one of the discussions that has gone on between theologians from the beginning is about the balance between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. They are both certainly true, but how do they fit together?
Ephesians 6:1-3 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
A number of years ago a young man announced to me that he no longer believed the Bible was true. I asked why, and he quoted this verse, and shared that a friend had just recently died at 18 years of age, and that this friend honored their mom and dad more than anybody he knew. The Bible promised he would live long but he only lived to be 18 years old, therefore the Bible was not true.
most of the verses in the Bible that are “cause and effect” statements, we tend to interpret as a black and white law, when in fact most are principles that fit together with other principles which increase probability of our desire happening, but are not guarantees.
It is very much like farming. There are “laws of agriculture” that we can learn and put into practice, but there are many variables like the weather that we can not control, so because we followed good farming practices the probability of having a good crop is high, but not guaranteed.
The pain and frustration of this is probably most felt by parents of wayward kids who tried hard to be good parents, but for some reason that no one can figure out their son or daughter became a prodigal. They prayed, taught them the Bible, took them to church, but for some reason they decided not to cooperate.