Response to Heritage

MEMORY VERSE: “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” —Exodus 20:12

EXODUS 20:12

THE first verse of this lesson is our memory verse. The verb here translated “honor” is interesting. It carries ideas of worth, value, prestige, esteem, success, and respect. Jewish children were admonished to think of their parents as possessing all these qualities, and to esteem them accordingly; and certainly the children of godly parents today should do no less. Where this is true the home is a sacred and happy place.

One of the signs of the times in which we live is that children would be disobedient to parents. Consecrated parents should make every effort possible to gain the respect and emulation of their children so that they will naturally and gladly be obedient to them.

This is one of the commandments to which a promise is attached, that promise being, “That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” God promised the people of Israel that he would bless them along earthly lines if they were obedient to him, but this does not apply to spiritual Israel of the present time. These are invited to sacrifice earthly things, that they may lay up treasures in heaven.


The Israelites were admonished to treasure the words of the Lord in their hearts. If they did not do this it is obvious that they could not be successful in teaching them to their children. Only that which is in the heart is talked about habitually, as this passage admonishes. “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”—vss. 8,9


Here we find the Apostle Paul following the general outline of the commandment to Israel concerning the children. His message is not a general one, but to those parents who “are in the Lord”; that is, those who have entered into a covenant by sacrifice with the Lord and have accepted the headship of Christ. There is no assurance that the children of ungodly parents would be much better off if they did obey their parents, because they would not thereby be led in a pathway of righteousness; at least this would seldom be the case.

Children of consecrated parents who endeavor to live moral and upright lives should naturally get along well with their fellows—or it should be this way. But we are living in an unrighteous world, when in many instances those who work wickedness are delivered, and there is no complete assurance that God will protect the children of his people from harm. After they reach the age of accountability they must share the experiences of the world; their time, and the world’s time of special blessing, being the Millennial Age.

Children of consecrated parents who follow the example of their parents by devoting themselves to the service of the Lord are assured of his care. They are promised that all things will work together for their good, even as in the case of their parents. But this is along spiritual lines, not natural.


How blessed was Timothy in having both a mother and a grandmother who were devoted followers of the Master! And it is evident that both by precept and example they taught him well in the rudiments of the faith, and the results were most gratifying. Speaking to Israelites on the Day of Pentecost Peter said, “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) Not all the children of the consecrated go on to consecration—only those whom the Lord calls.


What promise was attached to the commandment for children to honor and obey their parents?

Are all the children of consecrated parents called to the “high calling”?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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