Summary: Making promises that you can't keep or don't want to keep is bad!
Matthew 5:33-37-“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’
But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
A little boy was caught lying and his pastor asked him, “Do you know what lying is?” (Trying to get the boy to realize what he had done.) The boy answered, “Yes I do, it is abomination to the Lord and very present help in a times of trouble!
Leviticus 19:12-And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
Numbers 30:2-If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Deuteronomy 23:21-“When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.
Did you notice that Jesus starts these statements of like this…you have heard that it was said to those of old, instead of…It is written.
Maybe because the Scribes and the Pharisees had water down these laws so much.
They basically maintained the status quo, allowing people to misuse oaths. They taught people that an oath made by God was binding but oaths made by things related to God (such as His temple, the gold of His temple, etc) were graded on a curve, if you didn’t stand by those oaths it was ok, they would let it slide.
Often times in the Old Testament, people would use the oath that says, “May the Lord do so to me and more also if…”
You hear people say…“As God is my witness,” or “I swear to God,” or “I swear on a stack of bibles,” “I swear on my mother’s grave,” “I swear on my children lives”
J Vernon Mcgee said, “When I hear a person say they swear on a stack of bibles, I figure the lie they are telling is just a tall as that stack of bibles!”
If a person has to use a statement (Like a oath, or swearing) to back up the statement (The promise, or story) that they just told, why, would you believe either one?
That’s like having a car that don’t run, trying to push a car that don’t run! It don’t make sense!
We should not make a commitment (promise or oath) that we don’t intend to keep, we should never take a oath lightly, or make one on a whim.
God made an oath with Abraham.
When Joseph was living in Egypt. He made his family swear an oath that they would bring his bones out of Egypt with them when they journeyed to the promised land.
David and Jonathan made an oath of loyalty to each other.
But the problem that was happening in Jesus day, was these oaths, these swearing by this or that, had become a everyday thing, instead of something that was done every once in awhile.
Plain and simple….If you’re a person of your word or do you have to go out of your way to convince people you are telling the truth!