Question 19: Why should we "Honor thy father and thy mother."
12% So we will go to heaven when we die.
12% So we will have a long life and things will go well with us.
 0%  I don't have to 'honor' my parents if they are not 'honorable'.
76% Because God said so.

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   In Deuteronomy 5:6-21 Moses repeated The Ten Commandments that were given at Mt. Sinai 40 years earlier. This is recorded in Exodus 20. Consider this, (1) given the natural state of man, (2) what we know about the carnal mind and (3) man's tendency to wickedness, do you think a few verses in either Deuteronomy 5 or Exodus 20 are or should be all of God's law?

   The average Bible is about 700 pages. The "Law" in Exodus 20 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5 is about a half of a page. That is 1/10 of 1% of your Bible.

   So, to rephrase the question, because The Ten Commandments alone do not include explanations, (What is adultery?) or punishments ,(What if someone does steal?) or penalties for disobedience, do you think there should be any additional instruction? Do you think that the remaining 99.9% of the Bible may contain an explanation of the basic ten commandments?

   Do you think it would make good sense for a father to command a son, "you are not to steal any toys from your brother or from the neighbor's children," and then not enforce any punishment upon the child if he did steal the toys? 

Thou Shalt Not Speed

   How about a city passing an ordinance which reads, "Thou shalt not speed on city streets." Do they post the law around a few places, retire all the traffic officers, and provide no form of punishment for violating the law "Thou shalt not speed on city streets." If city government were to do that, give the law, then provide no explanation and provide no punishment for violation of the law, you would probably say they were rather stupid.

   Well ,what opinion do you have of God if that is what you think God did, i.e; wrote laws but made no provision for their explanation, no provision for enforcement and no provision for penalties when violated? 

   Many Christians answer "God is love. He is not a vengeful God. He has given us these commandments as guidelines. If we love Him we will obey them, however, we have no authority to judge any who might break them." Some would go so far as to insist that all we can do about those who violate God's laws is to warn them of hell and let it go at that. But, when the murderer's victim is a son or a loved one, even modernist church-goers sometimes come out in favor of punishment for the criminal.

   Let's look at some of the commandments; Then look at other verses related to these commandments. Both were given to the same people at the same time. Then we will see that God is as wise as city councilmen who pass laws against speeding and then provide for fines or other punishment for violation. The sixth commandment is "Thou shalt not kill." What does God say should be done to someone who does kill? The answer is in the next chapter, Exodus 21:12 &14, "He that smitest a man so that he die shall be surely put to death." , "If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him with guile, thou shalt take him from my altar, that he may die."

   That is quite plain. Murderers are to be put to death. There are three parts to a law. Both man's law and God's law consists of these same three parts. 

Laws, Statutes and Judgments

(1). The law is the command. The simple statement, "Thou shalt do such and so." For example; Thou shalt not speed.

(2). The statute defines a violation of the law. What is speeding? The young teenager has a different outlook that a 65 year old. So statutes define speeding. For example speeding is, traveling in excess of 20 miles per hour in a school zone, more that 25 m.p.h. in a business district, more that 55 on a highway, and so on. When driving down a street, which do you see? A sign saying, Thou shalt not speed, or a sign saying, Speed Limit 30? 

(3). The judgment is the punishment or penalty to be enforced upon the law breaker. For example, a fine of $5.00 for every mile per hour above the posted limit. 

(1) The Law. "Thou shalt not kill" is the law. But, what act is a violation of that law?

(2) The Statute. What is "killing"? The statutes defing killing. Is self-defense 'killing'? Or is self-defense O.K.?  Moses provided examples: Exodus 21:14, "(Statute) If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him with guile; (judgment) thou shalt take him from my altar (the court), that he may die.,"  Exodus 22:2 (Statute) If (during the night) a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, (Judgment) [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him. So, in God's eyes, killing a burglar in your home at night is not 'killing' as forbidden by this Commandment . A better translation would have been. Thou shalt not murder.  

(3) The Judgment. The punishment to be enforced is ,"he shalt be surely put to death," (Guilty) or  [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him. (Innocent)

God's law is not just 'The Ten Commandments.' just as a book is not just 'The Table of Contents'. All the Law includes pages and pages of explanatory statutes and judgments. 

   The Ten Commandments standing alone with no statutes and judgments are not enough for man. Just as Thou Shalt Not Speed is not enough for safety on the roads. God knew that when He gave them. That is why God, through Moses, also gave pages and pages of explanation in the form of statutes and judgments.    

   Most are totally unknown and unstudied in the modern world. When we speak of the whole law of God we must of necessity understand the laws, statutes and judgments which constitute the whole law of God. Like the city council law, "thou shalt not speed on city streets." Alone the law is useless. It will bring order to city streets only if the law is made whole by including a statute to define speeding and a judgment to establish a punishment for violation. (And a few ordinances to regulate parking.)

In most books you will find;

bulletA Preface and Introduction.
bullet A Table of Contents
bullet Then the chapters of the book
bulletAt the end of the book the Appendix and Index.

   Many Christians think that they understand God's Law because they know The Ten Commandments. But, in reality, that is no more true than saying that you understand a book just because you understand the Table of Contents. 

   To understand the whole book you must understand each chapter. In The Book of Deuteronomy, 

bulletChapters 1-4 are the Preface and Introduction. 
bulletChapter 5 contains The Ten Commandments and compare to a book's Table of Contents. 
bulletThe following chapters, 6 -28, contain the statutes and judgments explaining The Ten Commandments.
bulletFinally, in chapters 29 - 33, Moses added a few Appendices.

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