8 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Most people are familiar with the Ten Commandments. Yet, many people are not aware of the significance in how they are presented. There were two tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written: One for God and one for our fellow man.
The first four pertain to our relationship with God:
1. “Do not have other gods besides me” (Exodus 20:3)
2. “Do not make an idol for yourself” (Exodus 20:4-6)
3. “Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:7)
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11)
The second six pertain to our relationship with our fellow man:
5. “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12)
6. “Do not murder” (Exodus 20:13)
7. “Do not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14)
8. “Do not steal” (Exodus 20:15)
9. “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16)
10. “Do not covet” (Exodus 20:17)
Yet, there is something else of significance that some have observed in how these commandments were grouped. Notice the 5th Commandment. It has been conjectured that this is a transitional commandment – it connects the first half to the second half.
Stated another way, God has called us to honor our parents because, for a time, they act as “God” to us.
As we grow older, develop the ability to think abstractly, and reach a point in our life where we place our trust in Jesus, then we are free to enjoy a meaningful relationship with our God. But, until that point, our childish, concrete-thinking-minds see our parents as all that God will one day be to us.
- God is infinitely stronger than us – and as a child, we felt that way about our parents.
- God is infinitely wiser than us – and as a child, we felt that way about our parents.
- God is the one who dictates and we obey – and as a child, we felt that way about our parents.
You get the idea. You can see why some claim that the commandment to “Honor your father and mother” is a transitional commandment that pertains to both how we relate to God and how we relate to others.
With that being said, one thing I hope you enjoyed as a child was the protection of your parents. I hope that when you were scared at night as you lay in bed, that you felt the freedom to call for one of your parents and their presence in your room gave you great comfort. I hope that you found great comfort in the strength of your father’s grip or your mother’s hug. I hope that you grew up feeling safe, believing that nothing could happen to you that your parents didn’t approve of or couldn’t help you through.
Because, how you related to your parents has a lot to do with how you eventually began to view God.
So, how do you view God?
When life gets really hard, do you find comfort in knowing that He is walking through it with you?
When bad things happen to you, do you find comfort in knowing that it had to come through His hands first?
When you are faced with very difficult circumstances, do you find comfort in knowing that what God has allowed into your life is for the purpose of developing strength of character and to become more like Jesus?
When bad things do not happen, do you offer up prayers of gratitude to a God who kept those bad things away from you?
Do you live with the realization that your God loves you so much that He listens to your prayers and often sends you exactly what you need when you are facing life’s troubles.
Friend, if you feel all alone when life goes south, you will end up in a very dark place in your mind and heart.
But, if you realize that your God, who wants you to call Him “Dad” or “Father,” is right by your side, you will become much more brave and will be able to weather life’s storms much, much better.
So, spend some time assessing your relationship with your Heavenly Dad today. Then, make whatever adjustments are necessary so that you can begin to experience the joys of God’s protection … just like a child with his or her parents.
* * * * * * * * * *
Lord Jesus, thank You for the wonderful truth that You are my protector. You are the One I can run to when things are threatening my safety and security. Help me to embrace the truth that the Psalmist spoke about, particularly in Psalm 46:1-3. I want to develop a mindset where I worry less because I trust You more. Amen.
WOW! I never heard the 10 Commandments explained that way before. Now I better understand why I resisted God for so many years and then it took many years to learn to trust God. I loved my earthly father when I was very young but at the age of 6 my brother was born and life changed drastically. I felt that my parents no longer loved me. I found out after I was in my 20’s that both my mother & brother nearly died during childbirth and that they both needed so much care that they didn’t have the quality time for me that I had before he was born. My father became so abusive that I was the one who received the punishments for my brothers indiscretions. My punishments were sometimes so harsh that by today’s laws he would have gone to jail. I didn’t learned to love my brother until I was in my 20’s and turned my hatred to love for my father until I was in my 30’s. It is because of Christ’s love for me that I was able to lead my father to Christ when he was 77 just 5 weeks before his death. I love the way God uses you to explain God’s words to us so clearly.
Lord, I ask to bless my Pastor and his family and protect them from all harm. Thank you Jesus.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is a powerful story, Paul. In all of the tragedy, God was able to work something wonderful out of it, especially the salvation of your dad as you shared the Gospel with him. Thank you for sharing this story!