From the Word: For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as on the day of Midian. (Isaiah 9:4)
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.)
However, the godly and obedient have this blessing: that they live long in peaceful quietness, and see their children’s children to the third and fourth generation. Experience also teaches that there are honorable, old families who fare well and have many children. Certainly, they owe this to the fact that some of them were brought up well and honored their parents. On the other hand, it is written of the wicked: “May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!” (Psa 109:13). So, heed well how important a matter obedience is in God’s sight, since he so highly esteems it, is so greatly pleased with it, rewards it so richly, and besides, enforces punishment so rigorously on those who will not obey.
Pulling It Together: Why does God promise such a great blessing as long life? How does it work out that his promise may come to pass? He does so by delivering the faithful from sin and its consequences. When you obey your boss, instead of frittering away the hours, you are given both paycheck and years of employment. When you obey your parents, you are rewarded with their pleasure and kindness. When you obey God, he too is pleased and rewards you as he will. He breaks in on your life with great light like that of Gideon’s attack on the day of Midian (Judg 7:20). The Light of the World (John 8:12) breaks through, overwhelming sin, and the darkness of death cannot prevail.
Prayer: Break through, Lord, and deliver me into your light. Amen.
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Telling Their Stories: Encounters with Jesus is seven dramatic monologues that focus on the cross. Each is written from the perspective of a biblical character who participated in the Passion of our Lord. The resource is meant to be used as a Lenten monologue series or as character readings for a group study.