Mocking Eyes

Bob Bedford


Proverbs 30:17


            When God gave the Ten Commandments via Moses, He was establishing order in the home with the fifth one, "Honor your father and mother." (Ex 20:12) To honor meant to give weight or treat with respect. When society was orderly and parents accepted their responsibilities, it was much easier to understand honor. But particularly, beginning in the 1960's, this country experienced a tremendous social upheaval. The sanctity of marriage was despised. People had so many partners, the father of many babies was in question. Without a blood test or DNA the answer was a guess. Children by the thousands were abandoned to the grandparents or other relatives because of irresponsibility, drug addiction or rebellion. The wise man Agur declared this proverb: "The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it." (Pr 30:17) The word mocks means to deride, i.e., laugh at contemptuously or subject to bitter ridicule. The original meaning was to imitate a foreigner by speaking unintelligibly, making no sense to the parent. To scorn is to despise to the point of flagrant disobedience, disrespect, or to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful. Parents can either command respect or demand it. To command respect implies that it has been earned via action or character. Respect that is demanded is done so because of position. "I'm your mother, so listen." I've heard the plaintive cry of a young person struggling with the honor issue. "How can I honor my mother, who is a drug addict and is in prison because her jealousy of me caused her to kill my father who loved me?" How would you answer? If revival is to come to our nation it will have to impact the homes. We can't pretend that the last 50 years didn't happen. While the general society was in such upheaval, the church was concerned with self-preservation. While the world was busy redefining words like marriage, family (blended, nuclear, etc.) and even adultery, the church was arguing over dress, programming, music and scripture translations. And the same cultural attitudes invaded the youth of the church, and they exited in high percentages.

            A "mocking eye” is more revealing about the internal defects than it is about the object of one's scorn. Someone who mocks another does so to disguise their own heart or deficiencies. Rather than find the source of healing and become whole, they divert attention away from themselves as an excuse for their own bad attitudes and behaviors. Jesus knew that the answer to the sin problem was love. He demonstrated that by the sacrifice of himself for ungrateful rebellious humans. "Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13) "God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) Having been loved by Christ when we weren't very lovable, we discovered that being loved was transforming. God doesn't mock us, and when we allow ourselves to be loved by Him, we find that loving others (even the ones who have disappointed us deeply) not only is possible, it becomes a driving force in our lives. As Peter wrote, "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another (parents included) because love covers a multitude of sins." (1Pet 4:8) Read the promise associated with the commandment-the one who does the honoring (loving) wins!