have a rolled your eyes at your parents, you don’t have to raise your hands for this one… You can plead the fifth.
Okay, have you ever grumbled at your parents when they tell you to do something-, that’s not honoring your parents… Just because you did the right thing. If you don’t have the right attitude, that’s not honoring your parents.
Honor is like a… You’re humbly and you’re carefully listening, it’s an attitude that says, what they say matters, what they do matters who they are, matters to me.
I want you to remember some things, kids, I want you to remember some things about your parents here this morning… Okay, first of all… Parents are people too? Did you know that… Did you know your mom and dad are people too?
Okay, how about this? Did you know that your mom and dad are sinners? And all of the parents in here said, Okay, you didn’t say it as loud that time, the… All of the parents who are in here say…., They sin- parents are people too. They sin. Kids, this is an important thing for you to remember. You’re supposed to honor them… The one of the ways you can do that is by realizing that they aren’t perfect, they’re gonna sin, they’re gonna struggle, they need Jesus just as much as you do, in fact, they probably need Jesus more because they have to put up with you. Do you ever think about that?
Second, kids…. One thing to honor your parents and honor them to remember….
They really do love you.
I think just about every parent out there would genuinely want what’s good for their kids, they don’t always follow through, sometimes they think that what’s good is the wrong thing is actually bad, but they genuinely think and they genuinely care about having good for you, this is important to remember, so when your parents tell you to do something, they’re not being mean, they genuinely want good for you, they want you to learn to obey, ’cause it’s helpful.
Third, your parents know more than you.
Did you know that… Okay, your parents might not know more about dinosaurs or animals or ballerinas as you or you fill that in thing in here, they might not know more about computers than you do, they might not know a more about TikTok than you do, but guess what? They know more about the things that matter than you do, you see, they’ve been around the block, they know the things that can hurt you, they know the things that can damage a life, they know the things that can roll in your life, and they’re gonna teach you to avoid those things, they know the things that will be good for you that will make you ultimately really… Truly happy, so they’re gonna try to get you to do those things.
You should honor your parents for these things, and this is the other thing that you should remember kids… I want you to hear this one. Okay. If your parents are trying to help you, if they are giving you discipline and punishments when you’re bad, and they’re trying to talk to you and teach you to do the right thing, it shows that they really do love you. If your parents didn’t love you, they wouldn’t do any of that, ’cause it would be much easier to just not even care, and it’s never stop being parents, kids, some of your kids who are in here, you should… If you’re like, I don’t know what the age is, I don’t know what the age gap is, I’m gonna say like if you’re still in single digits here today, nine years old and younger, honoring your parents is going to mean obeying your parents when they tell you to do something right away.
Guys, you got that? That’s what honoring parents means when you’re that age, when you’re like 10 and 11 and maybe 12, honoring your parents means you do exactly what they say right away, but you’re also beginning to ask the question, why did I want me to do this? What is good about this thing, and I should care about why they want me to do this, if you are a teenager, you should do what they say, but sometimes… They’re gonna give you the opportunity to make your own decision. So guess what that means in that situation.
The first thing you should ask is, What would my parents want or do or think… And maybe you should even ask them, ’cause that shows that you really do honor them, they really do matter to you when you get to be a teenager, it doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden don’t have to honor your parents anymore, it means you’re probably gonna honor them in a different way.
Then when you’re young 20s, you’re not married yet, you’re gonna probably ask your parents what they think, ask for their counsel on things and ask their advice some things, and you’re gonna try to… Probably want to listen to them because they know more than you do.
It’s just the reality of it. But you’re still gonna have to make your own decisions on things, they might not have the same authority as when they did when they told you to go potty, but that doesn’t mean you get to stop honoring them when you’re older and you’re married, what is honoring your parents look like, Well, wondering your parents looks like… It means you don’t go running to them when there’s problems in your marriage and you need to make a decision about what to do, ’cause truly honoring your parents is going to be learning from them that your marriage for his first… So you might listen to their council, you might still listen to their advice, you might still ask their advice, but the first relationship in that moment is your spouse, and when you’re older and your parents need help and assistance, you give them as much independence as you can, while keeping them safe, you honor them by caring for them, you honor them by giving them the dignity and to the respect that they should have, you listen to them, you talk to them, you hear their stories, you still ask their advice.
That’s honoring your parents. See, parents never stop being parents, and you never stop being a child, so on your parents, it might look different than it did when you were young, but there’s still opportunities and ways for you to honor them, so there’s a really natural question that comes into play at this point that some of you might already be asking it in your mind, you might be asking, Well, what about when your parents are bad parents, what if I was raised in a bad home with an abusive father, abusive mother, What if they abandoned me, what do I do then do I still need to honor them?
And boy, that’s a tough question. That’s one of these really, really tough questions that we have to struggle with in a cursed world that we live in, but here’s what I would say is, is first of all, you can honor what I still may be good in those parents do they still have respectable things that you can honor, find those things and honor them for that, you don’t have to honor a sin, they’ll be accepting of sin, you can still honor them in the little ways that you can… And by the way, if you struggle with that, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down and talk with you about that to help you through some of that.
Our second point, that first problem is the law on the second point goes a lot quicker, and the second point about honor is that hattori your parent is this ready?
Your life is a better… When your parents matter to you, when you and your parents… Your life is better when you honor your parents.
Okay, some of you just heard me and you’re like, That sounds like a little bit of Joel O’Stein, like your best life now type stuff.
Okay, now it’s Paul.
He cites this passage and he says, By the way, that command is special because that’s the first command that actually includes a promise, and the promise is… If you read and see this in chapter 20, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God is giving to you.
Did you know that there is an entire book devoted to asking and calling on kids to listen to their parents in the Bible. Do you know what book? That is Proverbs.
How does Proverbs start?
Here, my son, your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching, right?
He’s listen. Or you know how it ends on the last chapter, the words of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mom taught him, and it goes on Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman.
Or about Proverbs 3, My son, do not forget my teaching.
Let your heart keep my commands. Listen to this, as a parent would talk to you.
Don’t forget what I’m telling you.
We are… Keep what I’m saying to you.
Because if you do length of days and use of life and peace, they will add to you. Your life will be better.
That not steadfast love and faithfulness for sake you… That’s about being loyal to God. Don’t forget to make God first in all things, buying them around your net, write them on the tablet of your heart so that you will find favor and good success in the side of God, a man.
You listen to my teaching, guess what’s gonna happen?
He’s saying good things.
He goes on, and you guys know some of this, Trust in the Lord with…
Oh, your heart, do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.
Fear the Lord through away from evil, and then what does he say?
Because it will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. I want you to hear what I’m saying, what the word of God says here.
Okay, kids, listen to me carefully. Listen to your parents. It will be better. Listen to your parents, it will be better.
And not just because your parents, if they love you, will discipline you when you obey, and it stinks to get grounded, to get paged, to get whatever… Right, that’s thanks. That’s not better. It’s not fun, but generally, they are trying to teach you a better way, a way of life and peace and righteousness, a way of rest in your soul.
You need to listen to them. Listen, sin is always bad, but there’s something about disobeying a parent that is extra bad.
Okay, you guys not, not all of you can drive yet.
I know some of you are kids, how many of you look forward to being able to drive a car one day…
Okay, you guys know that there are signs that you have to follow… Right. When you’re driving by them… Like a speed limit sign. What does that mean?
Right, yeah, you have to go. So you supposed to be your speed supposed to be under that number, not seven miles an hour over that number… Right.
Okay, so that’s one.
What about another sign? What about like a stop sign?
That’s right, that’s good. You have to stop.
There are other signs to… What about a sign that says, Do not pass -Bridge out, what does that mean?
Yeah, the bridge is broken, and what would happen if you kept driving?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So I… All of God’s commands are like signs teaching us, cautioning us, protecting us, but there’s one specific command that is really important… It’s the command to honor your parents.
That command is like the command, Do not pass bridge up.
You know what?
Because if you disregard, you say, I’m not gonna listen to my parents anymore. That’s like breaking the command, the sign that says, Do that past bride how it will lead your life the rest of your life to destruction, ’cause your parents are there to teach you about what’s good and bad, to teach you how to put… To do good and how to avoid that, that’s why they’re fair, that’s how God made us to pass those things down from one generation in the icon, if you don’t listen to your parents, you’re gonna go off that bridge. Obedience to God is always good.
You guys know that obedience brings joy, makes you joyful makes you happy, makes you a peaceful at… Makes you peaceful inside instead of being scared or anxious, or that it makes you a piece… That’s what obedience brings you infinite happiness and group things. disobedience to God is what?
That obedience to God is good. The disobedience to God is bad. That’s really right.
Sin makes you sad. It makes you angry, it makes you long, it makes you embarrassed to make you ashamed. Ultimately, disobedience also is gonna take you to help a place where there is no true… Where there is no happiness, well, there is no good things, and your parents know this, and that’s why they wanna teach you to do good… And not to do that, ’cause they didn’t want you to go there.
Every parent, I know what’s good things for their kids… That brings me to point number three. Much, I want every kid in here to listen to this one, this is really important for you.
How many of you kids love Jesus? That’s great, that’s great. Listen, you wanna know one of the main ways that you can show that you love Jesus by obeying your parents.
There’s some really important versus, this is from… One main way to worship God is Bring your parents… That’s a point number three. So Ephesians chapter 6 says, Children obey your parents in the Lord. For this is right.
Obey your parents in the role, it doesn’t just say to your parents, it says, Obey your parents because you wanna obey God, and that’s what God says.
Or How about Colossians 3, chapter 20, that says, Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases God.
You say you love Jesus kids. You love Jesus, you wanna make Jesus happy. One of the main ways you can not Jesus happy by obeying your parents, by doing what they say, by honoring what they say, by making your parents matter, and when they tell you to do something, it matters and it’s the most important thing for you, and that is… What it means to please God.
So that brings us to point number four. I’ve talked about all of these commands. Now, how many kids, I want you to read, don’t raise your hand until I finished this question. Okay, only raise your hand if you think this is you kids, how many of you have always obeyed and honored your parents… Perfectly. Anyone?
What does that mean?
I want you to understand point number four, this is really important kids, okay?
This is where we kind of bring it all together, point in my force followed Jesus.
Did you know that Jesus always honored his father?
John 17 says, Father glorify me in your presence with the glory that I had before the world existed. Jesus is God’s son forever. He’s always been God’s son.
He never had a beginning. He always was, and he was always with God as God’s Son. And he always honored his father. Jesus says, I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
It’s the same word, I honor My Father.
He also willingly obeyed what his father said, he says, I always do the things that are pleasing to my father, how many of you have always done the things that make your mom and dad happy…
Jesus always did. Jesus always did.
The cool thing about Jesus, the amazing thing about Jesus is He does two things through His death on the cross, the first thing that he does is he makes a way that you can be forgiven for all of the times that you’ve disobeyed your parents, how many times is that… A lot of times you disobeyed your parents, and Jesus makes a way so that you could be for live in…
I said that you can have a relationship with God.
If you believe that, then that there’s two things that he does though, because his obedience is the very thing that frees us from our disobedience, when he honors the father, that helps us to be delivered from all the assets dishonored.
He frees us from sin so that you and I can actually obey, or mom and dad, and honor or mom and dad, and live for them.
But second, he also sets a really, really important pattern for this, and I really want everyone to lock in, I’ve been meditating on this for several weeks now, and the truth that I read years ago and I haven’t fully understood, and I think I’m just starting to get into… And it’s about, when Paul says, sharing in Christ suffering so that he can also share in the power of his resurrection from Philippians 3. See, Jesus also sets the pattern for us.
You know what a pattern is?
It’s like, it’s like they do it.
And then you follow what they did.
So they do something and then you do the same thing. So Jesus, He obeyed his father, he said, Anything you want, God, I will do. And then Jesus died on the cross, and then Jesus rose again from death, and that’s a pattern that we all should follow, you see, the first part of that is that we submit… What Submit means?
It means you say, Okay, I’ll do what you say.
And Jesus did this in the garden, right?
What is Jesus say?
Not my will, but yours be done. In the garden, He says, not what I want, God, but what you want. I will a bit.
What do you want?
See, this is the part where we say, where we align what we want with what God wants, We agree with him that what he says is good is actually good, and what he says is bad is actually bad, we agree that sin is a bad and destructive. We agree that obedience is good and helpful, we let go of ourselves and we embrace whatever God was, so this is really scary, and some of you are here are still struggling with this moment, you’re still struggling with surrendering to God, it’s scary because you’re not sure what God’s actually going to ask you to do.
It’s scary because you might disagree with parts of God’s word and you’re not sure you want to agree with it, it’s scary because you want to know exactly everything that he’s ever gonna ask you to do, you want the map laid out for you.
The truth is, God won’t give us those things, You won’t can see those things, he just asks for your surrender.
You says, Just give it up, give it to me, all of it. That’s the first part.
The second part is a kind of death… See, there is death, Jesus actually died. But for us, it’s probably not gonna be actual death, kids, I know it might feel like you’re gonna die if you obey your parents, but it’s not actually like that.Okay.
For any obedience, there has to be a kind of death, any obedience to God, any obedience to your parents, any obedience to the government, any obedience at all in our life requires a kind of death.
This is where you die to something that you think is the most important, you died is something that you love or your attached to… You cut it off.
You’ve already surrendered. But now it’s time to put it into action.
This is the death stage, this is where you actually take that painful step, this is where you sell that Xbox, this is where you give that money away that you were saving for something you wanted, this is where you admit that you were wrong and you try to make it right with someone, this is where you embrace that you might never get the life that you always daydream-Ed about.
It’s a death.
There’s no way around this. I want you to hear this, following Jesus is painful because it requires death, that is painful.
This death will hurt and it will be a pain to watch that part of your life die, but the cool thing is about the Christian faith is not just that there’s also life.
Now, for Jesus, he actually came back to life.
He was dead physically. He came back to life physically. One day you and I, the Bay die physically. We will come back to life.
Basically, that’s the hope of the whole Christian life, but day in and day out, you and I fire that pattern, that pattern where we say to God, our Father, I will honor what you want from me, I will submit to whatever you ask of me, I will die, to whatever you want me to die too, so that I can have life.
And that’s what makes it all worth it. There is life after death.
God calls you to like, but you have to go through death to get there.
You want like… Do you want that joy? You want that resurrection power. Do you want all that God has intended for you?
Gotta go through the death. But after that, it’s so worth it.
So this is why Paul was willing to share in his sufferings a day in and day out, as he died to Christ, he knew he lived to God, as he died to his sin, he knew he lived a Christ I met. As he died to his sin, he knew he was alive to God. And that power, that life.
That made it all worth it.
Sometimes we think that too. Obey is gonna kill us.
It may, but not in the way you’re thinking right now.
Children, I want you to listen to me carefully here. Listen, okay, honor your parents. Jesus died on the cross to forgive you for all of the times you did not obey or one of your parents, you can be forgiven. You don’t have to be embarrassed about it, you don’t have to feel bad about it, but he also died on the cross to give you strength inside so that you can obey your parents the way you should. And if you will believe in Jesus today, then you can be saved and God will help you to live righteously the way he’s called you to.
Children are at… Everyone in here, are you willing to follow what your Heavenly Father wants for you?
Are you willing to surrender? Are you willing to die to self, Are you willing to come back to life, a new life, a precious life, give up what you want at a children who honors as parents worship God.
A child who honors his parents, worship God, the only way to make it way up… Quiet your hearts for a moment. I’m gonna invite you to pray silently, maybe ask forgiveness, kids, this would be a good chance for you to pray to God in your heart and ask forgiveness for the ways that you’ve disobeyed him and disobey your parents.
You can believe and know that God forgives you for that because of Jesus for the…
I just ask that you would please fill us with your spirit, forgive us for our many sins in many ways, we do sin against you, in one of those ways, is this issue of dishonor-ing our parents and God… We’re sorry for that.
I pray that you would help the kids in here, all the children in here, to find ways that they can honor their parents and worship you by honoring their parents today, say that you would change lives, that you would… Transformed souls.
I thank you that Jesus always did the things that pleased you, thank you that through his obedience, we can stand before you and be forgiven. Change our lives, God. Transform us. Father, we pray and ask these things in your precious name.