An Oath of Promise

 

A tree felled by beavers

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus revealed a dual purpose for his coming. He said that he came to fulfill the law, and also the prophets. Jesus came to usher in a new day, a day of mercy, grace and peace, a day of hope and salvation.

One major prophetic oath found in Isaiah 45 is enough for the Old Fool. It is reported that God took the oath in his own name, an oath described as absolute and irrevocable. This divine oath declared that “every knee will bow before him; every tongue will swear (confess) that in the LORD (Jehovah) alone are righteousness and strength.”

Fulfillment of this prophetic oath may be more process than event. Jesus prayed that his disciples “may be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you {the Father} sent me . . .“ (John 17:22 23). But from the beginning of the church until now Christians stubbornly criticize and judge their brothers and sisters because of who they are and what they do.

The prophetic oath is used in Romans 14 to challenge this most damaging habit of the church. The writer asked pointedly, “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? We will stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” (Romans 14:10 11)

Finally, Philippians 2:10, 22 calls the church to the attitude with which Christ Jesus came to earth. The oath is emphatically universal in scope and applicability. Simply said, every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This universal bowing of the knee will not be a reaction to torture nor compelled by law, but will be a response to love and grace. It appears to the Old Fool that the oath of the God of love and all grace defeats the law, frustrates hell, and solves universal need. The single minded purpose of God is embedded in the name of Jesus which is “Jehovah is Salvation,” Amen!

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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