From the Word: And one called out to another, and said: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.)
Over and above all this, there is another weighty reason that should motivate us to keep this commandment. God has attached to this commandment a temporal promise, saying: “that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Here you can see how serious God is in respect to this commandment. He declares that it is not only pleasing, delightful, and joyful to him, but also that the commandment is for our prosperity and promotes our greatest good, in that we may have a pleasant and agreeable life, furnished with every good thing. Therefore, St. Paul also emphasizes this commandment and rejoices in it when he says, “This is the first commandment with a promise: that it may be well with you, and you may live long in the land” (Eph. 6:2-3). Though the rest of the commandments also have promise contained in them, in no other commandment is it so plainly and explicitly stated.
Pulling It Together: Most of us have encountered a willful child whom we conjectured would either not live a long life or would be the death of his parents. There is more to being an obedient child than civil order. Obedient children actually please God. We can easily enough sense the Father’s pleasure when the divine Son was obedient to him in all things (Phil 2:7-8; Heb 5:8). Because of his obedience, the Father granted wondrous things to the Son (Heb 2:9-11).
May God do the same for his earthly sons and daughters? As the entire earth, and the all else besides, is full of the glory of God, is it not within his rights and power to make and keep promises to us regarding the earth?
Prayer: Hallowed by thy name. Amen.
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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.