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June 17, 2018, 12:00 AM

Notes on commandments 4 to 6


Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

 

Given to Adults who were responsible for teaching children not to children. Always good advice. As we see Luther extended it to others, especially the elders of a society.

Not a person promise of long life but the covenant promise that a well run society will last a long time.

 

The Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother.

What is this? or What does this mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise nor anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them.

 

 

Personage: a word used to talk about the presence of the human being as an individual.

In this case I want you to think about it in the sense that all people deserve respect.

All people are made in the image of God and thus whatever you do to them you do to the image of God. And then

Start with the question, “Do you want others to offer you due respect?” or “Do you want them to treat you in a way that allows you the opportunity to lead your life in a way that you find meaningful?”

Now would you want the same for your spouse, and then your children, and then would you want them to provide you the common decency of not slandering your name in public and of leaving your stuff alone enough that you can use and dispose of it in a way that you find to be good and/or meaningful.

And should we not provide the same to others?

 

 

You shall not murder.

 

The ultimate violation of the personage of the other. What is the thing I can take away that deprives you of every opportunity to be yourself, do what God intended you to do, make choices about the future, etc. It is your very life.

 

The Fifth Commandment: You shall not murder.

What is this? or What does this mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all of life's needs.

 

 

You shall not commit adultery.

 

The second greatest violation of the personage of the other – for the two shall become one.

 

The Sixth Commandment: You shall not commit adultery.

What is this? or What does this mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we lead pure and decent lives in word and deed, and each of us loves and honors his or her spouse.

 

Now as a command given to a culture that at times practiced polygamy, we must remember that this is not about sex with multiple partners, it is about the violation of community. If it had been about sex then fornication or sex among unmarried persons would have been included. It is about the lying and deceiving, It is about rupturing the fabric of the society. It is about the harm done to your neighbor.

 

 

You shall not steal.

 

Still a violation of the personage of the other but instead of directly, indirectly through their stuff.

 

The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

What is this? or What does this mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we neither take our neighbors' money or property nor acquire them by using shoddy merchandise or crooked deals, but instead help them to improve and protect their property and income.

 

 

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

 

Using the public reputation of the other to be a place of aggression against the personage of the other.

 

The Eighth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What is this? or What does this mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.

 

 

Notice the ever tightening funnel that we have in these. Notice the infractions going from large to small but all about the same thing.

 

Next week we deal with what seems hardly even a problem and that is the question of covetousness.


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