Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may go well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
The reward spoken of in the fifth commandment (Exo 20:12b) is entirely a reward of grace. After all, it is only by the work of the Spirit of Christ in us that we can possibly show all honour, love and fidelity to father and mother and all in authority over us. That is only of grace. Apart from that grace, the whole law does nothing but condemn us, provoke us and harden us in our sin. God so works in His people that they walk in obedience to Him, and thus enjoy the promised blessing.
What is that blessing? It is not earthly, though it is spoken in an earthly form. For we know that there are many children of God who by grace walk in the way of God’s commandment, who yet die young. There are increasing multitudes of disobedient persons who defy this commandment, and yet live to an old age. Let us not look, therefore, for the fulfillment of this promise in a long earthly life. After all, do we not look for our life in heaven?
This promise is in a form that the Old Testament children of God could understand in all its spiritual significance.
What was the promised land to the children of Israel? It was Canaan. And Canaan was a picture of the promised land, for which, according to Heb 11, the people of God looked, even as did Abraham. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” God promises us the enjoyment of heaven as we walk in obedience to the fifth commandment. What a thrilling promise! What a blessed reward is set before us, to motivate us in our often difficult calling to honor all in authority.
It is a promise to us and our children, a blessing upon the generations of those who walk in the way of God’s commandments. For the obedience of Christ in His chosen people bears precious fruit. It is the fruit of thankfulness offered in the heartfelt prayer, “Lord, make me an obedient Christian; and grant me thy blessing.”
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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