July 11, 2021

Live by the Spirit: The fifth Commandment

Today we will be considering the Fifth Commandment which says, “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” The apostle Paul reflects on this law in Ephesians 6:1-3 where he writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honour your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” In Daniel 3 we read a story that helps us understand better God’s will for us in the Fifth Commandment. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are three covenant youths who were taken from their home in Jerusalem and sent into exile (along with a lot of others) to a place called “Babylon”. Here they were re-educated into the ways and thinking of the Babylonian empire. It
was “re-education for the common good” (or so Babylon would have told themselves). However, the empire failed to convert these three young men to their ways. In Daniel 3, the attempted “cultural genocide” of God’s covenant people is proven to be a failure in the words and actions of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It’s an excellent story that helps us understand better God’s will for us. When the law of the empire is set up against the Law of God, God always wins!