HOW TO MAKE AN OATH THAT CAN BE TRUSTED

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“So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.” Genesis 24:9 NIV

Back in the days of Abraham and Isaac, one way people made an oath  was by placing their hand under the other person’s thigh. Jewish tradition says this is a physical act of submission to someone in authority.  In today’s verse, Abraham has asked his servant to find a wife for his son Issac. The servant is afraid the bride-to-be won’t want to come with him.  Abraham said if she doesn’t want to come, the servant is released of his oath. Then the servant places his hand under Abraham’s thigh and promises to do all that Abraham has asked.  He lives up to his oath, Rebecca does come back with the servant and marry Issaac. Happy ending for everyone.

But what if Abraham’s servant didn’t keep his word?  What if he didn’t fulfill his oath to Abraham? The New Testament upped the game with keeping one’s word.  James tells us, “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.” (James 5:12 NIV).  If we are following Jesus, all of our words matter.  Our yes means yes, our no, no. Unfortunately, in today’s world, fake news is the norm.  People not doing what they say they are going to do is a way of life. We’ve lost the expectation that people will actually do what they say they are going to do.  When did our words become so meaningless? Let your “yes” mean “yes, let your “no” mean “no.”

Let you “yes” mean “yes, let your “no” mean “no.”

Matthew tells us, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13 NIV).  We are the salt of the earth when we do what we say we are going to do, even if we don’t want too.  If we don’t keep our word, we lose our saltiness. When we show up at an event we said yes too, even though it’s the last thing we want to do, we are salty.  When we work on our marriage by keeping the vows made to each other, we are salty. When we teach our kids there are consequences to their actions by keeping our word, we are salty.  When we let our yes mean yes and our no mean no, we are salty. Salt the earth today, do what you say you’re going to do.

Question of the Day:

What can you do today to salt the earth?

Further Reading: Genesis 23:1-24 NIV, Matthew 6:25-7:14 NIV, Psalm 9:13-20 NIV, Proverbs 3:1-6 NIV

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