BE FAITHFUL! This is what God requires of us. The third commandment – Take not the Name of God in vain! – is about keeping your word as a Christian. Every promise involves God’s Name, even if it is never actually mentioned. God held His people accountable for their pledged word.
We often want to be “better” christians, better at doing what we should, better at serving and ministry, at our jobs and in our families.
Even when our heart-religion is true, when we rest in Jesus and His sacrifice, His atonement – Even then we can make a commitment and then go back to the way things were.
This is what Israel did here in this passage. They covenanted to free their slaves, and then went back on that covenant (broke it). One can only imagine the effect freeing slaves had on a host of life-choices, on the economy of the city, on indivudal life-styles. It would have been a covenant that enacted great change on a personal and a city-wide scale.
And it was all too hard.
This is probably a familiar feeling (not the scenario! But the “all too hard” feeling) at times in our lives.
As Stuart Snr says so clearly, when we make a promise/covenant/commitment as God’s people, we involve God’s NAME (which we are to bear well to the world around us). In v16 God says, “… But then you turned around and profaned my name …”
This passage should be of a convicting nature to us as we read it. That we might examine our own motives, our decisions, our choices when we make a promise.
Because this is working out our faith in fear and trembling.
To REMEMBER THE LORD. To BRING HIM GLORY. To SHOW JESUS TO THE WORLD.
* Gracious Father,
We thank You that You have made a covenant of love with us, and that in Jesus You keep both sides of that covenant.
We humbly ask You that we might be able to reflect You in our own committments, the covenants we make in life. To be faithful in all things, as You are faithful.