And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 19:1-3)
Holiness, Parents And The Sabbath
The Law of Moses was very specific about keeping the Sabbath as a holy day. Moses delivered to the children of Israel the Law of God that contained the requirements and penalties of the will of the Lord. The Ten Commandments were not the whole law and reading the books of Exodus – Deuteronomy a full explanation of the law was given to the people. There is little doubt how the Lord felt about the Sabbath day. A story in Numbers 15 illustrates the severity of God when a man is found picking up sticks on the Sabbath day and stoned to death for the offense. Clearly, the Lord God demands the people obey His will. To disobey Him would bring severe punishment. Repeatedly, the Lord reminds His people that He is holy and He expects them to be consecrated to the service of His will. Separating themselves to God is the foundation of the relationship between the Jews and their Lord. Nothing is more basic than purifying the heart to serve only the Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind and body.
Understanding the value of keeping the Sabbath day and being a holy people consecrated to the Lord was clearly defined by the Law. Included in this law was the respect given to parents. Sandwiched between the adherence of being holy and keeping the Sabbath was the command to respect mothers and fathers and refusing to do so brought about the same penalties. “I am the Lord Your God” is the heavenly affirmation that you must obey my word or suffer the consequences. The Law of Moses made provisions that if a child was rebellious they would be brought before the people and if found guilty, taken outside the city and stoned to death. This was God’s law. Disrespecting the father or mother was as serious a crime as being unholy and profaning the Sabbath.
The Law of Moses has been abolished but the principles of how God feels about respecting parents has not. Nothing in the New Testament suggests the Lord is pleased with children who disobey and disrespect their parents. One of the problems in every society that begins to crumble toward destruction is the breakdown of the family. Children who scream at parents, curse mothers and rebel against fathers are destroying the foundation of what God designed for the home. Parents are to be respected and the Lord God declares His will be followed. When children fail to respect the parent, they begin to destroy the fabric of society. Denigrating parents leads to disrespecting all authority and chaos ensues. God is not pleased.
Parents must instill in the heart of the child a love for God so they can learn what respect for parents is. It is imperative the family be built upon the word of God as a pattern of respect and reverence. As God is the heavenly Father, children learn to love and respect Him when they have learned to love and respect their godly parents. The word of God is sure and steadfast. It teaches the heart of the child a need to respect authority. This will serve them well in this life but most importantly will save their soul in eternity. The Lord demands respect through holiness and keeping His word. Respect for parents is evidence of a heart that loves and obeys the word of God.