On March 5, 2021, the animated movie Raya and The Last Dragon was released. And it tells the story of Raya who was tasked to protect a dragon gem. This dragon gem blocks evil forces from invading their land. However, she was betrayed by the daughter of another tribe’s chief who entered their kingdom as a guest. And this did not only cost her the gem which was split into five pieces, but also the life of her family and the entire nation as the evil forces entered and turned all of them into stone except Raya, the sole survivor. And because of this, she sought to collect the five pieces of the dragon gem in order to save her people which led her to meet Sisu, the last dragon, kaya Raya and The Last Dragon. But because of the betrayal, Raya became jaded to trust people. Napagod na siyang magtiwala; ayaw na niyang magtiwala ulit.
And in one of their conversation along their journey to save their land, Raya stated: “the world’s broken, you can’t trust anyone.” In which Sisu replied, “maybe it’s broken because you don’t trust anyone; you just have to take the first step. And in one sense, Raya is right. You see, to trust is a two-way street. If you want to trust others or if you want others to trust you, one needs to become trustworthy. If everyone in the world then is a liar, then we cannot trust anyone. And since we are sinners by nature and by choice, it has already made us liars who love to deceive and manipulate. Yet, here’s the good part, by God’s grace we have been renewed and redeemed in Christ. And for this reason we are called to be salt and light to this corrupt and dark world. And one of the ways that we accomplish this is in our radical love and commitment to truth as we live in the covenant life.
Let’s turn our Bibles to the book of Matthew. We’ll be reading from Matthew chapter 5 verses 33 to 37. Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 33 to 37. Hear now the word of God. “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. May the Lord add blessing to the reading of His word. So we are still within the passages that we commonly know as the sermon of the mount or Sermon on the Mount which we summarise as the King’s manifesto. It is King Jesus who is speaking here and it tells us what the kingdom stands for and what it stands against. And as God’s kingdom comes, sinners like you and me are hopeless and helpless because we lack the righteousness to enter it. And what awaits us is God’s Wrath and His judgment. And in verses 1 to 12, we have studied the Beatitudes, which are the qualities or marks of the Kingdom Heir. And these qualities make sinners truly blessed through the person and work of God’s son, Jesus Christ. And if we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ, then His righteousness covers us, so we can enjoy God’s favour and fellowship with Him so we are truly blessed. And in verses 1 to 12 tells us of the identity of those in Christ, verse 13 to 16 tells us of the effect or the influence of God’s people on the world. So we are called to be salt and light. Salt that preserves from corruption gives flavour and causes others to to thirst for righteousness. And as we continue to walk in the light of His truth, the light of the truth of God’s word, we reflect the light of Christ so it will become light which shines in this dark world. As if Christ was then stating a new law to live by, which was the criticism of the religious leaders of His time, He counters the very idea in verses 17 to 19 by telling His disciples directly and the crowd which includes the Pharisees as the hearers that He did not come to abolish the law. He did not come to remove that law, and He didn’t come to abolish the law in the prophets, but to fulfill it. He fulfilled the way the standard of the law by living a sinless life so that in dying on the cross on behalf of sinners like us, the claims of the law will be canceled for those who believe in Christ. Then He fulfilled the prophets, that is to fulfill the prophecies made about Him in the Old Testament in order to reveal Himself as the Messiah, God’s anointed one, the Savior, the Redeemer who will redeem, who will restore, and rule over all of creation. And in verse 20, He shocks His listeners by telling them to enter, by telling them that to enter the kingdom of heaven, your righteousness must surpass that of the Scribes and the Pharisees. And if you are, if you were there, imagining that you were there and looking at the Pharisees beside you, baka katabi mo siya nung time na yun, kunwari. Iisiping mo, the Pharisees were the greatest or the most righteous person among us. So what hope do we have? But in the passage that follows verse 21-14, Christ applies to the Beatitudes. He expounds how the believers are to be salt and light to the world and He gives six examples of righteousness that surpasses the Scribes and the Pharisees.
Here firstly He points out the hypocrisy, yung pagkukunwari ng mga Scribes and Pharisees as it shows them how they have kept the letter of the law, meaning they have obeyed the law literally, but only outwardly. But not the spirit of the law, meaning they did not fulfill its true aim or its true purpose. But at the same time He gives His disciples a standard for living in this world. But here lies a problem. No man can completely kill the anger or malice that lies within his own heart. No man is free of lust for no one is truly pure in heart. Man’s love isn’t always unwavering or steadfast. Oftentimes it is selfish and it grows cold and under such circumstances, one would desire to abandon the marriage covenant. All have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. It shows us that we can’t comply to the way the standards of the law. But at the same time there’s comfort. It points us to our need for God’s righteousness which can only be obtained through Christ’s person and work.
Because of God’s work in Christ, we are forgiven, we are renewed, we are reconciled with God as He enables us to live by His Spirit and for His glory. So if you are hearing this and if you are not yet in Christ, you have read the decalogue, you have seen the weighty standards of the law. This points out your need of Christ. Humble yourself, repent and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
And this morning, we’ll tackle the fourth example pertaining to “oaths” and the message I would like to deliver is this: God’s covenant people should be known for speaking the truth and keeping their word. Ang pinagtipanang bayan ng Diyos ay dapat na maging kilala sa pagsasabi ng katotohanan at pagkakaroon ng isang salita. And to expound on this message, we will tackle two points: firstly, Promise Maker, taga-sabi ng pangako and lastly, Promise Keeper, taga tupad ng pangako.
Let’s consider the first point, Promise Maker, Taga-sabi ng Pangako. In our passage that we read, Matthew 5 verse 33-37, Christ here corrects their careless use of God’s Name. Tinutuwid ni Kristo ang kanilang paggamit ng Pangalan ng Diyos nang walang pag-iingat o paggalang. He repeats the formula again by stating the formula again you have heard that it was said to those of old. Then He continues… you shall not swear falsely but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn. And if you are going to examine your Bibles with multiple translation, this is a tricky passage to translate because the word used for “oath” there is used interchangeable with “vows.” The CSB translated as “you shall not break an oath but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.” NASB translated as “you shall not make false vows but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.” But, to translate it, I referred to a Greek Professor, his name is Bill Mounce, and he translates this passage as follows: “again, you have heard that it was said of those of old, you shall not break an oath, but carry out the vows you made to the Lord.” To understand this better, you must make distinction between an oath and a vow. Ano’ng pinagkaiba nila sa isa’t-isa? You see, an oath is a promise made to men, sa tao ginagawa, sworn before God for the purpose of confirmation. That is on Hebrews 6 16, yung binasa natin kanina. And the scenario is if there is a disagreement and one needs to swear that something is true. For example, Saul sought to kill David and David told Jonathan about it which Jonathan replied that, hindi totoo yang sinasabi mo! Kasi kung totoo yan, dapat sinabi na yan sa ‘kin ng tatay kong si Saul, si King Saul. But Saul hid this truth from Jonathan in order for Jonathan to secure the throne. So David, in response, swore an oath that Saul really wants to kill him. And then he called upon God to witness upon what he has said. That’s in first Samuel 20 verse 3. And this is what we call an “Assertory Oath.” Sa Tagalog, “Iginigiit.” So, ginigiit mo kung ano ang totoo, which is used to confirm the truthfulness and reliability of one’s testimony about the present or the past. There are also occasions wherein an oath is imposed by a lawful authority. Meaning, a judge in a courtroom setting, a judge will tell you do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God? That’s also an assertory oath.
And if one intentionally lies under oath, that is after he has said those words while testifying in court, he commits what we call perjury, okay. And another scenario is if one must confirm the intention to fulfill a certain obligation or a promise. This is what we call a promissory oath, nangangako. An example is this, when Jonathan made a covenant with David.. di ba andun pa rin tayo sa scenario na si David, sinabi nya na: “I swear, your father is trying to kill me and just a little more and I’ll be dead.” And then Jonathan said: “that’s not the case; here’s what we’ll do: I promise to help you to know what my father really is thinking, but I also want to ask something from you that you may show kindness to me, to my family and my descendants even if I die.” And then they had a covenant. And we know from our study from Covenant Theology, covenants are like contracts and covenants are sealed mostly or practically by an oath to do. And we know that David fulfilled this very promise. He extended kindness to Mephibosheth who was the lame descendant of Jonathan. On the other hand, a vow is a promise made to God, direkta sa Diyos, and is made for the purpose of committing to something or not committing to do something. Either to do or not to do. It is a voluntary promise like when Hannah, Samuel’s mother vowed to dedicate Samuel to the Lord. Or when some Jews vowed not to eat or drink wine until they have killed Paul. In the Old Testament, vows are commonly known as the highest form of worship because it is not imposed by the law. But at the same time Leviticus 5, God has already known that people are going to be covenant-breakers, so He allowed a law in order for them to make restitution to pay for their sins. Now why is there a need for making oaths and vows? The answer is really simple: since we are sinners lying is our second nature Ad for this reason, oaths as well as vows which calls God as witness are designed to encourage us to keep these promises, unless we want to provoke God’s Wrath and suffer his divine judgment. Ang haba ng disclaimer ko.
But going back to verse 33, you will never find the exact passage in the Old Testament. Why? Because this is a combination and paraphrase of Old Testament passages namely Leviticus 19 verse 12 and numbers 30 verse 2. And yung isa, Leviticus 19 verse 12 is regarding not breaking your vows. Numbers 30 verse 2 is performing your vows. Now this paraphrase resulted to loopholes which in turn resulted to practices that abused those very loopholes. And one is what William Barclay called frivolous or in simpler terms, unnecessary swearing. In the time of Christ, oaths became part of their ordinary conversations. There was an abuse of taking oaths without careful consideration and seriousness. For example, maghuhugas ako ng pinggan, promise, magdidilig ako ng halaman, promise, lahat may promise. Because of this, God’s Holy Name was taken in vain or profane. In response, Christ commands with authority as He has done in the past. He states the law and He says:
“but I say to you, do not take an oath at all.” Does this mean that we should not be making oaths at all? Anabaptists and Quakers holds to this view. And if you’re familiar with Quaker Oats, that’s the only oats the Quakers are allowed. However, put into context, put into proper context, Christ is simply correcting their irreverent and abusive practice. Sabi sa Deuteronomy chapter 10 verse 20, it states there that taking oaths are encouraged specifically they are to be made in God’s name. Let me read the passage to you Deuteronomy 10 verse 20: “you shall fear the lord your God you shall serve him and hold fast to him and by his name you shall swear.” There’s the point out that oaths are to be taken seriously and at the same time thoughtfully. Ang bawat panunumpa ay dapat seryosohin at dapat na pinag-isipan. One may be familiar with the greatest promise, the greatest gesture a child can make when making a promise, which we call the pinky swear. Yan.. and one possible origin of that is in from Japan. You may be laughing but its origin is from Mafia or Yakuza on their time and it is known as “yubikiri” meaning “finger cut-off” The gesture is taken to signify that the person can break or cut the pinky finger of the one who broke the promise. Tatawa pa ba kayo dun? This is to show that promises are no joke. Likewise, an oath must be taken seriously because when one makes an oath, this is done firstly before the Heavenly court, before the almighty God, to whom nothing can be hidden. God is the primary witness and He is the primary judge to any oath or any vow made. He is the one who without fail can see inside a person’s heart and can avenge every lie, every falsehood, every perjury. It is to be taken thoughtfully because it involves costly obligations. It involves commitment to the promise made. There is a double bond created when you make an oath. Firstly you create a bond with another person. You’re bound to one to another to perform the things you have sworn to do. But secondly the oath-taker is bound to God to fulfill what he swears to do as long as it is possible, kaya niyang gawin and it is lawful, meaning it is not against the standard of God. And when making an oath, one must swear in truth, katotohanan, by words and also in good conscience. So it’s not only by saying it, but also inside of your brain, inside of your mind. Also in righteousness that it must conform to the standard of God, God’s standard of righteousness. Therefore it must not be a sin. So for example, the Jews that vowed to kill Paul, their vow is not lawful. It’s a sin to kill a person. And in judgment, that is to show that the one making an oath understands what he is doing. He understands that he is fit to make an oath to worship God and to glorify God by it. Mababasa ninyo yan sa Second London Baptist Confession of Faith chapter 23 paragraph five. Now if this is the case, then we must regard promises as sacred as we live in light of the presence of God.
Isaalang-alang ang mga pangako bilang sagrado habang nabubuhay ka sa presensiya ng Diyos. Consider the most zealous apostle ever, who ever lived, his name was Apostle Peter. When Christ told him of His death, what did Peter do? He rebuked Christ. When Christ told him that Satan wanted to shake His faith and that He would eventually fall and then Christ’s good gesture was to assure Peter that He has already prayed for him so that his faith will not fall or he will not fail and asked him to strengthen his brothers once he has recovered. Peter being all zeal, no breaks, he answered, I’m ready to go to prison or to death with you. To which Christ predicts that he will deny Him three times. Surely enough this is what happened. Not only the Peter deny Christ, but he swore and called upon curse upon himself. The rooster crowed Christ looked at Peter. Peter remembered and Peter wept bitterly.
Perhaps we may say I’m not like Peter I’m not like Peter who is all all zeal and no breaks. I didn’t deny Christ and called curses upon myself. But the question is are we hasty with. our words? Are we quick to promise without any careful consideration or thought? If that is so, isn’t our God an ever-present God? We can’t run away from Him, we cannot hide anything from Him. He hears everything and knows everything. And He knows the times wherein we have take His Name in vain, and because of that, we are already condemned.
But praise be to God for providing us His Son who has paid the debt of all our sin. And because of that we are enabled to abide in truth and to walk wisely. Now, we do not just regard oaths or promises a sacred simply because we have God that’s our retributive or vengeful Judge and Witness. We do it now because we have God as a Father, as a Lord, as our Saviour. In fact, we are saved through the fulfillment of a promise that is God’s Covenant of Grace in Christ. Because of this, we are to be wise in our speech as we submit the lordship of Christ. How? If there is any problem with how we speak, then we should firstly examine the very root of all things, our hearts. Because whatever comes out of our mouth is an overflow of our very own heart. Matthew chapter 12 verse 34. We need to make every thought captive to obedience to Christ in light of our knowledge of the greatness, God being so great, the judge, God being so great, a witness, God being so great Avenger. But at light of that, God being gracious to us.
You see, this is an act of worship to the One who made everything by speaking creation to existence, who carefully fashioned everything by His wisdom, who redeemed us by His great plan of redemption in Christ. And our prayer should be one that is supposed to guard our lips. Sabi sa Psalm 141 verse 3, ang prayer niya doon – set a guard O Lord over my mouth keep watch over the door of my lips. For this reason, the Christian life must be lived in the presence of God under the authority of God, to the glory of God, or simply put maybe most of you are familiar with this, to live life is Coram Deo. To walk before the Lord. Sabi ni J.I. Packer sa kaniyang book na Knowing God, living becomes an awesome business when you realise that you spend every moment of your life in the site and company of an omniscient an omnipresent creator. Consider Christ the one who loved God with all this being, with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength and all. When He was being forced to make a testimony, He didn’t say anything. But when the great high priest adjured him to say then ask, are you the Son of God? Are you the son of man to which Christ replied, yes I am. Likewise, when he was asked by Pilate, are you the king of the Jews, he affirmed that he is indeed the king of the Jews.
We need to look at the wisdom and reverence of Christ and follow His example in light of who He is and what He has done. We are to repent from taking God’s name in vain and being hasty in our speech. But at the same time, we are to cultivate God honouring thoughts resulting to wise speech. If being irreverent was not enough, they were also guilty of violating the ninth commandment – bearing false witness to one’s neighbour.
Let’s consider the second point, the Promise Keeper, tagatupad ng pangako. You see here that Christ forbids making oaths which they do not intend to keep. Pinagbabawal ni Kristo ang paggawa ng mga panunumpa na hindi nila nilalayong tuparin. It may seem that the paraphrase in verse 33 is promoting honesty and keeping promises kasi sabi doon – do not swear falsely but fulfill the vows you’ve made to the Lord. Yet it excuses dishonesty if the oath was not directed to God. They made categories of what is binding and what is not binding. And this is the second loophole. Sabi ni Dan Doriani sa ESV Expository Commentary – instead of calling on God to assure honesty, oaths were praised so as to avoid God’s punishment when speaking dishonestly.
Now William Barclay called this one evasive swearing, evasive, nilalalyuan nila or ine-evade nila yung kanilang commitment. They used the very oath that are used to assure honesty, assure obligation to abandon their very commitment. And then in response, Christ tells them not to make an oath at all either by heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem or by their head. Why? Since God owns all things, God then is part of every oath. Even if it is direct by God or indirect by other things, He is the ultimate Witness so their category of binding and unbinding is not binding at all. If one took an oath by heaven, it is the throne of God, by earth, it is God’s footstool, by Jerusalem, it is the city of God. If a person has no ability to know when he will age, that is to turn his hair white or black, then he does not have the authority to tell when he will die, to call curses upon himself. The life of that very man is owned by God. Sa madaling salita, sinasabi ni. Kristo, kung ginagamit ninyo iyan, yung mga pangako ninyo, yung mga panunumpa ninyo para magsinungaling, aba’y huwag na kayo mangako! It is better not to promise than to make a promise and not fulfill it. On the other hand, rather than promising, let your statement be simply yes or no. It meant that we are to follow through with what we say that are simple yes or no will be enough. Hindi ibig sabihin nito na kumain ka na ba? Yes. Kumain ka na ba? No. Or lahat ng question ay yes or no, okay. Anything more than a simple yes or no comes from evil which makes us liars rather than truth tellers. Again we know that the father of lies is none other than Satan. But we are the ones who are sons and daughters of the God of truth. He is the Father of truth. And here, King Jesus is instructing His disciples to speak the truth following through with their word so that people will trust people them so there will be no need for any oaths at all. In this way, God’s people function as salt and light in a world where trickery and lies are common and promises are made to be broken. This shows us that faithfulness is a believer’s duty. Ang pagiging matapat ay tungkulin ng isang taga sunod ni Kristo. Our duty firstly, our duty to be faithful is firstly towards God Himself and then towards others. One must remember that God is not duty-bound to us, meaning God has no duty towards us as if we are deserving to be served by Him. But it is of His grace that He provides for us that is common grace and is by His grace that He redeems us to Himself, that is saving grace. And because we have been redeemed from the penalty and power of sin reconciled to God and adapted to His family, and now being sustained by His word and Spirit, will live for His glory through our obedience. And this very obedience is our expression of love and gratitude towards what He has done towards us. As a result, we reflect His glory to others which helps us to point them to God who saved us.
But what happens if we do not do so? One would be familiar with the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and we know there are many versions of this one. In one version, his master has told him to call for help should a wolf attack the flock and the villagers would drive it away for him. But again the young shepherd was bored and so he made fun or he wanted to excite himself so he lied and he lied and he lied that there was wolves attacking the flock. But his continuous lying costs him the sheep he was tasked to care for and the trust of the villagers who were there to help him and also he failed his master. In one of the versions, it closes with a statement – nobody believes a liar even when he is telling the truth. This is what happens when we do not speak the truth and keep our word. What then constitutes this duty? What constitutes faithfulness? Jerry Bridges enumerates the elements of faithfulness in chapter 9 of his book The Fruitful Life. He gives three elements of faithfulness. Firstly, Absolute Honesty secondly, Utter Dependability and thirdly, Unswerving Loyalty. Since God demands absolute honesty, we must promote and tell what is true. At the same time, because we are commanded to tell the truth that implies that we are not also to deceive anyone because God Yahweh is the Father of truth, we are to become lovers of truth because we are His sons and daughters. Moreover, since we are lovers of truth, then we are to follow with our commitments even if it will cost us. Sabi ko kanina, may cost ang obligations ang pagbibigay ng pangako. This makes us dependable or trustworthy to those whom we have given our word. Sabi sa Psalm 15 tells us of the characteristic of one who may dwell in Zion and one of those qualities is one who swears to his own hurt and does not change. That’s Psalm 15 verse 4. Syempre, may wisdom din sa pagkeep ng promise. Kunwari nag-promise kana bibilhan mo siya ng baril pero alam mo na suicidal siya, it becomes an unlawful thing to fulfill it, because you are causing more harm rather than good.
Because our God is a covenant-keeping God, we are to be dependable.
Now our loyalty to God is expressed also in our loyalty with one another. Our commitment to God is shown in how we care for each other through thick and thin, in trying times, and in good times, in our defeats, and in successes till Christ returns or till we go to Him. Because our God would never abandon His people, His people must do likewise. The faithfulness of God calls us to be faithful towards one another. But this does not mean that we just comply outwardly. If we just uh fulfill something just for the sake of fulfilling it, then we are no different from the Pharisees. The challenge for us then is this: We Are To Delight In Fulfilling Our Word As We Are Encouraged By God’s Faithfulness Magalak sa pagtupad ng iyong salita habang pinasisigla ka ng katapatan ng Diyos.
Are we known as someone who keep their word or someone who is known for being quote unquote “Paasa” Isn’t it shameful if you have experienced the faithfulness of God yet you continue to walk against His ways? Look to what God has done. is providence allows everything to work for our good. Look back and you will see faithfulness. Look forward and you’re promised graciousness – a marriage supper of the Lamb.
Christ redeemed us through His sacrificial and substitutionary work on the cross and He still intercedes and continually cleanses us by His word. When He ascended to heaven, He promised that He will not abandon us and will send His Spirit to empower and enable us to live for him. God continues to fulfill this promises.
But the question is what if it’s really hard to delight? What if it’s really not fun to fulfill the promise like for example our church covenant with each other. The husband and wife’s marriage covenant with each other, the contractual obligations you have with your work. Do we consider it as a pointless, heavy burden? Again, we need to look at Christ and take pleasure in following through with our intentions. Why? Because Christ, God in Christ delights to lavish His love upon us. Our adoration of His love and faithfulness should then help us to seek His enabling grace, that is we are to pray that God may help us to delight in our duty. But my kid is so rowdy, how can I love him? Look at to Christ. But my husband has failed me many times again. Look at to Christ. But my wife cannot submit to me. Look at to Christ. But I cannot fulfill my covenant with my other covenant members, I hate them, I don’t love them at all, I don’t even know them. Look at to Christ and delight in fulfilling your promise.
You see C.S Lewis has a best friend in the officer’s training corps his name was Paddy Moore. And before going to serve in the trenches of France, this best friend was killed in the world World War One. And Lewis, C.S Lewis promised to take care of his friend’s mother and sister. So he took care of Mrs. Moore and Paddy’s sister for the rest of his life which proved to be like over 30 years. Mrs. Moore however was highly disagreeable. He was argumentative, mahilig siyang makipagtalo, dictatorial woman who kept the household in constant state of distress.
As Mrs. Moore slipped through dementia and her fits of temper then grew worse. Now, no matter how helpful C.S Lewis tried to be, the woman was ungrateful, rude, arrogant and domineering. But through it all, Lewis kept forgiving her. He refused to let her action become an excuse to renege on his promise. However, what is C.S. Lewis compared to God? If one would look at the Bible and search for a picture of faithfulness, one may point out the marriage of Hosea and Gomer.
Hosea, the prophet and Gomer, the prostitute. Hosea is tasked to marry Gomer and to be faithful towards her despite her unfaithfulness. And this is a picture of God’s love towards the believers. Hosea had three children and God instructed to name them firstly, Jezreel, meaning “scattered”; a daughter named Lo-ruhamah, meaning “not pitied”. Lastly, Lo-ammi, meaning “not my people and I am not their God”. This is the description of God’s people. They are scattered, far off; they are not worthy of compassion; they are not my people because they’re keeping, they kept themselves from whoring from going from their own to other gods; and they are not my people, I am not their God. But if it would have been over, then it would be a sad ending. But in Hosea chapter two, there’s irreversal. There’s a restoration. God will respond to Jezreel. He now changes the meaning of Jezreel, meaning scattered to God sows. God gathers. God will then have not Lo-ruhamah, no pity at all, but they will, they will receive compassion from God and they will be called my people, and they will say You are my God. Di pa rin tapos ang kwento ni Hosea. Gomer still spiralled to depravity and was being sold now as a slave. That’s in Hosea chapter 3. And God commanded Hosea to buy Gomer back, now she is a slave. And what was puzzling was that what he said to her chapter 3 verse 3. And I said to her, Hosea is speaking to Gomer..you must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore or belong to another man. But here is the very impetus or pinaka-point niya – so I will also be to you.Despite the failures, despite the adultery of Gomer, Hosea, now being the master commands her to dwell with him for many days to not play the whore, not to belong to other man, but as the master, he says I will be also that to you. To a slave who has no right at all, to a slave who was unfaithful for many times. And this reflects what God has done for us in Christ. Hebrews 6 verse 17 to 18 when God decides to show more convincingly to their heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we have fled for refuge for refuge might have a strong encouragement to hold fast to the Hope set before us. We are scattered but brought near, deserving no pity but given compassion and in Christ are called His people and Yahweh our God. And God still honours his promise to us in Christ despite our unfaithfulness. He is the truth and His promises remains true. And we can depend on Him that’s why God is a rock. He sticks with us through thick and thin, He pursues us even if at times we are the ones running away from Him, even if we are the ones betraying His trust. wouldn’t you delight with such gesture? What a gracious, faithful and loving God we have. In light of His faithful and pursuing love, we are to repent from any dishonesty, from any responsibility, from any disloyalty to mortify these things and to cultivate gospel-centered faithfulness.
In conclusion, our love and commitment to the truth is an expression of our love and commitment to God. As God’s people, we are to reflect His covenant-keeping love and faithfulness. As children of the Father of truth, through the person and work of Christ, believers are to be characterised by Spirit-enabled reverence as well as truthfulness aiming for faithfulness in service to man and for the glory of God. May our knowledge of God motivate us to greater zeal and love for His glory.
Let us pray. Lord, Heavenly Father, indeed You are the best or only trustworthy promise-Maker and promise-keeper. You are the one who has redeemed us and has been fulfilling your promises. As we breathe, you sustain us, as we live, you give us life. Lord we pray that You may help us to embody what we have learned, give us grace to be faithful. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.