You must be truthful, honest and upright
when you take an oath saying,
‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
If you do, the nations will pray to be
as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.
As I read this text, (yes, I’m still trucking through Jeremiah), I once more saw our communities and a parallel to a current predicament. God addressing His people confronts them with a truth about the bi-product of their lives in Him and a part from the community of believers. He beacons to them about their commitment to the Lord, and their dedication to living for Him. It seems that a bi-product of their disrespect and discipline is that is spilling over as an example and sample to those who are watching.
The people of Israel have walked away from their God, and chosen to worship the false idols of the communities in which they existed. Their willingness to walk away from God, as well as the lack of reverence and fear for the Lord, was speaking loudly to the people who had front row seats. Those who feared and revered the Lord, though not God’s chosen people or ones who worshiped the Lord, had fear and respect for God, and lost it as His people walked away from Him.
Their abandoning of God and choice to worship idols, validated the idols to those who worshiped them, leading to an even deeper worship and placed further distance between them and the Lord. I thought of us! I considered how our behavior has either given glory to God, or served as hindrance to them worshiping and acknowledging God.
Who have you hindered?
What have you validated?
‘You must get those disgusting idols
out of my sight and must no longer go astray.
You must be truthful, honest, and upright
when you take an oath saying,
As surely as the Lord lives!’
What we have done with our personal lives and lack of discipline and dedication to the Lord, that we are Impedance’s to the Gospel. Our love affair with the world has further confused those who seek truth and freedom.
God says, “Get those disgusting idols out of my sight….” Yes, the God that is everywhere and sees all things says get them “out of my sight”. The only option is to destroy them. Putting a blanket over them is not an option. We must destroy all idols! They are not God! They are not deserving of our worship! They are not worthy of our time! They can not help us, direct us, deliver us, cleanse us; they are useless! Much like we are useless when we are a part from the true vine.
God speaks loudly about the character of those who are to represent Him. God says, be 1. Truthful. We must be truthful. On display for people not only the sincerity of the word we speak, but the reliability of the words we speak. When our mouths are associated with lies, the words the proceed from it are not trust worthy. The truth of the words we communicate, give power and validity to the testimony we share.
We must also be honest. Honesty is a dying value our capitalistic mindsets. The mindset that is ingrained in us is to do what ever is necessary to prosper. Our behavior is justified by the productivity of our hands and plans. This my friends is wrong. There is a right and a wrong, and bearing fruit from evil is not a part of God’s plan. We take God’s word to be shrewd and or skew the concept of the wicked wealth being stored up for us.
Lastly, He says we must be upright. Upright means that our daily walk should be reflective of the righteousness we have obtained. Though not perfect, our goal should be the perfection of the image of Christ that was modeled for us. Our goal should be to align myself with the Word of God that displays the character of our God. We should be people that have ethics and whom abide by a moral standard in our dealings with others. And we do all of this because we are under a covenant and have taken an oath.
God says the oath that we take, “As surely as the Lord lives…” before people is only as strong as the decisions you make after these words are spoken. Yes, we are impedance to the Gospel. It is our walk that has been the loudest testimony, while our voices have missed the hearing to be character witnesses. It is impossible for us to claim this intense love for God while we court and date other Gods, and adopt the values and traditions of a powerless god. We must sure up our relationship with God, living up to the oath/covenant we took, and honor properly the covenant He keeps with us.
Keep the covenant with God will keep us from being in exile. God shares that His plan was to lavish His people with blessing in the land He delivered them too. And as He blessed them, the testimony as to His goodness would be upon their lips. His children would be elevated in the midst of surrounding kingdoms, blessed beyond belief, leaving no doubt that this was truly the one true and living God. Because they worshiped the things and opened up to other gods, God has to punish them, thus resulting in people doubting God and not desiring to be in relationship with Him. God wanted to restore the people and make them the envy of all. He said the people would look at them and “pray to be as blessed by Him (God) as you are, and will make Him the object of their boasting.
The World will make their boast in the Lord
when we make our boast in the Lord!