What He Meant Was
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12
It’s remarkable that so many people in politics and public leadership who make statements in their speeches, which are then parsed and explained in many instances by other statements that are quite different from what most people actually heard them say.
It has become so common that many people have just tuned out the parsers and explainers and are beginning to trust what their own ears are hearing. Indeed this is the pathway to faith in God. Not what someone said about what God said but rather what He Himself has said.
This is also the way we are commanded to relate to one another in straightforward unalloyed truth. Yes or No. The truth is not conditional. Morality is not conditional. Ethics are not conditional despite what may be taught in the halls of academia.
Skepticism is not incompatible with faith initially. We are admonished in the Scriptures not to accept things initially on face value alone.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” Acts 17:10-12
It is good and right to go to the source, to read the Word to hear it as you would hear God himself. The Bible is our source and it is the Word of God, which also means, it is the will of God. Everything that is needed for the knowledge of life and Godliness is found there.
Though some feel it is necessary to parse the Words (the commandments, promises and ordinances) of God as though they were the pronouncements of a politician that need to be spun and restated to be what they think we want to hear, they still stand unwavering unchanging and steadfast. The Word of God can be trusted for just what it says. What He meant is what He said.
The question then is two-fold, do we and will we believe Him? The faith we have in God answers, yes.
Not in word only but in deed, (in what we do). We believe and therefore we do what God has commanded. We believe and therefore we trust in the outcome He has promised. We believe and therefore we live by the Words He has spoken. We believe and therefore we resist any and all things that oppose His Word, His will and His Kingdom coming on earth as it is in Heaven.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
My hope is built on nothing less than
Jesus’ (The Word) blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ (the Word) the Solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.”
[From Verse 1 and refrain, The Solid Rock by Edward Mote]
We can trust God with confidence because He says only what He means and He means exactly what He says.