“For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes, an oath is final for confirmation.”
This is not a practice we are used to. We do some things that are similar in nature like using notary publics or a witness signature. We think in terms of outside forces holding us to account. Those who swore by something greater than themselves put the onus on themselves. Once they had given an oath, there was no thinking of denying the oath. To do otherwise was to risk being ostracized from the community for those who violated oaths could not be counted on in any capacity.
It is a sad commentary on where we are in the world when we need witnesses and notary publics to ensure that we speak the truth. My father told me often when I was a small boy, “A man is only as good as his word. Your word is everything.” I understood. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Your word is the measure of your integrity.
Task for Today: Regardless of the past, let today be the day that you absolutely swear before God that you will keep your word regardless of the cost. Do not give your word lightly nor falsely. Whether to children or to parents don’t make statements that you don’t intend to honor.