God’s Word on the Witness Stand
The Power of the Oath
In the legal world, the term “oath” is a solemn promise and invokes a divine witness (dictionary). Oaths have been a part of the fabric of man’s life from the very beginning to present day. As great and as moving as the oath is, what if the person uttering the words really didn’t believe what he or she was saying and only wanted to get something? Consider Zedekiah who was put in the place as governor of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar after the nation was taken into exile (2nd Chronicles 36). Prior to his assuming the position, Zedekiah was made to swear an oath in God’s name to honor the King by giving of tributes; in effect, Zedekiah’s words were his bond. In Judaism, taking an oath in God’s name was binding and carried a promise of destruction for breaking it. In breaking trust, as much as it might have developed esprit-de-corps with the people of Judah, it created more problems for the decimated nation. What is most problematic is, it said to King Nebuchadnezzar “I do not honor the God of my ancestors and God is irrelevant and my system of beliefs is a mere sham”. As the governor, Zedekiah’s actions spoke for the entire community. In our day and time, we too say by our actions the true conviction of our heart about what we believe. We become enraged by the words and/or actions of a foul politician, actor, and/or athlete while we, by our words and/or actions, tell the world “God is irrelevant, and my system of belief is not all that important”. As children of God, we owe it to ourselves and the kingdom of God to live holy lives not as a badge of courage but as a daily way of life and a silent witness despite what the world does (Ecclesiastics 9:17). My encouragement for you today is “honor your vows” despite the world’s ways or what it demands without an expectation that the world will agree with you. Remember, the Bible was not written to the world but to those who choose to follow the Lord God of the Universe; if we find it of no personal value, how can we ever expect the world to treat it or our system of belief with respect?
Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world.19 For their sake [e]I sanctify Myself [to do Your will], so that they also may be sanctified [set apart, dedicated, made holy] in [Your] truth (John 17:18-19 AMP).
Above all you are sovereign, and you are Holy. In this world, oaths are uttered and quickly broken when the circumstances are not in our favor. Your kingdom is not of this world and, as such, it does not fall in line with the ways of the world. Your word stands to testify the results of honoring our vows and what happens when we break them. May your good Spirit lead us today as we follow you.
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