Keeping Oaths

 "You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 

'Don't break your promises, 

but keep the promises you make to the Lord.' 

But I tell you, never swear an oath. 

Don't swear an oath using the name of heaven,

because heaven is God's throne.  

Don't swear an oath using the name of the earth, 

because the earth belongs to God. 

Don't swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem,

 because that is the city of the great King.  

Matthew 5:33-35

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them." Joshua 9:20

Joshua and the people of Israel were in the Promised Land. They were winning battles and were feeling good about their progress. One day a band of Gibeonites came by dressed as travelers in order to fool Joshua. They wanted to make Joshua believe they were merely travelers instead of enemies. The Gibeonites asked Joshua to make a peace treaty with them. Since Joshua chose to believe their story, he did just that. That was a mistake on Joshua's part. The Bible says Joshua did not inquire of the Lord about the Gibeonites. This forced Joshua to uphold the peace treaty with the Gibeonites, even though it was made under false pretenses.

Keeping our oaths before the Lord is a serious matter. One might think that Joshua had every right to consider the agreement with the Gibeonites null and void since it was done on false pretense. However, Joshua knew how God viewed oaths. He knew that a man's word, once it was given, should be good as done. There was no reversing it. He also knew that if he did not keep his oath, he was subject to God's disfavor, which meant his ways would not be blessed.

Whenever we become a child of God, we represent Him. When His children follow unrighteousness, He takes this personally. Unrighteousness opens us up to satan's attack. God's protection shield is removed. So Joshua knew that if he did not honor his oath, he would be subject to God's judgment.

Is there any unfulfilled oath you have made to anyone? Ask God this morning if you have not fulfilled a commitment to anyone. Then, if there is, go and fulfill. Otherwise, you will be subject to God's judgment for your unrighteousness.

Today's Prayer

Thank you Father for having a purpose for my life and for telling me what your expectations are through the Bible. I know you must be disappointed with me many times, when I fail to meet your expectations of me. I can identify with that from a human standpoint. When I expect a family member to be responsible and to do something that they do not do, or when they make wrong choices in life, I am very disappointed. Sometimes I feel frustrated or angry and other times heartbroken. Help me to be kind-hearted and long-suffering with them, like you are with me. Guide me to handle those disappointments with integrity; to remain quiet when I should and to speak up when I should. Please give me the thoughts, words, and actions you want me to have. And God, please forgive me for disappointing you. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Psalm 132

In Praise of the Temple

A song for going up to worship.

 1 Lord, remember David 
       and all his suffering.
 2 He made an oath to the Lord
       a promise to the Mighty God of Jacob.
 3 He said, "I will not go home to my house, 
       or lie down on my bed,
 4 or close my eyes, 
       or let myself sleep
 5 until I find a place for the Lord
       I want to provide a home for the Mighty God of Jacob." 

 6 We heard about the Ark in Bethlehem. 
       We found it at Kiriath Jearim. 
 7 Let's go to the Lord's house. 
       Let's worship at his footstool.
 8 Rise, Lord, and come to your resting place; 
       come with the Ark that shows your strength.
 9 May your priests do what is right. 
       May your people sing for joy. 

 10 For the sake of your servant David, 
       do not reject your appointed king. 
 11 The Lord made a promise to David, 
       a sure promise that he will not take back. 
    He promised, "I will make one of your descendants 
       rule as king after you.
 12 If your sons keep my agreement 
       and the rules that I teach them, 
    then their sons after them will rule 
       on your throne forever and ever." 

 13 The Lord has chosen Jerusalem; 
       he wants it for his home. 
 14 He says, "This is my resting place forever. 
       Here is where I want to stay.
 15 I will bless her with plenty; 
       I will fill her poor with food.
 16 I will cover her priests with salvation, 
       and those who worship me will really sing for joy. 

 17 "I will make a king come from the family of David. 
       I will provide my appointed one descendants to rule after him. 
 18 I will cover his enemies with shame, 
       but his crown will shine."

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