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Daily Devotionals

Day 37 – Issue 40

todayMay 1, 2015

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Be Still Know

Proverbs 20.20 NLT

‘If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.’

Family relationships were of central concern to the writer of Proverbs. The incredibly harsh language that he uses in this particular proverb shows his complete contempt for those who insulted their parents. No punishment was too great for those who were able to sink to such depths. Later in Proverbs the writer speaks with even greater passion, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.” Proverbs 30.17 The whole Bible speaks with one voice on this subject and it is not surprising that honouring parents was one of the Ten Commandments, standing alongside the commands not to murder, commit adultery or steal.

All family relationships will be strained at times, but nothing can change our fundamental responsibility for our parents. The commandment is followed by the promise that if you honour your father and mother, “then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20.12) That is to say everything good follows from caring for your parents and showing them the respect that they deserve.

Every society handles family relationships differently. When I lived in India I had the amazing privilege of living with an Indian extended family. We lived, ate and worshipped as a three-generation family and that seemed to work well, although it would be misleading to suggest that there weren’t times of tension. In the West such families are relatively uncommon and that presents us with many challenges, and particularly in the care of elderly parents. This challenge has become even greater as people’s lifespans have increased. But the principle remains the same that caring for parents is a fundamental responsibility in our society, however demanding it might be.

Question: In what way does the command to honour parents shape your life?

Prayer: Lord God our Father, we thank you for our parents. We praise you for every way in which they have blessed our lives, and ask you to help us to forgive them for the ways in which they let us down. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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