Sunday, 6 November 2016
“that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:3
The words here are reflective of the promise made in the Ten Commandments to Israel, both in Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16. There is a portion he omits from his citation though. In the Ten Commandments, it says, “that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
The people of Israel were promised an inheritance in the land of Canaan. In disobedience to the Lord, they would be exiled from that land. For them, to be exiled was a form of punishment. And so, a long life would be one of enduring that punishment. In other words, the true prosperity of Israel is tied into the land of Canaan, not merely to a long life. There was no need for this statement to be included by Paul when addressing the Gentiles. There is no earthly inheritance which comes through faith in Christ.
Therefore, this is a general blessing which is pronounced upon any and all – Jew or Gentile – who come to Christ. Things can be expected to go well with us, and we can generally anticipate a long and fruitful life on the earth, when we honor our parents. As this is a general promise, it cannot be expected in all instances. Like the proverbs of Solomon, it is a broad guideline that we can anticipate, not a blanket guarantee. In honoring one’s parents, things can normally be expected to go well for us.
Life application: If you want things to go well with you, following the precepts laid out in the Bible is a good way for that to come about. In not following them, you will pierce yourself with many thorns, but in following them, you can generally expect things to turn out in a positive manner.
Lord God, help us to be parents which are responsive to the needs of our children, and also help us to be responsive to the needs our own parents. The family has been established for care, protection, love, and edification. These, and so many other wonderful benefits, come when we live in accord with Your word concerning family matters. And so help us in this Lord. Surely You are pleased when we live lives which have care and respect for those who are so close to us in the family. Amen.