Respect for Parents

Genesis 47:27-31

27Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

28Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” “I will do as you say,” he said.

31“Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Taken Alive!

Trivia questions: Who were two individuals taken alive by the Lord? Guess who! Enoch and Elijah! How did Elijah go to heaven? By Whirlwind!

Before the Lord took Elijah, He instructed him to anoint Elisha as his successor. Before he followed Elijah, Elisha asked permission to inform his parents. Elisha’s parents may have wondered, “What about your oxen and plowing equipment?”

It says in 1 Kings 19:20-21, Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

When Elisha slaughtered his oxen and cooked them using his plowing equipment, it exhibited that he’d very firm decision to serve the Lord in full-time capacity. He gave up his secular livelihood and embraced God’s plan for him. Apparently, he respected his parents when he informed them about his decision.

Respecting parents practically exhibits that believers have faith in the Lord.

Joseph’s faith in the Lord was far stronger than his brothers. Among his children, Jacob may have observed that Joseph was the most respectful son so that Joseph became his favorite son. The life story of Joseph is a biblical proof that blessing is included in the Lord’s command to respect our parents.

Joseph was not selective of showing respect. His brothers hated him but he did not take revenge. Instead of his father only, Joseph settled his brothers together with their families in the best part of Egypt during the severe famine.

1. Settle

27Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

Goshen was the best part of Egypt. Streams of water were abundant in Goshen, and probably, grass was greener. The Israelites were shepherds, and they multiplied numerically. They acquired lands, and they settled in the region of Goshen because the land was conducive or favorable to pasturing livestock.

The term “settle” presents the idea of permanent residency. And, why will the Israelites not settle in Goshen when they became productive and increase in number? They’ve got more children, grandchildren and livestock. They may have intentionally disregarded their plan of returning to Canaan because of that.

Interestingly, before they settled in the region of Goshen, the brothers told Pharaoh confidently that they will stay in Egypt for a while and not for long term.

They said in Genesis 47:4-6, 4“We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.” 5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen…”

Pharaoh ignored what they said. He didn’t bother to ask why they planned to live in Egypt for a while. Instead, he ordered Joseph to settle them in Goshen. Joseph did as Pharaoh told him. Is it strange that Pharaoh desired the family of Joseph to live in the best part of Egypt? Such decision, did God move the heart of Pharaoh? Was it Pharaoh’s way to appreciate the service of Joseph? Maybe!

Did the Israelites realize that they had no control of their destiny? Joseph’s brothers may have planned to return to Canaan but they changed their mind and settled in Goshen eventually. Most often, we also approach life like the Israelites, don’t we? We enjoy our Christian life but we just cannot forget our old lifestyle.

It says in Ephesians 4:22-24, 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

When the Israelite relocated in Goshen, Joseph gave them a new life. When they become productive and multiplied numerously, they decided to settle permanently. At first, they cannot decide of staying in Egypt for a long time, why? For sure, they have memorable experiences in Canaan before the famine. And maybe, they expected that Joseph may take revenge of their cruelty toward him.

Similarly, we also have hesitancy to follow Christ completely because of the guilt brought by our sins. We just cannot believe that God has completely forgiven all our sins, why? Is it because we find it hard to forgive others?

It says in Colossians 3:13, Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

To sin is to miss godly perfection. Human effort falls short of godly lifestyle. The Holy Spirit convinced us to admit we fall short of God’s requirement, and we repent. By faith, we believe God forgave us, but how do we know for sure that we receive His forgiveness? When we receive God’s forgiveness, we forgive others.

Christ’s Spirit guarantees that we are forgiven and gives us joy to forgi

When the brothers of Joseph acquired properties and decided to settle in Egypt, it implies that they have acknowledged finally, that Joseph had forgiven them, and hoped that Joseph had no plan to avenge their cruelty toward him.

Joseph showed his care for his father, brothers and their families when he provided food for them. Jacob had one last request from Joseph. He asked Joseph to bury him in Canaan to show that he had found favor in his eyes.

2. Show

28Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” “I will do as you say,” he said.

One hundred forty-seven years on earth, Jacob had a long life. He’s right to have Joseph as his favorite son because in his old age, Jacob sensed Joseph respected him so much. Joseph provided for his needs when he was helpless.

The severe famine made it more apparent that Joseph respected Jacob. The Lord allowed the severe famine like other difficulties and struggles of life to make more apparent His blessings included in His command to respect parents.

Obviously, Joseph benefited from his faith in the Lord. His faith in the Lord increased greatly when Joseph decided to give due respect to his father Jacob. The faith of Joseph was tested when his cruel brothers sold him, when he was accused falsely, when he was imprisoned, but he continued to trust the Lord.

How did the faith of Joseph flourish and grow strong? Do you think that Joseph became the favorite son of Jacob for no reason? For sure, Joseph had listened to the parental advices of his father so that Jacob trusted him so much.

Siblings Secret

Many younger children won’t dare to tell their parents about the escapades of their older brothers or sister, why? What naughty behaviors do you remember when you were younger? Did you dip your fingers in the cookie jar and younger siblings saw you? Have you escaped at night and went to see a friend and returned before daylight but your younger siblings caught you in the act? Did you watch videos that you don’t want your mother to know you’re watching them?

If parents learn about their shenanigans, children instinctively assume that they will be in trouble. If younger siblings saw their mischievous rascality, older siblings will warn them with possible repercussion if they dare to report about it.

The brothers of Joseph were envious of him because their father gave him a very beautiful robe. Joseph was very proud of his robe. He would wear it even when he went to the field. Of course, it feels comfortable and warm, especially during cold night while they kept watch of their sheep in the field. Imagine: You’re Joseph’s brothers. Can you rejoice when Joseph slept soundly but you feel cold?

How do we compare in our generation? Your father Jacob bought a brand new winter jacket, a Canada Goose Jacket. How much is Canada Goose Jacket? Maybe, $1,000.00! Sure! Your father Jacob bought a secondhand winter jacket for you from a thrift shop for how much? $19.95! Do you feel good with that?

When children feel bad about their parents’ decisions, they intentionally disobey and do things that their parents prohibit them to do in rebellion to their parents or as their way of showing their indifference toward their parents.

His brother hated Joseph, and they hated him more when Joseph reported their escapades to their father. It says in Genesis 37:2-3, 2Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Joseph’s brothers may have thought, “We’re taking care of sheep but only Joseph has beautiful robe. So, they sold some sheep to reward themselves and threatened to harm Joseph if he reported their rascality to their father. Joseph may have been scared but Jacob may have taught him to do what’s right.

The wisest king of Israel King Solomon advised in Proverbs 10:1, A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Good grade in school is proof that a student is wise but low grade in school is not the totality of foolishness. Low grade can be a result of mistakes, and making mistake is not equated with total foolishness. If making mistakes is foolishness, then, everyone is foolish, why? Everyone makes a mistake, right?

Judge it yourself, if to repeat the same mistake intentionally is foolishness.

Interestingly, the word of God equated the wise and foolish children with what they bring to their parents. Ask yourself: do my parents rejoice about me?

If your parents are glad about you, it shows that you are a wise child to them.

It was not needed for Jacob to tell his other children and grandchildren that Joseph was the wisest son among them. Pharaoh appointed Joseph as ruler of Egypt because he discern the wisdom of Joseph. It says in Proverbs 8:12-21,

12I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. 15By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 16by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth. 17I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

The wisdom of Joseph started when he sensed a reverent fear of the Lord so that he respected his father. In comparison, his siblings may felt superior over Joseph when they sold him as slave but his fear of the Lord paid dividends in the long run, and his respect for his father has produced advantageous results.

Ask the Lord for godly wisdom regularly. We need wisdom in all things we do. It’s wise to obey Christ. It says in 1 Corinthians 1:24, But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The Spirit of Christ that we receive when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior is the same Spirit of the Lord who gave wisdom to Joseph. Do you agree?

Jacob made Joseph swear to bury him in Canaan, why? Did he doubt that Joseph would not obey him? No! Jacob was confident that Joseph would obey him, but he wanted his other children to learn that taking an oath is no joke.

3. Swear

31“Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

When Jacob asked Joseph to swear that he would bury his remains in Canaan, his other sons were observant. After Joseph swore to him that he will surely bury his father’s remains in Canaan, Jacob worshiped, why? His heart was full of rejoicing with the assurance that Joseph will do what he asked of him.

Indirectly, Jacob implied that he trusted Joseph more than his other sons. The brothers knew that Joseph respected Jacob more than anyone of them. The proof that Joseph had become greater than any of them was undeniable result of his faith in the Lord, so that, he gave due respect to Jacob their father.

What is your take? What’s your view or opinion about respect for parents? Is it a burden or blessing? Here is a question for genuine believers: Do you agree that “respect for parents” practically proves that Christians have faith in the Lord?

Truly! When we (Christians) respect our parents, we practically show our belief that the Lord knows what is best for us. Make sure, you remember that!?!

The Lord commanded us to respect our parents, and He added a promise. It says in Ephesians 6:1-3, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Can you agree that the commandments of God were written primarily for believers and not for non-believers? Think about it! Will you waste precious time giving commands if you know the person will ignore you? Do infants understand adults? Does it make sense to order, “Hey, you infant, go and shovel snow!”

Similarly, God knows who trust and obey Him. Christ’s Spirit empowers us to obey Him. When the Lord commanded believers to respect parents, it was His intelligent strategy to bless believers without favoritism. Blessing is included when we respect our parents because we obey God who ordered us to respect.

This statement is for genuine believers: Respect for parents is practical proof of trust that the Lord knows the best lifestyle for us. Respect for parent is most appreciated when parents have grown old, weak, helpless, destitute, and deprived of activities and ventures of youth. When parents become vulnerable, liability and burden, respect for parents is glorious in the eyes of the Lord.

Proverbs 14:21, 21Blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.  

Home for the Aged

When you grow old and have dementia, have you ever accepted the possibility that your children will place you in the “Home for the Aged?”

When grown up children have their own family, taking care of aged parents becomes a burden. So, instead of quarreling over who should take care of their aged parents, many adult children find it reasonable to take their aged parents to the “Home for the Aged.” At least, they’ve got excuse and not blame themselves. They’ll just blame others if their parents are not taken care of, right?

Is it biblical for children to put their parents in the “Home for the Aged?”

The Lord Jesus warned Peter in John 21:18-19, 18Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

The Lord didn’t assure Peter a luxurious old age life that most people wish to have. Christ viewed the trouble awaiting Peter as means to bring glory to God.

Likewise, if parents can’t get necessary care from their children, at least, parents will bring glory to God if they have the right attitude about their concerns.

It’s a real concern for children to take care of aging parents. Do you agree?

It is also a real concern for aging parents not to be taken care of by their own children. Both difficult situations are God instruments to reward believers.

The Lord rewards children for their care of their aging parents.

The Lord rewards aging parents for the right attitude toward their struggles.

Joseph had a great life. It’s a practical proof of the added blessing in the Lord’s command to respect parents. Joseph respected his father Jacob so much.

The phrase, “Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff,” is a picture of indescribable gladness in the heart of Jacob or Israel for Joseph.

When Joseph swore an oath to bury his father in Canaan, it was a sincere resolve of care for his father’s need even when he was old and helpless. If that was not enough proof of Joseph’s respect and care for his father Jacob, Joseph had never asked his brothers to share in the burden of taking care of the need of their father. Actually, he even provided for the needs of his brothers and their families. Such is most admirable lifestyle of a believer that Joseph had lived.

What’s the secret of Joseph’s great life? Faith, respect, and wisdom!

Pray that God make your faith grow, and your respect for parents will grow, and your wisdom will grow, and you will enjoy great life. That’s for sure!

><((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2019 <‘)))>< … <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.