In our society we take oaths. A civil servant is sworn in as they begin a new term, witnesses place their hand on a Bible and take an oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and our new President will take an oath this coming week. We even sign papers to promise we will pay a loan, perform a service, or even hold wealth in trust. Kids even make pinky promises.
In ancient times, oaths and vows were taken even more seriously than they are today. In the readings this week, Genesis 24 tells the story of the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. “Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
This kind of bodily oath was serious. Abraham wanted his son to marry a woman from among his own people. In our culture, many would not consider telling a son or daughter to only marry a certain “kind/type” of person. However, there are some cultures that continue this tradition of selecting partners for their children to marry.
If we look past the demand of this oath and think about the power of the actual oath, that is where we see the importance and solemnity of this act. Abraham and his servant entered into a covenant. A promise. A holy oath that was not to be broken.
When I see a person stand in front of a courtroom, an audience, the world as they take an oath to uphold the law, speak the truth and represent the country, it is my hope that they take their oath as seriously as those in ancient times.
Have you taken an oath lately? Have you entered into covenant with God about something in your life that needs attention? Whatever that is or may be, I pray that you enter covenant with the highest of intentions and that you remember that God will never break covenant with you.