Scripture Reading: Judges 11:19-40
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
You don’t control heaven, earth, or even Jerusalem. They are under another’s power. How can you determine what goes on there? Symbols of God without saying “God.”
--seems to hint at not taking the name of God in vain commandment.
--some have taken this to mean not to make any allegiance or swearing in at court, etc.
--seems to be talking about flippancy, in casual conversation.
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Swearing by God as though God’s authority will carry out what you said.
Own head—you can’t even control what your head does!
--your simple word is enough, feeling a need to bolster your word may come from a spirit of uncertainty and falseness within you. Why don’t people trust your word enough?
2 Corinthians 1:15-17
And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
Confidence—trust, reliance. Paul was going to stop at Corinth on his way to Macedonia and back. His plan changed. Is Paul fickle? Is he both yes and no?
Lightness—fickleness of mind, levity.
2 Corinthians 1:18-20
But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
As God is true—sort of a swear! Paul’s doctrine is not fickle. There was a good reason his plan changed.
A fault in Paul’s plan and operation is not a fault with his doctrine or teaching about Christ.
Promises—everything God says about Christ will be fulfilled, all true, all yes. No change.
--finding fault with faithfulness of messenger should not cancel faithfulness in message.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Evil—speak not against, back-bite one another. When you find fault with another, you place yourself above the law.
Lawgiver saves and destroys—Only one who has power to actually enforce law is only one who should judge.
--finding fault with another is a favorite pastime, I don’t have to listen to people I’m better than. Corinth over Paul.
Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
We judge as though we’re God and plan as though all is in our power. This is all opposite of humble yourself before God.
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Above all things—this is big time, first, don’t swear by God.
You are powerless to change things. Throw yourself on God with humility. Sing psalms if it’s good, pray if it’s bad. In all there is a dependence on God.