Before they started challenging the authority of the police; before they started mocking the teachers at school; before they started disrespecting the pastor, before they started rebelling against all forms of authority, they disrespected their fathers at home.

         God has not made anybody better than any other, but he has given specific responsibilities and specific levels of authority. Ephesians 5:23 tells us, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (KJV)

         When the authority of a father is challenged, the consequences are devastating. Ephesians 6:2 remind us the fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;” (KJV) What is that promise? Exodus 20 establishes the promise of a long life. Shall we say long and prosperous life? Shall we say a peaceful life? Or shall we say a joyful life? We know that God is good;[1] we also know that his plans for us are also good. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV) I am convinced, based on the character of God seen all through Scripture that God is promising a good life for those who honor their parents.

         It is important to point out that when the Bible commands honoring our parents, it start with the father. Prosperity is attached to honoring our parents. Death in all levels is attached to dishonoring our parents.

         The seriousness of this matter can’t be minimized; the death penalty was the consequence of several sins in the Old Testament, rebelling against parents was one of them.[2] The Old Testament ends with a promise centered on fathers. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)

         Luke also echoes the words of Malachi in a more dramatic way referring to the heart of the ministry of John the Baptist. “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17 (NKJV)

         John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet and the first Evangelist. Notice how he refers to the children as disobedient. Also notice that the heart of the Gospel is to turn these kids to the wisdom of their fathers. Now, I know that many of you do not have Christian fathers; nevertheless God will provide you with a father figure here on this earth. Also, the key point on this verse is that we will never be ready for the Lord until we learn obedience to our fathers; it is a key component for revival!

[1] Psalm 136:1

[2] Deuteronomy 21:18-21

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