Since I am tremendously late posting today, let's dive right into commandments 5 and 6. This marks the end of God's commandments that have to do with our relationship to Him and now focus on our relationships with others.
The Fifth Commandment: "Honor you father and your mother."
This commandment is probably the most quoted commandment of them all by Christian (and even non-Christian) parents! Hands down, it wins!! But, it is also the "first commandment with a promise" (Ephesians 6:2). To "honor" has four different meanings in this verse.
- Prize highly
- Care for
- Show respect for
If you were like me, by the time you were 10 or 11 years old and had gotten your bottom spanked about a million times, you got the respect and obey part. But, we are also to prize our parents and to care for them. Notice that God does not say that "if you have good parents, then honor them". And He does not say "honor your parents to their face, but talk about them however you want behind their backs". If we are to ever teach our children to honor, respect, obey, prize, and care for us, we must watch our own attitudes and mouths toward our own parents AND our parents-in-law.
This command can also relate to other types of "fathers". We are to honor those in authority such as spritual fathers or even political fathers. God has placed these people over us and as an act of obedience to God, we are to respect and honor them.
The Sixth Commandment: "You shall not murder"
I think it is important to point out that the word "murder" has been mistranslated to the word "kill" in many translations. This is very important because the Hebrews were instructed by God to kill animals, kill in battle, and practice capital punishment. God was not going against His Word when He instructed His people to "kill" in those ways. It has been correctly translated to "murder" by the NIV and several other translations. However, this commandment goes far deeper than what we would generally consider murder.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell."
These are difficult words to read. From Jesus' words, we can see that murder is thinking about hurting someone else, either physically or mentally, even if it never happens. This means that we break this commandment when we gossip, bear a grudge, slander, or lose our temper with someone. So many times those sins I just listed are looked over, even laughed about in church while we condemn other sins like homosexuality. This should not be. God takes them seriously and to Him, they are murder of another individual. Even if I did not believe this to be true from God's word, I have seen it so vividly portrayed in the lives of others. The times I have sat with young women as they have cried over the words that were spoken to them in anger have helped me to see that part of their life was taken from them by the other person. I have personally felt this way, yet I too, have spoken words of anger to others and therefore broken the sixth commandment.
Let us ask God today to help us to honor our parents, parent's-in-law, and those in authority. Let us also judge ourselves over the sixth commandment and confess and repent of any sin we find in that area.