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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Saturday Evening, May 7, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).

The fifth commandment is repeated in the New Testament. Please turn to Ephesians 6:2-3.

"Honour 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 earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3).

Dr. W. B. Riley was one of the leading fundamental Baptists in the first half of the twentieth century. Listen to what he said about the fifth commandment.

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."- (Exodus 20:12).

This is a promise of long life. I believe that a proper interpretation of the text means that. History seems so to teach. In Europe, in England and in America, those noted for reverence to parents are equally exceptional as a long-lived people. I refer particularly to the Jews and Quakers and those who, in a similar way, reverence their parents.

One has well said, "Respect for parental authority tends to longevity; filial reverence is itself an admirable hygiene."

Behold the Quakers of Pennsylvania; the unwrinkled brows of their octogenarians placidly testify that the honoring of father and mother is a healthful, life-promoting habit.

I know the truth of this statement touching these Pennsylvanians. I had a dear old Quaker great-uncle who pressed hard his centenary. The wife of his bosom did not leave him until in her nineties, and those old people, with hundreds of others of their faith, were testimonies to the fact that a strict keeping of this Fifth Commandment means long life.

I have seldom known a young man who honored his father and his mother, was deferential and affectionate, but that I have found in him also the very traits of success.

When George Washington was a youth, he made ready to go to sea as a midshipman. His trunk had been taken on board a vessel, and he was bidding his mother farewell. But when he saw her great sorrow at giving him up, he called a servant and instructed, "Go and bring my trunk back."

His mother, learning of this decision, said, "George, God has promised to bless the children who honor their parents, and He will bless you."

Cornelius Vanderbilt was an obedient son. In his youth, on account of poverty, he often worked all night after running a ferryboat by day between New York and Brooklyn. He had accepted a government contract to carry provisions to the military stations near the metropolis and filled it after his normal workday.

Sweat Marden says, "Cornelius, who gave his parents all his day earnings and half of what he got at night, was so prospered at the age of thirty-five that he was already wealthy. And when he died, he left his thirteen children one of the largest fortunes in America."

- W. B. Riley.

A long and prosperous life is promised to those who keep the fifth commandment.

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