Posts Tagged ‘Swear’


Leviticus 6:1-2,5-6,12,18,30 (NIV, @2011) The LORD said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor… or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value… The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it… Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the LORD. Whatever touches them will become holy’”… But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned up.

God certainly had serious hangups about sin and ensured He communicated His disgust of sin and the sinner and also provided a means for His people, the Israelites to make peace with Him.

The number of sacrifices, the types and the purposes ensured there was enough for the priests themselves and that the Lord’s tabernacle would never be without constant offering.

What is God’s desire for us today that is communicated through this historic text recorded around 1,445 BC? (more…)


Genesis 25:21-23,27-34 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger”… When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

This chapter tells us of the last years of Abraham’s life when he took another wife and had children with her and then decided to get right before God and gives Isaac his entire wealth and gives the children of his new wife, Keturah, gifts and sends them away.

Quite a let down from a righteous man such as Abraham but at his deathbed, both his sons Isaac and Ishmael are present together and they bury him in the same grave as his wife, Sarah. This is wonderful after years of animosity because of Abraham and Sarah’s poor choice in using Hagar as a surrogate mother.

Finally we read about Isaac and Rebekah’s twins who were born as an answer to prayer. Why do the people of God seem to have such tough situations in their lives compared to others one wonders?

Jacob, through whom was born the twelve sons who formed the twelve tribes of Israel, was not entitled to the birthright of being the one to lead Israel. He stole the birthright from his older brother Esau for a mere bowl of red lentil soup!

It is hard to imagine that Jesus, the son of God, was born of Abraham’s lineage which was full of broken men and women. All of these stories don’t show Jesus’ ancestry in good light and makes us wonder what God is speaking to us through it? (more…)


Genesis 24:2-4,6-9,12-14 Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, “Please place your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac”… Then Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there! “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. “But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there.” So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter… He said, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. “Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”

The culture of the times of Abraham might seem so bizarre to us today but it was the culture of the land and we therefore need to appreciate it and understand what God is speaking to us through it.

Marriage was not just a relationship between a man and woman but between two families and there was much at play including establishing credentials, sharing wealth, rightful celebrations, etc.

The head servant of Abraham’s household was more like the estate manager who oversaw everything Abraham owned and he was the senior-most staff in any household, much like Daniel was to become.

The question I had was why did the head servant ask God to reveal the right woman because of watering the camels and him? (more…)


Genesis14:14-16,18-24 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people… And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”

I’m wondering what took me so many years to study the Bible a little more intently as I am doing now and I regret the time I lost and the many opportunities lost with it to share God’s riches with those I am blessed to fellowship with. However, when I do consider Abram and the age at which God was using him so powerfully, I do believe that it is never too late and God continues to be in control of our lives and His will for us 🙂

Here is the tale of a bitter-sweet victory for Abram and the people of Soddom as they first lost many and were restored few along with their possessions. Abram achieves victory over the 5 kings with only his 300+ men whereas the 4 kings and their troops from Sodom and Gomorrah were no match to these same 5 kings.

Obviously God’s hand is visible in Abram’s victory and what a fitting response that this victory was marked by honoring God through the feast that followed.

The question that hung in my mind was why Melchizedek brought out bread and wine to celebrate and why did Abram refuse the gifts offered? (more…)