Thursday, Feb 15, 2018. If you read the 10 commandments, they are quite fascinating. What is commanded, and what is the order of the commandments. Why is it commanded? The 10 commandments touch important parts of our life. Their order has a meaning, their content has a huge meaning. And we need to understand that it makes a real difference how we treat them! Today, we come to the fourth commandment.
Father and Mother …
The 4th commandment is about your personal relationship to your father and your mother. It says:
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
There are several important things to say here. First: to honor your father and your mother is about your relationship. This includes your responsibility for them in financial matters! Today, we have retirement systems in most countries. But still, financial responsibility is part of our legal system. Of course, the term relationship refers all parts of our life, to our feelings, our words, our behaviour. We are to honor father and mother (as they are to honor their kids, as we learn from the New Testament).
But there is more to say here. The command comes with a promise. It refers to the consequences of our actions. Here, it promises long life in the promised land. It promises long life in the place where God puts his people. This is important on a generic level. Commandments have consequences. It does not say how exactly the consequences happen. It does not say there are natural laws which lead to this. It does not say God will do something. It just gives the promise in a very general way!
Very Personal Environment …
Every human has a father and a mother. And it is not an abstract relationship. We are not coming into this world by an abstract process, but by conception which usually includes a very intimate relationship of love between a man and a woman. And we then need about 20 years to become independent beings, who grow into their own life. We need 20 years of care and very intense support on all levels of ourlife. We might need similar care for the last years of our life, support and help, partnership and friendship!
Too often, philosophies and ideologies forget how humans develop. They do not have a clear picture of fathership and mothership, they ignore the role of the family for all of life! One can even say that our work environment to a large extent ignores how families work today. That is not good, and a lot of the fights of feminism is about our weird way to treat mothership and fathership in the modern business world.
The bible always knows the whole story! It is not vain philosophy, it is not ideology, but it knows man as he is, it knows that humans are made as male and female, with their differences and their unity. Here, in the 10 commandments, we can see once again that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and that the biblical image of mankind is very realistic, touching all parts of our life in an adequate way. I cannot than being excited about this text, it is phantastic! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts