Dave’s Devo: Truth Guarantees
When I was a kid if you crossed your fingers behind your back, what you said with your mouth was negated. For example if your friend asked, “Are you going to come to my birthday party?” And I responded, “Sure, I can hardly wait!” But in fact I didn’t want to go, if I crossed my fingers behind my back, it wasn’t a lie. Of course, it was a lie and tragically, this kind of duplicity isn’t only a child’s game. Think of all the legal documents it now takes to guarantee a contract. We’ve come a long way from when I first moved to Texas and an old timer's silent nod of the head sealed the deal.
Evidently, in Jesus’ day there was an entire system worked out that determined which vows were binding and which were not. Jesus hated this need for all kinds of guarantees that someone was telling the truth, and He called out the religious leaders who erected an entire system of communication that forgot a simple “Yes” or “No”.
“So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.” - Matthew 23:20-22
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told us, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes to evil.” (Matthew 5:37) Now, in His last week, Jesus teaches that His enemies don’t keep their word. They go all over the Roman Empire trying to convert a Gentile to become a follower of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but when they win a convert, rather than connecting them with truth, they unite him or her with the father of lies and his kingdom of falsehood.
“For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” - Matthew 23:15
LORD, truth is at the core of Your character. Help me today to be a man of my word, not because I’ve learned it’s stupid to cross my fingers behind my back when lying, but because there’s no deception and duplicity in You.
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