A Little Time With The 1689: Day 294

Day 294

Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.

Chapter 23, Paragraph 2.

“…yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an Oath is warranted by the word of God;…”

Scripture Lookup

Hebrews 6:16

2 Corinthians 1:23


“Loose lips sink ships.” A phrase used during World War II, it cautioned against giving out too much information that could be used to the enemy’s advantage. The same phrase could be said today of our propensity to sin with our tongue. How many vows have been rashly made and then sinfully broken?

With such warnings given against improper oath-taking, it may seem easier to never take a vow again. But the Bible does not forbid all use of oaths. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul himself calls upon God to witness the veracity of his statement. The writer of Hebrews mentions oath-taking as a common practice among men, and also the God Himself makes an oath: “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath” (Hebrews 6:17). By these examples we see that lawful oath-taking is a reality.

There are times when the gravity of the situation calls for more than a simple “Sure, I’ll do it!” By entering into an oath, you are performing an act of worship that sets the vow apart from the ordinary. Serious, yes. But forbidden? No.

Questions to Consider

  • Are those who forbid to take oaths justified Biblically in their reasoning?

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