From the Word: Blessed is the one who reads the words of the prophecy, and they who hear and observe what is written in it. For the time is near. (Revelation 1:3)
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.)
The same may be said about obedience to civil government, which, as we have said, is included in the estate of fatherhood and extends farthest of all relations. Here, the father is not one of a single family, but of as many people as there are inhabitants, citizens, or subjects. Through them, as through our parents, God gives us food, house and home, protection, and security. Since they carry this name and title honorably, as their highest dignity, it is our duty to honor them and regard them as a prized treasure, a precious jewel on this earth.
Pulling It Together: To be sure, the precise meaning of today’s verse is that one who reads the Revelation to the church is blessed. The church is also blessed if they listen and obey. This means that John was stacking up the Revelation alongside the rest of Scripture. The Word, including the last book of the Bible, is to be read and obeyed. It almost goes without saying that this also includes the commandments, the fourth right along with the other nine. Blessed is the one who knows the Fourth Commandment well enough to recite it, and obey it with its far-reaching implications.
Prayer: Make me a good citizen, Lord—one fit for your kingdom. Amen.
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