BSF presents the last 6 commandments as applying to relationships with other people. But, I think it is more appropriate to divide them into sets of 3 and 3. The first 4 commandments are about our relationship with God. The next 3 are about our relationships with others and the last 3 are about our relationships involving stuff. Again, I believe this shows the levels of priority and importance the commandments provide as additional guidance for our lives. God first and foremost (4-most), others second, stuff last. But how often do we turn that completely upside down. Our laws tend to focus about stuff first, myself and my rights second and others next and God last (if at all).
The last three are simple to understand, but hard to live because our nature is so driven to stuff. Don’t steal it, don’t lie and cheat to get it, and don’t covet it. We get that, even though we don’t do it.
But, I think we are losing an understanding of what honor means. We still use the term, but we often think of it as an archaic notion, something mature and sophisticated people have outgrown. What does it mean to have honor much less to honor someone else? It is not obedience, although being obedient is definitely a part of it. The dictionary defines it as “being a source of credit or distinction.” In that regard, we are to be something of value to our parents. Something that makes them distinguished. Something that is a credit to , as opposed to a deduction from, their standing.
In other words, if we honor our father and our mother, we live our life in a way that elevates them and their standing. Instead of viewing them as the ones we rely on and take from, it is a practice of building them up and adding credit to them. Is that how we live our lives? Are we rising to that level of maturity or do we continue to live in reliance on the honor and credit our parents established? When we speak of our parents is it in a way that gives them honor and respect?
If we don’t, not only are we sinning against our parents, but we are sinning against God’s commandment. When we criticize, blame or speak negatively of our elders, particularly our parents, we reduce them and reduce ourselves.
The right thing, the thing God planned and commanded, is for each generation to grow. It is for each generation to live as a credit to the prior. It is a plan for each generation to provide for and give credit to the former. It is a plan that is every increasing and reaching to God. Is that the path we are on?
20:12 – Honor father & mother, live long (and it may go well with you) in the land God has given you
20:13 – You shall not murder – (sin of omission) who am I allowing to be murdered by my inaction
20:14 – You shall not commit adultery – where do I have behaviors that do not honor my wife and family
20:15 – You shall not steal -what do I take that does not belong to me? What is the value of my integrity that I would sell it so cheap?
20:16 – You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor-Do I know my neighbors that I can give truthful testimony of them?
20:17 – you shall not covet your neighbors house, wife, servants, ox, donkey or anything that belongs to them – desire for stuff