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Do not take the name of the Lord in vain!

Rev Enoch Thompson | FEBRUARY 6, 2023 | MATTHEW 5:33-37


Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37 (NIV)


The third of the Ten Commandments spoke against taking the Name of the Lord in vain. By this, it was meant that when people made vows to God or commitments to their neighbour and invoke the Name of God in the process, they should be careful to fulfil their word. When such vows are not kept, the person who made them places themselves in the place where God will be angry at them, not only because they deceive their Neighbours, but especially because they abuse the Name of God, and hide behind Him to cheat out on their human companions.

Listen to the Wise Teacher in Eccl 5:4-7

⁴When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfil your vow. ⁵It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfil it. ⁶Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the [temple] messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? ⁷Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore, stand in awe of God. (NIV)

In the requirement of the Lord Jesus on Kingdom citizens once again the bar is lifted high. We are called to live such transparent, reliable and truthful lives that we do not need to swear for our words to be taken seriously or relied upon by those we deal with. When we say “Yes” to our wives, husbands, children, bosses, and subordinates, everyone must understand that to mean “Yes.” And when we say “No” it must be “No.”

If we need to swear to prove that we are speaking the truth, then a certain depreciation of our Kingdom truthfulness has occurred, and we must search our lives to find out when we lost that simplicity of reliability.

We must admit that we are compelled to take oaths in certain situations, in a law court, or in taking a new office. What the Lord is saying to us then means that we should be careful to do what we have vowed to do, and not be slack on it.


Are our marital vows being kept or are we allowing circumstances to make us careless about them? What about the unspoken vow of being caring responsible parents to our children, or as children, to give respect and honour to our parents? The acceptance of a job is a vow to serve our employer, and as employers to treat our staff well. Do people require written documents before they could trust us, then we need to look at our lives again.


Lord, I admit that the standards are high for me in the matter of trust. Please give me the grace to develop into a trustworthy person, who because of my Kingdom citizenship can say “Yes” or “No”, and not need oaths to control me. Lord, raise such people in your Church, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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