That it may be well with thee - This is found in the fifth commandment as recorded in Deuteronomy 5:16. The whole commandment as there recorded is, “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” The meaning here is, that they would be more happy, useful, and virtuous if they obeyed their parents than if they disobeyed them.
And thou mayest live long on the earth - In the commandment as recorded in Exodus 20:12, the promise is, “that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” This referred to the promised land - the land of Canaan. The meaning doubtless, is, that there would be a special providence, securing to those who were obedient to parents length of days. Long life was regarded as a great blessing; and this blessing was promised. The apostle here gives to the promise a more general form, and says that obedience to parents was connected at all times with long life. We may remark here:
(1) that long life is a blessing. It affords a longer space to prepare for eternity; it enables a man to be more useful; and it furnishes a longer opportunity to study the works of God on earth. It is not improper to desire it; and we should make use of all the means in our power to lengthen out our days, and to preserve and protect our lives.
(2) it is still true that obedience to parents is conducive to length of life, and that those who are most obedient in early life, other things being equal, have the best prospect of living long. This occurs because:
(a) obedient children are saved from the vices and crimes which shorten life. No parent will command his child to be a drunkard, a gambler, a spendthrift, a pirate, or a murderer. But these vices and crimes, resulting in most cases from disobedience to parents, all shorten life; and they who early commit them are certain of on early grave. No child who disobeys a parent can have any “security” that he will not fall a victim to such vices and crimes.
(b) Obedience to parents is connected with virtuous habits that are conducive to long life. It will make a child industrious, temperate, sober; it will lead him to restrain and govern his wild passions; it will lead him to form habits of self-government which will in future life save him from the snares of vice and temptation.
(c) Many a life is lost early by disobeying a parent. A child disobeys a father and goes into a dramshop; or he goes to sea; or he becomes the companion of the wicked - and he may be wrecked at sea, or his character on land may be wrecked forever. Of disobedient children there is perhaps not one in a hundred that ever reaches an honored old age.
(d) We may still believe that God, in his providence, will watch over those who are obedient to a father and mother. If he regards a falling sparrow Matthew 10:29, he will not be unmindful of an obedient child; if he numbers the hairs of the head Matthew 10:30, he will not be regardless of the little boy that honors him by obeying a father and mother.
I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and with strong cries and tears pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer, luring them on to perdition. Listen to the instructions from the Inspired Book of God. I saw that Satan had blinded the minds of the youth that they could not comprehend the truths of God's word. Their sensibilities are so blunted that they regard not the injunctions of the holy apostle: 1T 497.1
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the [new] earth.” “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful, son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven. Will all the youth please read the fifth commandment of the law spoken by Jehovah from Sinai and engraven with His own finger upon tables of stone? “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” 1T 497.2
I was referred to many passages of Scripture that clearly show the young the will of God concerning them. These plain teachings they must meet in the judgment. Yet there is not one young man or young woman in twenty professing the present truth who heeds these Bible teachings. The youth do not read the word of God enough to know its claims upon them; and yet these truths will judge them in the great day of God, when young and old will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body. 1T 498.1Read in context »