You shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
I. REVERENCE FOR PARENTS. True religion is seen in common, everyday life. If we love God, we love man. Family peace and order is best preserved by appeal to deep, religious motives. Natural affection is not sufficient against fallen human nature. "God says, Thou shalt," must be the support of natural feeling.
II. SABBATH KEEPING. Not as a Jewish regulation, but as both the demand of physical nature and the gracious provision of God for us. "The Son of man is Lord of the sabbath;" therefore, while preserving it from abuse to the oppression of human liberty, sanctifying it for the higher place it occupies in the Christian scheme.
III. ABSOLUTE SEPARATION FROM IDOLATRY and all heathenism. Holy religion.
IV. WILLINGHOOD IN RELIGION. Verse 5, "At your own will," or "that you may be accepted," i.e., do it as unto God, by his Word, for his glory, in dependence on his grace, with hearty resignation of self to him.
V. PHILANTHROPY AND COMPASSION FOR THE POOR. The true charity is a practical remembrance of the needy and suffering, beginning at home, from our own personal possessions. God is the Lord of all. All are brethren.
VI. HONESTY OF DEALING is only to be maintained by religion. Mere social considerations and political economy will never purify trade and sanctify men's intercourse with one another. Truth is safe in no keeping but that of the sanctuary.
VII. PROFANITY in speech and in act is an evil to be cured by positive religion.
VIII. THE JUSTICE OF THE LIPS is the justice of the heart in expression. The law that is kept sacred within will be honoured without respect of persons, and not by mere negation, but in active benevolence.
IX. REAL NEIGHBOURLINESS IS LOVE OF MAN PROCEEDING FROM LOVE OF GOD. No injury must be done either by word or deed, either by neglect of another's interests or unholy wrath against another or encouraging him to sin by withholding due rebuke. All summed up in the positive precept, "Love thy neighbour as thyself." All the various prescriptions of the Jewish law, both negative and positive, regard the pure and holy development both of individual and national life. Religion is the root, social morality is the blossom or the plant, national prosperity is the precious fruit, of which, if we would preserve the seed and perpetuate the blessing, we must see to it that we find the very inmost center and kernel, which is the love of God as the Father of all, and the love of men as the brethren of the same Divine family. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.