christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 16:18-18:22, honor your father and mother

Read Deuteronomy 16:18-18:22 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 15:1-16:17, fourth commandment chiastic structure

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic.)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We are studying the roadmap to national restoration, and so, we are studying the Ten Commandments, the summary of God’s definition of righteousness and wickedness. By studying the Ten, we are learning what God considers wicked ways, that He is asking His people to turn from. (Here is the summary.)

The Ten Commandments are given in Deu 5. The First Commandment, Have no other gods before YHVH, is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25these are our detailed study notes.

The Second Commandment, You shall not make idols to worship, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29these are our detailed study notes.

The Third Commandment, You shall not profane YHVH’s name, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29; these are the detailed study notes.

The Fourth Commandment, Honor the Sabbath day, is explained in Deu 15:1-16:17; these are the detailed study notes.

The Fifth Commandment, Honor your father and mother, is explained in Deu 16:18-18:22. The Hebrew paragraph divisions are:

Deu 16:18-20 {s} Injustice is detestable to YHVH
Deu 16:21-22 {s} Idolatrous groves and pillars are detestable to YHVH
Deu 17:1 {s} Blemished sacrifices are detestable to YHVH
Deu 17:2-7 {p} Idolaters are detestable to YHVH
Deu 17:8-13 {s} Authority of the priest and judge
Deu 17:14-20 {s} Authority of the king
Deu 18:1-2 {s} Authority of the Levites
Deu 18:3-5 {s} What is due the Levites
Deu 18:6-8 {s} Equal shares for Levites
Deu 18:9-22 {s} Authority of the prophet

At first glance it seems as if nothing in this section has anything to do with fathers and mothers. But let’s ask the question, Why are we to honor our father and our mother? They are the first authority in a person’s life. Their authority, in fact, has been given to them by God. And by looking at our Hebrew paragraph divisions and possible topics, we see the theme of authority running throughout this whole section.

I propose that God’s authority is absolute, but in order to facilitate His authority among men, He has delegated some of His authority to men. Since God’s authority is absolute, and there is no one above Him or beside Him, He may do whatever He pleases. Fortunately for us, what He pleases to do, is to rule righteously and mercifully, in fairness, in order to increase blessing to us. Since authority begins with God, the purpose of authority is His purpose, and that is to bless those who are under it.

To facilitate that blessing, God has established authority among men. Men do not have absolute authority and cannot do whatever they please; they have delegated authority. They are given their authority for a specific purpose, and thus each type of authority carries responsibilities with it. Each type of delegated authority also has its boundaries. It is not absolute.

Fathers and mothers – parents – are the first delegated authority of society. The command to Honor your father and mother is the command which contains within it all other commands of this type, which might be restated to say Honor God’s authority. This section explaining the fifth commandment explains the delegated authorities among men with their responsibilities and boundaries.

Continued: deuteronomy 16:18-17:7, judging with just judgment

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