The Lord’s “Big Time” Promise

In the fifth commandment (Exod. 20:12), the Lord attaches a promise when he commands his people to honor their father and mother. The apostle Paul refers to this commandment, pointing out that it is the first commandment with a promise.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land” (Ephesians 6:2–3, ESV)

The word he uses in Greek is μακροχρόνιος (macro-chronios), which may be translated “long-timed” or “long-lived.”

Upon reading this passage recently, my first thought was to translate this word as “big-time.” It certainly adds a different dimension to the promise when we think that we should honor our father and mother that we may be become “big time” in the land.

Of course the Lord’s conception of “big time” is fundamentally different from a worldly conception, which is self-centered and based on pride and arrogance. To be “big time” in the eyes of the Lord would be to walk in righteousness, to love him by obeying his commandments (John 14:15–24).

We should aspire to become “big time” in this way—to become fruitful as a tree planted by streams of water which bears fruit in season and out of season (Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:7–8).



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