The Ancient Secret to Success & Longevity

          You might have expected to be enlightened by age-old, proven, mystical precepts and modus operandi and how our primitive ancestors went about to secure success and long life. It might not be what you are expecting.  Are you ready for this?

The secret is...Honor Your Parents

Yes, not some method of primitive dexterity and wizardry, but simply the very commands from the Ancient of Days, the Omniscient All-Knowing God, etched on the tablets of the Ten Commandments.   These commands were given to the people of Israel to guide and secure them in the righteous, protected, prosperous life intended from the heart of Yahweh.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “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 6:1-3

            A few years ago when I was back in Singapore to visit my dad, my brother, and his family, one morning the Holy Spirit brought to mind the promise from Ephesians 6:1-3.  I always knew the promise of longevity if I choose to honor my parents, but the Spirit highlighted to me the words, "that it may go well with you."

He then whispered to my spirit, “Son, honoring your parents is a key to your success.”

He then directed me to Malachi 4:5-6.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

          It seems to me that in the last days, the avoidance of the curse of the land is conditional upon the reconciliation and bonding between fathers and children.  In other words, the prosperity of the land is somehow connected to the manner in which fathers relate with their children, and vice-versa.

During that period, I had been contending to be debt-free.

The Holy Spirit instructed me, “I want you to sow financially to your dad.” 

In my heart, I murmured, "Lord, I am a missionary. You know I do not have much, but I know You are speaking to me. I will give to my dad. How much?"

The Lord showed me an amount.  That morning, I went to my dad, who was a Buddhist at that time.

“Dad, here’s a little something for you…” I gave a red envelope with the money in it.

"Son, you are the one who needs this money. Keep it."

"Dad, you do not understand. You need to keep it."

          The next day, I received a random text from my friend's mom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, "Cornelius, I am sending you $3000 today."  Needless to say, I was stunned. I was amazed by the fact that even though I did not know this lady well, but God had laid it on her heart to give generously toward me.  The following day, I was driving in the car with my good friend Chris and I began to recount to him the generous gift I had received the day before.  Chris began to grin to ear to ear as if he knew something I was clueless about.

“Why are you grinning so happily?”

“Wait till you get to my house, I have something to give to you,” Chris replied.

We got to Chris’s house. He disappeared into his room and came out with an envelope in his hand.

“Here you go, this is yours.  A few of the brothers got together and decided to bless you.”

At that moment, I had a feeling it was a financial gift, but I was not ready for the amount that was in the envelope.

I opened it up and saw they were $1000 notes in them. I counted 8 of them. $8000 in total.

          In two days after the Lord had spoken to me about “Honor your father and mother, that it might go well with you…” my entire debt was completely paid off with leftover! I am careful not to make this sound like a sure-fire, genie-in-a-bottle formula to be prosperous.  I am not making a promise that you will be debt-free if you choose to honor your parents financially.  What I do know is that God promised that we would do well if we choose to honor our parents.  Maybe that will look like a restoration of relationship with your parents where there had been a strain. Or perhaps a healing in your body, or a raise and promotion at your job, or an immediate download of a business idea.  His blessings are diverse and endless.  He knows how to bless us.  He is the good heavenly Father.  You will do well to honor your parents regardless of whether they deserve it or not.  I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit how you can honor your parents.  He will show you.  His love and grace will empower you.  Be blessed!

In His love,

Cornelius

 

P.S. The following is an excerpt from a paper I had written in the seminary about Jewish Wisdom in Honoring Parents. Hope it enlightens and blesses you! Watch for the next blog. I'll be sharing on how to honor your parents when you feel like they don't deserve it.


The Fifth Commandment

          In the Ten Commandments one reads, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). However, trying to wrap one’s mind around the word honor can be difficult. What does honor mean? Why not love instead of honor? Is it unconditional honoring? Are there limits or is it boundless? Why is it so important?  The word for honor in Hebrew is “Kibbud”; in Yiddish it is "Koved", and both carry the meaning of revere. It also means weight - an honor is heavy.[1] The Sifra, a collection of midrashim on the book of Leviticus, explains that to revere one’s parents means that one should not sit in their chair, speak in their place, or contradict their words. It is further written in the Sifra that one is to provide parents with food and drink, clothes and warmth, and to guide their footsteps when they are old and frail.[2]  Besides keeping positive behavior, to revere includes refraining from certain behaviors, including not contradicting one’s parents publicly.[3]  Furthermore, the practice of honoring begins early. A traditional education requires that children learn never to call their parents by their first name. Instead they say avi mori, my father, my teacher, or imi morati, my mother, my teacher.[4]

            It is also interesting to note that the fifth commandment not only made its way into the top ten laws, it is on the right tablet, the side concerned with the relationship between God and us. The first commandment states, "I am Adonai, your God." The second is, "You will have no other gods before me." Third, "You will not make a graven image Me nor of any living being." And fourth, "You will keep the Sabbath."  And then, "You will honor your father and mother, that you may long endure on the land that Adonai your God will give you." One would expect it to be on the left tablet with its laws concerning how humans do business with each other: don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, and don’t covet. On the contrary, it is found right after the law to keep the Shabbat. The first four commandments deal with laws between man and God.  The last five deal with laws between man and man.  This mitzvah (commandment) bridges the gap, but it is classified as a commandment between man and God, not man and man.[5]  This poses a difficulty, for most people would classify honoring one's parents as the latter. Conceptually, one is being taught that he should view serving his parents as a vehicle towards serving God. 

          One may love his parents very much and feel eternally indebted to them, but the essence of honoring them lies in the concept that one should view his service to them as essentially a manifestation of the way one ought to serve God.[6]  Thus, one’s relationship with his parents can impact his relationship with God.  Just like one must honor God regardless of what one sees in the world; so too, the honor due to his parents approaches that level.


[1] Abraham P. Bloch.  A Book of Jewish Ethical Concepts: Biblical and Postbiblical (New York: KTAV, 1984), 123.

[2] Richard E. Friedman. Commentary on the Torah (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), 238.

[3] Avraham Y. Finkel. The Torah Revealed (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2004), 119.

[4] Arthur Hertzberg.  Judaism (New York: Braziller, 1961), 97.

[5] Norman C. Gore. Tzeenah U-Reenah: A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (New York: Vantage, 1965), 134.

[6] U. Cassuto. A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1974), 246.