The word translated “kill” is often—very often—translated “murder” instead. That makes it easier to digest. Who of us would murder someone? Of course, people do indeed commit murder, but that occurrence is, predominately, far-removed from all but the most violent strata of our society, and although arguments abound for the classification of abortion as murder, that’s not the legal reality in which we currently live. The broader word “kill”, though, which the original language would convey—what do you do with that? You might immediately envision exceptions to the commandment: capital punishment, warfare, etc. The problem is that exceptions tend to multiply. If you thought about exceptions in light of the commandments, though, instead of thinking about the commandments in light of exceptions, how would that change the way the you live, if at all?
Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:13 (day two) You shall not murder.
This negative command is intended to establish a clear directive regarding the sanctity of life. We are not to take a life, but there is so much more inferred in this command. We should NOT murder, but what SHOULD we do. If we look further into scripture with the command to “love our neighbor as ourselves” it gives a clear indication of how we are to interact with each other. This command does not say you can get to the point of taking a life and then stop, no it implies that if we treat each other as image bearers of our Creator our interactions will be much more fruitful. As you look at the days ahead don’t just reach for the low-hanging fruit. Don’t murder….yes, but go further. Treat your neighbor as a fellow journeyman to Jesus. It will certainly change the narrative.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
When discussing true discipleship Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26 & Mt 10:37)
and on His own family He said, “A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.”Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:32-35)
Family comes with a footnote. Your family IS eternally important, but they never come before God nor come before the 1st or 2nd commandment.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
The command is simple enough. We know it refers to all of us, not just our toddlers and teenagers. We know it rightly elevates the role of family in society. We even know what it means to “honor” our parents. And yet how often it is easily dismissed, forgotten, or simply replaced.
Jesus had strong words for the Pharisees when their traditions trumped the commandments. In the case of this commandment, the Pharisees allowed the tradition of a designated gift to the temple (corban, Mark 7:9-13) to alleviate any pressure to financially take care of elderly parents. Jesus said, “You create traditions, so as not to obey God’s commandment.” It got me thinking, what traditions keep us from honoring our parents? What traditions, even in the church, have disrupted God’s design for the family?
We probably would greatly benefit by giving that serious thought.
Re:Verse passage –Exodus 20:12 (day five) “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
There is a sense that the 10 Commandments were given to each of the Israelites. Each person will be accountable for their obedience to these commandments. However, there is also a sense where God is giving the commandments to all of the Israelites. The applications and promises extend to the whole Hebrew nation.Their time in the land God has given them will be cut short by disobeying this 5th commandment in particular but this principle applies to all the commandments because God takes disobedience seriously. The “promise” with the 5th commandment is not a promise of personal blessing, but rather the blessing of a people who honor God’s leadership and guidance (learned and instilled with their Father and Mother). Those chosen people will become a light to the nations- a nation to reach the nations. See Exodus 19:6. Think it’s just an Old Testament promise?Look at 1 Peter 2:9.
A theologian once said, “honor should produce reverence, obedience, and gratitude.” We expect children to give parents (or elders) a listening ear of obedience. We can learn so much from the parent-child relationship. Have you as a parent ever caught yourself feeling an unholy emotion rise up within you when your child disobeys? I have learned to repent and practice restraint; showing mercy because my Heavenly Father offers such kindness to me. As a child there was never a time I was not in the principals’ office or getting a spanking for the sins I committed every hour! It took many years until I began to visibly honor my parents and teachers, but even then I was disobeying without being caught. I just got better at dishonoring. That is what we do as humans. We are all little children who naturally dishonor their Heavenly Father. In college, I finally began to fear the Lord. My dishonor condemned me. My sin was exceedingly sinful! A reverent, holy fear is what people need in order to come to God in true repentance. Once God changes the heart then we obey and listen to His commands. This translates as love, devotion, and gratitude for the immeasurable riches of His grace which He lavishes on us who do not deserve it.
Director of Community Missions & Evangelism
After establishing the necessity of a rightly-calibrated life with God, the Ten Commandments locates a society’s robustness in the family system. One could imagine a law code that teaches societal order by starting with something other than family: “Honor the state” or “Honor the king” or “Honor the traditions” or even “Honor the religious precepts.” None of these other things, though important and influential, brings to human life what “father and mother” brings. Contained within that construct is nurture, biological attachment, shared history, and mutual formation of the inner life (adoption’s highly-cherished status arises precisely from the willingness to extend love despite the absence of biological attachment). Principles or codes or offices establish ideology, not character. Only the parent-child nexus will produce societies with the empathy that makes peace and progress possible.
Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:12 (day two) “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
Isn’t it incredible that God gives us such a wonderful promise for obeying his command. He certainly does not have to do that. We have all parented using the always effective “because I said so” trope. If ever there was a parent who could get away with that line, surely it’s the Lord. Yet, he doesn’t. He says by given honor to your parents who nurtured and cared for you before you even remember it, at your most innocent and vulnerable stage, then you will be blessed.
The Christian walk is not one that looks to do things for what we might get out of it. That is not what Jesus taught, or how he lived. We act or do not act because it brings glory to our Heavenly Father, and in his great design and mercy He has made provision to bless us. Isn’t our God amazing?