In Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments, Joy Davidman tells the story of a little old man whose hands trembled terribly. When he ate he clattered the silverware, missed his mouth with the spoon as often as not, and dribbled bits of his food on the tablecloth. Having nowhere else to live, he lived with his married son, whose wife didn’t particularly like the arrangement.

One day at the table amidst the old man’s trembling and food being dribbled on the tablecloth, she looked at her husband and said, “I can’t have this; it interferes with my right to happiness.” With that she and her husband took the old man gently but firmly by the arm and led him to the corner of the kitchen. There they sat him on a stool and gave him his food in an earthenware bowl. From then on he always ate in the corner, blinking at the table with wistful eyes. One day his hands trembled more than usual and the bowl fell and broke. Frustrated, the daughter-in-law said, “If you are a pig, you must eat out of a trough.” With that she and her husband made him a little wooden trough from which he ate his meals.

The son and daughter-in-law had a four year old son of whom they were very fond. One evening the young man noticed his son playing with some pieces of wood and asked what he was doing. “I’m making a trough,” he said, smiling up for approval. Then he added, “To feed you and momma out of when I get big.” The man and his wife looked at each other for a long pause without saying a word. Then tears formed and they began to cry. They immediately went to the corner and took the old man by the arm and led him back to the table. They sat him in a comfortable chair and gave him his food on a plate. From that moment on nobody ever scolded him when he clattered his silverware or spilled his food or broke any dishes.

Davidman’s anecdotal story aptly points out the importance of the fifth commandment with a twist: honor your parents, lest your children dishonor you. In other words, a society that destroys the family destroys itself.

With the National Day of Prayer on May 6th and Mother’s Day on May 9th along with Father’s Day next month, the importance of prayer and family couldn’t be any more important. Please pray for our nation and the sanctity of God’s ordained institution of family.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place” (2Chron.7:14-15)

God is willing to do his part. Are you willing to do yours?

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill