For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply you. Hebrews 6:13
A person stands in a courtroom and takes an oath. He has been summoned to be an important witness in a case. Either the prosecution or the defense is counting on him to strengthen their case. But he will not give his most honest and accurate account without first taking an oath. He must swear by someone greater than himself, someone by whom all parties present fear and respect. That is the reason all swearing in ends with, ‘So help me God.’ A person giving testimony is saying that if they stood before God Himself, their account would match what they are about to say. (Though it is disturbing how many lie under oath. Getting caught is more about what the law will do to them for perjury rather than displeasing the God they swore by.)
If I am trying to persuade another person of the veracity of my story, I might pick someone we both highly respect and encourage the other person to check out my reputation. Checks and balances are good for society. God made a promise to Abraham and to underscore His perfect intentions, He swore by Himself. There was no one greater by whom He could swear.
Does this have anything to do with you and me? Oh yes. The next time the circumstances of life beg to disprove one of God’s precious promises, I will remember by whom He swore it. It is a righteous and holy God that spoke the words. He is incapable of lying and reneging. All I need to do is review the covenant God made with Abraham. Even though the people of Israel were unpredictable when, and in whom, they gave their loyalty, God still continued to keep His promise. Even though they build a golden calf, His promise was still good.
If Jesus came today in person to where we are, looked us in the eyes and made a vow, we would forever hold it dear and believe it to be irrevocable. Though we have not seen Him, He has made us promises with our names on each one of them. No matter my ups and downs, no matter my crises of faith, no matter by lapses in obedience, no matter the degree of my anger against Him at times, no matter how needy, no matter how doubtful, no matter what ~ God’s promises are solid and will prevail. He swore by Himself. This is love – unmoved. This is covenant – unshaken.
You whispered my name and said, ‘I promise.’ I whisper your name and say, ‘I believe.’ Amen