When God Takes an Oath - The Warrior's Journey®

When God Takes an Oath

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” (Hebrews 6:13-15) 

God backs up His promises by taking an oath and swearing by Himself? Yes. Actually there are numerous occasions in the Bible where God does this. Note, for instance, Deuteronomy 32:40: “I lift my hand to heaven and declare: ‘As surely as I live forever …I will take vengeance on my enemies.’” Compare this to the Son of God-like angel in Revelation 10:5-6 (also Psalm 106:26; Daniel 12:7). Then there is Genesis 22:16: “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld you son, your only son, indeed I will greatly multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven.” In Isaiah 62:8, we read, “The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm.”  “‘But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,’ declares the LORD, ‘that this house will become a desolation’” (Jeremiah 22:5). We find other examples in Jeremiah 49:5; 51:14; and Amos 6:8.  Every time God prefaced His promise by saying, “As I live, declares the LORD” (e.g. Ezekiel 33:11), He was swearing by Himself and binding Himself to an oath. 

Since Paul tells us that God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) nor act in a way that is contrary to His nature (e.g. He cannot lie – Titus 1:2), there is no way God will fail to fulfill His promises. His promises are etched deeply in granite. They will not and they cannot fail.  “Heaven and earth will pass away,” Jesus said, “but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). 

As the writer explains in verse 16, people always swear by someone or something greater than themselves. By doing this they feel compelled to fulfill their promise. But there is always the possibility – because of human frailty and helplessness – that they cannot fulfill their promise.  But God is almighty and there is nothing to restrain Him from doing what He both wants to do, promised to do, and obligated Himself to do. 

By His own changeless nature and eternal being, God has sworn to preserve you in danger. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but destruction will not come near you (Psalm 91:7). God will stand as a shield between you and all evil (Psalm 3:3). God is absolutely committed to keeping your faith, saving your soul from eternal death, and transforming you so powerfully that He’ll make you stand before His glorious presence, blameless and with great joy (Jude 24-25).    


  • If God has sworn by Himself to keep His promises and is fully capable of doing so, what can stop Him from doing exactly what He said He will? 
  • Will God’s intention to bless and save you or His promises to do so ever change? 
  • God is worthy of your total confidence and faith. Do not doubt Him. 

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