Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book of Matthew: Morning Moments with God, Day 17

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Day 17: Remember What is Detestable to God

Please take time to read the verses for the day.
Matthew 5: 33-37

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

Merriam-Webster says, An oath is, "(1) :  a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says (2) :  a solemn attestation of the truth or inviolability of one's words." To be honest, I really didn't know that an oath had to do with God as the one bearing witness to the truth. I thought an oath was simple, like a promise. I did not think that an oath necessarily had to involve God. So, Jesus is saying that there was a time that when people used an oath, asking God to be a witness to the truth, it was acceptable, but Jesus was calling for it to stop. People were swearing by God, heaven, earth, Jerusalem, their head and possibly more. I'm wondering if, for example, like when I was a kid, kids swore, "on my grandmother's grave," those words caused me to believe them, but to find out later that they were only lying. They used the oath to get me to believe them, but in actuality, they were being dishonest. I hated feeling duped. I felt like such a fool. And I grew to hate lying and liars. Truly, God is not such a fan either. The ninth commandment, of the Ten Commandments, says, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16) In other words, you shall not lie and ruin some one's reputation. (Lying made it to God top ten no-no's). We find in Proverbs 12:22, "The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." But the real zinger is in Proverbs 6:16- "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community." A) Lying is one of seven things that God hates, and B) it comes before, "hands that shed innocent blood," in His list. Lying is a serious offense and sin to God.

God is calling us to be honest. God is calling us to tell the truth and to be people of integrity. No little white lies. No excuses. Tell the truth all the time. The kids and I were watching, 'The Andy Griffith Show' the other day- we were watching it because I thought it was a safe show to do so. Before I knew it I have to pause it and explain how lying is wrong and what 'Aunt Bea' just said is a lie." Aunt Bea innocently made a mistake, but instead of going to the person and being truthful, her pride got in the way and she lied. If the show had shown how lying was the wrong thing to do for it leads to more lies, I would have been glad, but it accepted her lie as if that was her only recourse. The world accepts lies as part of life, God does not. He tells us clearly, "Simply let your 'Yes' be "Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'; anything else comes from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37)

Pray with me:
Father, I am sorry for all the times I have lied. Forgive me. Father, help me to not make excuses, and not tell little 'white' lies. Help me stand for the truth no matter how painful it might be. Help me to be convicted by your Word today and always. Help me to be an example to others- to be pure, honest and a woman of integrity. Help me to be a 'light' (Matthew 5:14) in this dark world. I love you and want to live for you and in obedience to your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I wrote an article three years ago entitled: "Is it okay to Lie?" 

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