5:33-37 | Oaths

5:33-37 | Oaths - Morgan Bradley

Oaths Under the Old Covenant

Vows in the Bible

  1. What a vow is

    1. Calling on God as witness to the truth of a statement and invoking his punishments if it is not

    2. Positive to do something - negative to abstain from some practice

    3. Vows to dedicate a something for sacrifice - Lev. 7:16

    4. Nazirite vow - Num. 6:2-21 - Samson

    5. Samuel's mother vowed to give him back to the Lord

  2. Vows were very serious - Deut. 23:21-23

    1. Vows made must be kept

      1. Must not delay in keeping it

      2. We must be careful to do it

    2. God held the vow against them

      1. It was required of them

      2. To not perform the vow was to be guilty of sin

    3. Rash oaths were still to be kept - Lev. 5:4

    4. Punishments and fees for violating vows - Lev. 27

  3. To call on a vow was to involve God | Leviticus 19:12

    1. Calling on God as witness to uphold our word

    2. To break a vow is to profane God's name

      1. Shows a lack of fear for God

      2. Lack of faith in his punishment

      3. Calls into question his own honesty


Abuse of Vows

  1. Swear by anything but God

    1. Had an entire Mishna Shavuot about oaths

    2. Not liable when saying "by heaven or earth"

    3. "May it be by Jerusalem" meant nothing

    4. Swearing by the life of one's head could be retracted

  2. They wanted to appear honest, without binding themselves

    1. This vow is unbreakable, unless I break it, but I won't, so trust me, because I took a vow

    2. Crossing your fingers

    3. Verbal agreement vs. contract or on film

  3. Jesus condemns the contemporary oath forms

    1. Because they're meaningless

    2. Because they had more meaning than they realized

      1. All of these oath forms still contain God | Isa. 66:1-2a

      2. Exemplified in Matthew 23:16-22


Honesty Under the New Covenant

No Need for Swearing

  1. Our word needs to be the truth

    1. It is a reflection of who God in us | Num. 23:19

    2. Should reflect in our large commitments

      1. Marriage

      2. Binding contracts

    3. Should reflect in our everyday use

      1. Don't back out of helping people

      2. Is our door really always open?

      3. Can people really come to us for anything?

    4. Our integrity should not come into question without a promise

  2. No conditional honesty

    1. I was joking!

    2. Well, I never promised…

    3. Every word must be as sure as any promise

    4. We don't get out of our obligations because we did not make an oath

  3. Proverbs 11:1

    1. Deception is against everything God is

    2. Are we a delight in the Lord's eyes?