Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out and the young eagles will eat it.
This verse is so powerful! Not honoring and obeying our parents is a very serious thing in the eyes of our Lord! In fact, in Deuteronomy, we find that it was Jewish custom to stone a child who was guilty of disobedience. Then, when we turn to Romans 1, we read that the sin of disobeying parents is equal to the sins of murder, sexual immorality, etc. Not honoring or obeying one's parents is a horrible sin in the eyes of God, and so should it be in ours!
Today, I will be focusing on the first part of this verse, which shows us the vileness of the sin of mocking one's father. We are commanded over and over in the Scriptures to honor our parents. In fact, we discover that this command is the first one with a promise: that it will go well with us, and that we will enjoy long life in the land which the Lord has blessed us with. We are to show them proper respect and honor.
So, what does this verse really mean when it says that it's a sin to mock your father? What does it really have in mind? Well, I'll share with you some things that immediately come to mind when I hear this verse. Some of them may surprise you, as I'm sure you'll find yourself guilty of them, just as I have been. These things may at first seem innocent to you, but you'll soon discover that they fall under the heading of mocking your father.
If we're going to put into practice the virtue of not mocking our fathers, then there are several things we must abstain from. Have you ever found yourself guilty of saying to your friends, "Oh my father would never ever allow me to do that. He's so strict and overprotective!" This can be labeled as mocking your father. By saying this sort of thing, you are mocking your father's instructions, his wise counsel, his God-given job and responsibility to protect you and train you in the ways of God. This is a grave sin, ladies! As I wrote about in a prior devotional, we should heed our parent's instuctions, advice and leadership, because it is a blessing from God! Without them training us up in the way we should go, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we would be lost! We'd be led astray so easily by the world and its teachings and way of life. To mock your father's (or your mother's) loving instruction is to mock God, His ways, and His blessings to you! This is very serious, and if this sin's been committed, then it needs to be repented of. Another way to mock your father is to say something to the effect of, "Oh, do you know what hilarious thing my father did the other day?" or "He had the funniest little mishap yesterday!" or "My father misspoke the other day, and do you know what it was he said?" Without even meaning to, these kinds of comments can lead into the sin of making fun of your father. It may just be meant as a joke, or something funny to say or talk about, but it's actually a form of mocking-and it's very disrespectful and unhonoring. This kind of speech about your father is definitely something to guard against. I'm not saying that your honoring speech about your father should make him appear as some sort of perfect idol or something like that. But we have to be very careful to speak of our fathers(and mothers) in such a way as to bring honor to them, and to show others how blessed we are to have them and their counsel in our lives.
These little sayings like those mentioned above are often overlooked, or may be seen as something little, but they can do so much damage. The sin of mocking your father is a dire thing, and if you've been guilty of it, go before God and repent. Then go to your father and ask his forgiveness as well. The Lord will give you the strength you need to overcome this sin! Rest in that knowledge and know that even though you can't overcome these sins in your own strength, the Lord's help and strength is always there for you!