Wednesday – October 3, 2018 – Dishonor Violates God’s Direct Commandments.
Matthew 15:3-6 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.
When you violate God’s direct commands, you dishonor God. Most of the time, it is easy to know that you are violating God’s Word, but not always. You know that God’s commandments include, “You must not commit adultery,” and you would not suddenly say to a person, “wait a minute, you are not my wife/husband, as if you had been taken by surprise. You would know what you had done and that you were guilty of transgressing the law.
This case is different. The Pharisees were violating God’s Word by replacing a command with something good, something they thought was better. Whenever you distort God’s Word for whatever reason, you dishonor God. Trouble sets in when you think you know better than God does. The Pharisees were dishonoring Him by giving to Him what should have been set aside for their parents. They had entered idolatry without even knowing it. Idolatry occurs whenever you place anything over God and what He requires. Idolatry is the ultimate form of dishonor toward God. Remember King Saul; he violated God’s command because he wanted to make a sacrifice to Him and God said to him that it was better to obey than it was to sacrifice and the arrogance of thinking you know better than God is the same as idolatry. Read 1 Samuel 15:22-23.
The Pharisees most likely made those vows hoping to receive a greater blessing than they normally would have received. Instead, they received the opposite. They thought they would have more, only to end up with less. Hoping to increase their blessing, they were diminishing it. It may not be easy to always honor your parents, but it is the right thing to do.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to never cancel God’s Word by elevating my needs and desires above what Your Word says, even when I think I am doing it for You.