Fifth Commandment

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Hello once again friends. We are going to continue our series on the great test to come upon the world at the end of the age. We are speaking, of course, of the Ten Commandments, if you have been following along. Today we are going to talk about the Fifth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother.

Jesus Christ was the most important person to ever walk the face of the earth! He is the Creator of all things. He is truly God, and He became man. We can see that in John chapter 1, verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

Literally Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things. He is the Word of God—the spokesperson for the godhead, meaning Him and God the Father. He is also called the Lord of lords in other places and King of kings. This great man—this God who became man—Jesus Christ started His earthly ministry to save mankind by obeying His mother, believe it or not. We are going to read about that now in John chapter 2. John chapter 2 records the beginning of Jesus Christ’s ministry. I am starting in verse 1.

John 2, verse 1: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’”

In other words, He wasn’t quite ready to start His ministry.

Continuing in verse 5 of John 2: “His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’”

She didn’t care if His ministry had not quite started. There was a problem, and she wanted it solved for the people putting on this wedding feast.

Verse 6: “Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.’ And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!’ This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.”

Isn’t that amazing! Jesus’ first miracle in His ministry was in obedience to His mother’s request. That tells you something about the importance of mother. He being the Creator of all things is the creator of the whole concept of father and mother. When He made the Fifth Commandment—honor your father and your mother—He did it with a lot of thought behind it.

I want to turn to Matthew chapter 26 before we go to Exodus and read the commandment itself. We are going to Matthew chapter 26 because we can see that Jesus Christ literally ended His ministry with respecting His Father. Matthew chapter 26, verse 36: “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, ‘Sit here while I go and pray over there.’” This was just before He was betrayed by Judas, and He was preparing Himself to become a sacrifice for all of us. Here is what He talked about with His disciples and His Father.

Continuing in verse 37 of Matthew 26: “And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’”

He was under incredible pressure.

Verse 39: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’ Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.’”

And He did it a third time as the crowd with Judas was approaching to betray Him.

He began His ministry by respecting His mother and honoring her with her request, and He ended His ministry at His death by honoring and respecting His Father and the plan that He had agreed to before He became a man and a sacrifice for all of us. It shows you the importance of father and mother to Jesus Christ.

Now let’s go to the commandment in Exodus chapter 20. We are going to read the commandment itself. Exodus chapter 20, verse 12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

This voice that uttered these commandments at Mount Sinai was none other than Jesus Christ. He says, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

There is a lot to this commandment. We are going to cover some of it today. There is a tremendous depth of meaning to any of the commandments, but you have to give a little thought to this one because it involves the institution of family and marriage.

The Fifth Commandment demands respect and honor for fathers and mothers. The institution that we are talking about here is the nuclear family—a nuclear family with a father and a mother. The concept of family is ordained by God. Therefore, it is a holy institution. At the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis chapter 1 we can go and see about the creation of man and how family came about.

I am reading in Genesis chapter 1, verse 26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’”

It says “Our” because we are talking about multiplicity here—the godhead, God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 26 continued: “‘…let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

Jesus Christ created them man and woman, male and female, in the image of God the Father and Jesus Christ according to the plan that They had come up with eons and eons before that! God knew exactly what He was doing. He was preparing the world to understand the concept of family, and He would give them the Fifth Commandment to honor their father and their mother.

I am going to drop down to chapter 2 now of Genesis. We’re going to verse 7. Genesis chapter 2, verse 7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

He created us from the dirt—from the dust of the ground. I remember my science class way back, I don’t even want to tell you when. When I was young, they told us that the amount of minerals in a human body at the time was worth about $5.85. With inflation, I am sure we are worth less than $20 yet. For less than $20 worth of dirt, God created man and woman, and He breathed the breath of life in them! He created them in His image. Then look in verse 19 of the same chapter.

Genesis 2, verse 19: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Notice they are called man and wife and not just male and female anymore, but man and wife. This is the beginning of the concept of the nuclear family and how God would make this a fruitful earth.

This is not just a fanciful story that Christians believe took place 6,000 years ago, which it did. We are not saying creation started 6,000 years ago. We have discussed that in other booklets and articles, which you are welcome to ask for. The earth had been here for billions of years. God was giving a new purpose to things at this time, and He was creating Adamic man. You have heard of Neanderthal man and Cro-magnon man. This is Adamic man, which is the man type that was made in the image and likeness of God. This is different than any other humanoid that had walked the earth before. And He created the Garden of Eden for them to live in. We don’t want to get too far off in the bushes on that subject. It’s a fascinating subject, but we are talking about the creation of the institution of marriage and family, fatherhood, and motherhood.

Family, being a father and mother and husband and wife, cannot be redefined because it is a holy institution. We cannot by fiat change it into anything that we want.

Secondarily, family connotes sexuality—male and female. Sexuality is, therefore, God ordained. God created male and female. Science confirms this. We often hear it is Christians who ignore science. Nowadays many people ignore science as well as the Scriptures for the simple reason that when the DNA was discovered and the human genome, there exists a double helix. For reproduction to take place and for a human to exist, there are two sides, the male and the female. They are not three, they are not four, and they are not five. There are two. That’s the science, my friends. We cannot deny the science. It is foolish to deny science when we can find it is absolutely right. Here is where science confirms the Bible, and the Bible shows us the way to understand the science. Let’s not be silly in our pursuits as far as how we want to define things in our own way. God made family what it is. Regardless of the intellectual argument to the contrary, God made family what it is—male and female. There are a lot of silly arguments and a lot of foolish argument about this today that deny the science and the Scriptures. God talks about that in Romans 1.

I am going to Romans chapter 1, verse 18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…”

To deny the Scriptures, and in this case, denying the science as well is one way of suppressing the truth.

Continuing in verse 19 of Romans 1: “…because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”

We can now see the double helix. We have mapped the human genome! It is all confirmed in Scripture. It is foolishness to go against God on this, and He continues to say that in this very set of Scriptures that we are reading.

Verse 21: “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…”

This is a case where denying the science and denying the Scriptures makes us foolish. We don’t want to be foolish, so let’s accept the facts as they are.

Continuing in verse 24: “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

You will notice the foolishness of denying the science and the Scriptures leads people down the wrong path because they no longer call sin sin but try to redefine the whole concept of marriage, family, and sexuality according to something that some people have come up with. That goes against God’s laws, and it is still a sin. God has dealt with sin. That was why Christ came to this earth. We all have sins in our lives. Jesus Christ died that our sins could be washed away. We can be made whole and become more like Him, in His image and His likeness. We are not condemning one sin as any worse than another sin. We are just saying let’s stick with the facts, the science, and the Scriptures on this matter.

When family breaks down and we lose respect for the family, a lot of things go wrong. We are going to see that as we continue here.

I am continuing in verse 28: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…”

That sounds like the times in which we live! The broken family, homes falling apart, and families disintegrating lead to a tremendous rise in these attitudes that lead to crime and violence. It leads to poverty. It leads to missed opportunities for young people. This is a very serious subject.

When God created family as a divine institution, He knew it would be good for us. That’s why the Fifth Commandment is there. It is good for us. The commandments are exactly what we need to solve our problems.

Observing the Fifth Commandment brings tremendous blessings! We saw that the commandment said that your days may be long upon the land that I give you. There are several aspects to this idea of long days. Of course, we see long life. If we have a healthy life, we have a longer, happier life. It is healthy, and it leads to a national situation that is better. Our countries are blessed by strong families and stability. Our nation and the prosperity of the nation depend upon strong families. The blessings are not just personal and family, but they are national. That is why He said, upon the land that I give you. We have been given a good land. Here in America we have a wonderful land. Any country on earth can be wonderful. The more people follow the Fifth Commandment, the more blessings that flow to that nation and to its families within it. That is a fact.

The breakdown of the family is a serious problem. We see it in the newspapers every day and on the news on television. There is violence, poverty, and the lack of opportunity that follows broken homes and broken families. There is a spiritual dimension to the Fifth Commandment.

Family, fatherhood, motherhood, and marriage are all divine, and there is a spiritual essence to them that we need to think about. It is not just a physically ordained thing with physical blessings. There are spiritual reasons for what God is doing, and spiritual blessings.

I am turning to Ephesians chapter 5, verse 22: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’”

We have come full circle from the time in Genesis when God created man and woman and Adam said, she is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. A man will leave his father and mother and will be joined as one flesh to his wife. That’s how Christ feels about His church, and that’s how He feels about all mankind that He wants to bring into a family setting—a spiritual family. That’s the significance of why it is a divine institution. It takes two, a father and a mother.

Finishing off this set of Scriptures here in verse 32 of Ephesians 5: “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Honor your father and your mother, honor husband and wife—the idea of the nuclear family.

The physical is essentially mirroring the spiritual, and the spiritual is a great mystery. It takes a lot of thought, meditation, and prayer to think about this and all the ramifications. The blessings of doing this right are enormous in the physical realm and in the spiritual. We would see the blessings in our families, in our towns, in our cities, and in our nations if we would follow God’s admonitions here.

I am turning to Proverbs, the book of wisdom for some wisdom on the subject. I am going to Proverbs chapter 30. We are going to read beginning in verse 11.

Proverbs 30, verse 11: “There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”

As I said when we read Romans 1, it sounds like our time. There is violence and breaking up of the family, and the things that we see. God says there is a generation that does those things. They deny what fatherhood is and what motherhood is. It makes a mockery of God’s divine institution, and there is tremendous hardship and sadness because of that. We could avoid a lot of pain and suffering if we just keep the Fifth Commandment.

Continuing in verse 17 of Proverbs 30: “The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

Does this mean that if we aren’t nice to our father and mother and we don’t honor them that the birds are going to pick our eyes out? No. We have mentioned this in other studies that birds are a physical type of creation that mirrors something in the spiritual realm, and that is angels and demons. We are talking here about demons that will pluck your vision. If we deny the Fifth Commandment and we do not honor our fathers and our mothers, we go spiritually blind, which leads us off into all these wrong directions! We cannot see the truth for what it is. We lose our spiritual vision. In other words, we go dark. Darkness is a type of sin and ignorance.

We are going to proverbs chapter 20. I will be reading verse 20: “Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness.”

Your wisdom will go into the darkness, into ignorance, by not keeping the Fifth Commandment. That’s what we see going on in the world today. People make a mockery of family. Our generation does it on TV, in games, and in books. Fatherhood is mocked. Motherhood is mocked. Marriage and traditional family is mocked. We can’t get away with this. There are penalties, and we are reaping those penalties. We reap what we sow, my friends, and that’s another truism from God. I am going now to the New Testament to Galatians chapter 6.

Galatians chapter 6, verse 1: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”

We all are tempted by some sin, and all of us do sin in one way or another, probably in many.

Continuing in Galatians 6, verse 2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work…”

I suggest you examine your life against the Ten Commandments to see how you are doing.

Continuing in verse 4: “…let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

That’s what we have. In our societies today, we are reaping what we are sowing. We have a disregard for the Fifth Commandment. We have a break-up of the family and a denying of the institution of marriage and family that God ordained, so therefore it is holy. This has brought a lot of sadness and sorrow to our nations.

We speak of darkness here if we break the commandments because really the commandments are a source of spiritual light. I am going to Matthew chapter 5 now. Here Christ talks about light, and He talks about the commandments.

I am starting in Matthew chapter 5, verse 14 where Christ tells His disciples this: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God says we are to be a light to the world. Sharing this knowledge with people is bringing them light. When they learn it and share it with others, they are bringing light. How do we know this is the Ten Commandments? Because in the same discourse, continuing in the very next verse (verse 17), here is what Christ says: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Ten Commandments are tied inextricably with light. They are the light that would remove the darkness. When we break them, we go into darkness. Our lamp goes out. That’s what Christ is saying.

By doing the things that God tells us in His word by honoring our father and mother and by keeping the Fifth Commandment, we will be getting tremendous blessings for our own lives, for our families, our towns and cities, and our nations. We will fill them with light and exterminate the darkness. Rather than judge each other for our sins, let each one of us examine our own life against the Ten Commandments. Then do what God knows is best for us. Once we learn that and we practice it, we will see how good and how wholesome it is. The blessings that He promises will be personal blessings, family blessings, and city and national blessings. It is all part and parcel of the Fifth Commandment.

So long from this desk at this time. The next time we will discuss the Sixth Commandment. God bless you all.