God takes oaths to Him very seriously, “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth” (Numbers 30:2). In fact, he takes it so seriously that He advises you to avoid them altogether if you’re not totally committed, “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation” (James 5:12).
An oath is a contract with God pledging Him not only honesty in the oath but an undying commitment to it. “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin” (Deuteronomy 23:21).
Jesus was the perfect example in how to fulfill an oath. He came to earth for one purpose, to fulfill His Father’s will, and he fulfilled that oath even to death. And just as Jesus was good to His oath, He expects us to do the same in our promises to Him.
William Barclay put it this way, “Jesus did not say discuss me; he said follow me.” We do not make terms with Christ; we surrender to Christ. We do not compromise with Christ; we submit to Christ. Christianity does not mean being interested in Jesus Christ; it means taking the same oath as princes take to a king or queen in a coronation ceremony and saying, “I am your liege man of life and limb, and faith and truth will I bear to you against all manner of folk. So help me God.”
But the Godhead would never expect anything from us that they were not prepared to fulfill themselves. In the beginning of time, God made several oaths to all people and, because he is God, He has fulfilled them without flaw or hiccup. First, he made an oath to always be with us. From Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” King David wrote this beautiful Psalm and we witness throughout Scripture that God was good to His promises to David as He is for all people who place their hope and trust in Him.
Next God made an oath to always be in control. From Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We can depend on the God of all creation to always be in control of His creation. Nothing will ever be too big for Him, nor will any detail be too small for His attention.
Next, God has made an oath to always be good, there will never be anything bad in Him. From Psalm 100:5, “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” God has pledged to always love us, to shower His grace upon us and to show mercy when it is needed. There will never be any evil from God and no sin can be associated with Him.
God has also given us an oath to always be with us. From Genesis 28:15, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” That same pledge He made to Jacob he makes for all believers. God has said he will never leave us or forsake us and He is always good to His promises.
Finally, God has made an oath to be victorious in the end. From Job 12:16-18, “With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.” Our God cannot lose and the devil is no match for Him. In even our darkest moments, He will be the light that leads us.
God is always good to His oaths, and he expects the same from us. So, as you make your decision for Christ, do so with utmost commitment to the words you use. Fully surrender your life to your Creator and pledge Him your all. May your oath to Him override all the other oaths you have given either consciously or unconsciously, “For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation” (Hebrews 6:16). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, give us the courage and faith we need to pledge our oath only to you. If we cannot do as we have pledged, help us to avoid the oaths we should not make. Amen.