Oaths • Devotion 2

Human Oaths Versus God's Promises
Sydney Kimball

In my experience, many of us pray the same way. What I mean by this is that we have a set structure as to how we talk to God. The Bible instructs us to always be in thanksgiving and I believe, for that very reason, many of us choose to start our prayers with that exact heart posture. Now, we may thank God for what He has done for us, what He has given us, or maybe, if you are anything like me, you thank Him for His character. I find myself constantly praising and commenting on His faithfulness to us. He fulfills His every promise. That is not a simple task or an easy feat. I am confident we can all think of a time in which we have broken a promise. As I am confident you have heard countless times, we as humans are not perfect. We do, however, serve a perfect God. Although I would love to be able to say that I have fulfilled my every promise and have followed through with all my prior commitments, I, just like you, cannot, because I fall short of the standard of perfection that God holds.

I would argue that God does not set us up for failure. I would hope you agree! I think that the instructions from God to us are to set us on a path to success. He guides us in a way that leads us to righteousness, not a life of lawlessness and sin. We are His people who are set apart and so He gives us clear commands as to how to live as people who are set apart from the world.

His instructions on oaths are very clear! Jesus says in His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, “But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:34-35). At first, I was rather puzzled as to why God would instruct us to avoid taking oaths. Upon further examination; however, I feel I have uncovered why He may have led us in this way. Now, it is important to understand that an oath is not a simple promise like the one you dish out when trying to push off taking out the garbage at the present moment. An oath is defined as a solemn promise or a vow. Think of a wedding! The bride and groom stand before a room of witnesses to commit their lives to one another until death do them part. This is a perfect example of an oath. This is also an example of an oath or vow that is pleasing to the Lord, as the great designer of the marriage covenant.

It is important to note that the Lord sees our hearts. Our God wants us to avoid making false promises or commitments that do not reflect the intentions of our telling hearts. An oath is a sacred promise that is not to be taken lightly and the Lord is trying to protect us by telling us to avoid them. He sees our empty vows and they are displeasing. When going before the Lord to make a sacred promise we must check our hearts because, unlike Him, unfortunately, we are human and cannot fulfill our every promise.






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