“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” ~Matthew 5:37
Jesus said empty and meaningless words are from the evil one. They lend themselves to his purposes; to hypocrisy, lying, deceit, and an unstable mind. But our society is very comfortable with empty and meaningless words. In fact, many of our social customs are built on them!
Once we become accustomed to speaking meaningless words, and we get comfortable with the idea that our word is empty, we pave the way for all kinds of evil; we can “let slip” all kinds of malicious, slanderous, and evil speech against our neighbors and our brethren, and we allow Deceit to plot a course straight through our heart because we believe that we can speak one thing, and do another!
I believe one day on the day of judgment that all these “little commandments” that we ignored will be revealed in glory as the pure wisdom of God! Yes, I believe every Word of God will be exalted in its due glory, and we will look at these “little commandments” and lament for what we have lost because we did not give them a proper ear!
Moses was a man “slow of speech” (Ex. 4:10), yet the heavens listened when he spoke because he proclaimed the name of the LORD (Deut. 32:1, 3); so also ought it to be with the Church who are charged by the intent of God that His manifold wisdom might be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph. 3:10)!
It may be that the reason we the Church often ignore this commandment is because we do not know that the altar of our lips are holy to God. Perhaps we have not yet consecrated our lips unto the Lord, nor understood the power of our words. Indeed, what is so grievous about the “Word Faith” movement is that they have so defiled the teaching that our words are holy, that many in the Church cannot receive God’s Word on the subject! Their judgment is just.
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.” ~Malachi 3:16
Much of God’s message has been lost because the Church no longer understands the beauty of holiness! We do not get what it means that we have been purchased by the blood; that we are not our own, but His (1 Cor. 6:20). Therefore, our words are common, and our praise profane (James 3:10).
May I exhort the brethren, then, to consecrate the altar of worship as holy unto God. Let your words be pure and full, that you may proclaim the name of the Lord, amen!
“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’, lest you fall into judgment.” ~James 5:12