He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
is a son who brings shame and reproach.
Rebellion against parents is an especially grievous offense in scriptures. Striking one’s father or mother is punishable by death. Rebellion against proper authority is wrong, but there something more involved in the rebellion against parents. Proverbs speaks of the sorrow, bitterness, and shame that parents of a foolish son experience. There is something sacrilegious in committing actual violence against one’s parents.
All the more then consider the offense against our heavenly Father. Earthly parents are themselves sinful and can exasperate their children so as to lead to violence. But our Father is righteous. Thus to rebel against him is to do violence against rightful and righteous authority. But more so it is to do violence against one with even closer connection than a parent – the one who created us and keeps watch over us. For we who belong to Christ, it is to rebel against the one who has redeemed us and loves us with a steadfast love.
How great indeed is this steadfast love of the Father. For it is while we were sinners that Christ died for us; it is while we were rebellious enemies that Christ reconciled us. How much more then now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life (cf Romans 5:6-11). How great is the patience of God who forgives all our sins, even the ones committed today! This is not an excuse to sin, but it is an excuse to daily be in awe of our Heavenly Father who loves us with a steadfast love!
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org