Grandidier’s Baobab, picture taken near Morondava, Madagascar. by Bernard B
Well, we are sitting in the quiet of the library. The boys are having some fun with the computers and Ella brought in a bag. Should’ve know there was trouble in the bag. Soon, she was pulling out play dough and dumping it all over the library table. Then here comes the librarian! AHHH! So here we are waving and smiling whilst she is putting the messy play dough away, hoping she won’t look over. So we get that all put away and she asks if she can get out her purse. Now, I’m sure I’ve never had such a styling purse, silver, glitz, beautiful handle. I’m telling you she’s styling. Then she whips out a mask (from Danny’s stint at the hospital) puts it on, gets her mini shampoo and conditioner (also gleaned from the recent trip), and a play dough cup and is about to start mixing. Um. Ella? I don’t think so. She looks at me with shock. How could I not let her play with these things? She was sure…so I shooed her off to play in the library and she went off to chat with the librarian. Now she’s trying to convince me that the family would like a Barbie movie for our movie night.
I’m hoping to have some quiet to do my Bible study but I will tell you in light of all the recent events, God has nudged me to remember to love the moment. To say what is on my heart now, to say I love you, to treasure, to hug…
29 Remove from me the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness [to You], and graciously impart Your law to me.
30 I have chosen the way of truth and faithfulness; Your ordinances have I set before me.
31 I cleave to Your testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame!
So as we turn our eyes to Your Word, Lord, we thank You for this day. We thank You for life. For Your counsel. May we always turn to Your Word for the hope we need.
Oaths…..Jesus has some words about that in the Sermon..let’s look:
33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord [as a religious duty].
34 But I tell you, Do not bind yourselves by an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35 Or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36 And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black.
37 Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.
Verse 33, Jesus is quoting a few different passages and let’s see what He is quoting.
Leviticus 19: 12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, neither shall you profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
It is so important to look and draw out some amazing truths here. You’ll notice that verse 33 and verse 12 have a phrase in common. You shall not swear falsely. So, we see that Jesus by just saying this phrase is drawing up in His audience’s mind the rest of this verse. He doesn’t need to continue that verse. And this is how Rabbis would speak. They would teach, argue, speak in phrases of Scripture all the while knowing their audience would know the context, the verses! So the next part of Jesus’ quote will now come from
Numbers 30: 2 If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break and profane his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
21 When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack in paying it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and slackness would be sin in you.
22 But if you refrain from vowing, it will not be sin in you.
23 The vow which has passed your lips you shall be watchful to perform, a voluntary offering which you have made to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth.
The Lord requires it of you. The brevity found these words is unmistakable . It would be better, as Jesus said, to not make the oath, the vow. God view our words, our actions with much more seriousness than we ever realize. There is an awe that must come with relationship.
Now look in these verses in Hebrews 6 with me:
13 For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear,
14 Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.
15 And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized andobtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.
16 Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife].
17 Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath.
18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
There is so much here! Who could God swear by? NO one greater than Himself. Can I get an amen? Grasp the immensity o His love and desire to bless.
So men swear by God and the oath is final and ends the conflict but God, through His oath with Abraham, blessed and multiplied through Him..
God has never and will never be false or wrong us. On the other hand, we can never say the same. And what is striking to me, is how vehemently Jesus is saying to just not even speak the oath.
Not to heavens…
Not to the earth..for it is the footstool of HIS feet..
From 4 million miles away on December 16, 1992, NASA’s robot spacecraft Galileo took this picture of the Earth-moon system. Our moon is one of the largest moons in the solar system. It is even larger than the planet Pluto. In this picture, the Earth-moon system actually appears to be a double planet. by NASA
Or by Jerusalem the city of the Great King…
View of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
To finish for today, in light of all the reading, let’s look through one final passage:
James 5: 12 But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.
Well, we, in our culture, are very easy to say…
I swear I’ll do it!
I promise I’ll…
Fill in your own way to say…I vow, I oath. And I’m presenting this to you and to me, for that matter, let’s pray about this and seriously consider how our words impact. Not just the people around us.
Pray on friends, pray on.