While attending a Christian school, the teachers used the Biblical phrase "that your days may be long" as a way to
It was very confusing to many of us when a classmate died. He was a good person and loved his parents, so why did God not keep His promise to let him live long? Why didn't that promise apply to him? What about parents who weren't so honorable? They were sexually, physically, and emotionally abusing their child. Are children suppose to honor and obey their parents who are abusive so they could have a long life? How was the child suppose to do that? I have several friends whose children have died who have really struggled over the teaching they received in church on this matter. "Did my child have some secret sin I didn't know about?" I have friends whose parents have died young but had been very dutiful children. "Why didn't God keep His promise? If this promise does not apply to this person, then what ones do not apply to me? How can we rest on God's promises if they may or may not apply? " they asked.
God's Word is not in error. It's our interpretation! John Piper solves that problem in the article I've shared below. I feel there needs to be a clearer teaching on this in the church so that it does not cause people to question God's goodness and faithfulness. If you have wondered about these passages and the life happening around you, I encourage you to read the article in its entirety and see what God is really saying.
My Friend Honored God and His Parents — Why Did He Die Young?
"So, if we have been trained to see these patterns, if children have been shown this, we won’t be as likely to give Ephesians 6:3 a meaning Paul surely did not intend for it to have. In the Old Testament, this promise was made to the people of Israel as a whole that they would endure from generation to generation in the land of promise if they were the kind of people who kept the law and honored their parents. It is not a promise to each individual Israelite who honors his parents that he will live out his full three score and ten. You can read it. You will remain in the land, meaning you, the people of Israel, won’t be swept away into Babylon if you are law-keeping people. And they weren’t, and so they were swept away. ...