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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"Promises are like the full moon;
if they are not kept they diminish day by day."
~ German Proverb


"But if you do not do [as you promise], then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out."
~ Numbers 32:23 (NKJV)

Better not to vow than to vow and not pay... Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? ... But fear God.
~ Ecclesiastes 5:5-7 (NKJV)

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue ...
~ Proverbs 6:16-17 (NKJV)

Today's verses from Numbers are about three Israelite tribes who asked for permission to receive land east of the Jordan River, and to settle their families there, promising to afterwards help the other tribes obtain their land west of the Jordan. The passage context shows Moses had serious reservations about their promise to follow through.

Yesterday's post, on the theme of "Remember," mentioned my commitment to pray every day for a friend who is under unusual duress, and my fear of failure to follow through. I hold in high regard the power of words, and the credibility behind them. I may—indeed must—retract my words if I discover I have erred, and I expect this will happen on occasion. But if my words are not trustworthy when they are spoken, they prove me untrustworthy.

I have staked everything in my life, and all my eternity, on the credibility and infallibility of the Word of God as it is recorded in the Bible, however imperfect a translation might be. The same Holy Spirit Who inspired the Word enables its understanding. God does not change, His Word does not change, and His promises are trustworthy.

If God should be found unreliable on even one minor point of Scripture, how then should we be able to rely on any of it?

If we should be found a liar on any matter, how shall we be counted trustworthy in anything?

Lord Jesus, Author of truth, thank You for proving Yourself utterly reliable. Please help us find forgiveness for the times we've proven fallible. Please give us love for truth which protects us from the enemy, who is the father of lies. Please enable us to speak words with credibility, and show us how to maintain it as honors You.

"The foundation of morality
is to have done, once for all, with lying."
~ Thomas H. Huxley

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Amen, powerful words my friend.

  2. Amen. May my words be ever true. Wonderful post today, Anne--may God bless you richly today.

  3. I agree that God takes promises seriously, ones we casually throw out and ones He impresses upon our hearts.
    ~ Wendy

  4. I'm so glad you believe that our words matter. I agree. Having been raised to believe that honor still exists and that it is dishonorable to break one's word, I'm always surprised when I discover that others don't attach much weight to the idea. (I also think it's funny, in an Ecclesiastes-kind-of-way, when people who regularly break their word accuse others of "not keeping their word." ;-)

  5. My prayer today is that our words are His words.

    . . . Father, you are our God and we praise You. Command us to submit to Your will, subdue us, send Your Holy Spirit to teach us how to surrender . . .

  6. Denise, any power in the words is because they are Truth.

    Gwen, I'm challenged by this post myself. Thank you for the blessing. May you likewise be richly blessed, Dearest!

    Wendy, this is exactly the reason we should speak slowly and thoughtfully. (And just because I know it doesn't mean I always accomplish it!)

    Rosslyn, I suspect what I'm saying won't be well received by everyone. I mentioned on another blog recently that it's not always appropriate to tell the whole truth, and it's okay to say, "I'm not going to share about that." But if we deceive by either what we say or fail to say, we're playing with evil.

    Russell, thank you for the prayer. I exalt Truth even as I acknowledge that the surrender isn't always simple or easy.

  7. Anne,my spiritual cup always fillith over when I pop over here. God's word indeed can be trusted, it's my translation of it that concerns me. Hence the need for prayer, right?

  8. Losing trust is a serious issue! It's so difficult to gain trust but so easy to lose it. Perhaps God wants us to seriously think before we speak! May God help us all. Tks Anne!

  9. That's very interesting what you say about reliability. Too bad our beautiful bible was written by men who had patriarchal agendas. And that's why there are so many errors and contradictions in scripture.
    It's never a good idea to label the bible as infallible when it was written by fallible men. I think God allowed that to get us all to think (with Faith) for ourselves.
    Considering all that, it's still an inspirational work that helps and uplifts many.

  10. My favorite passage of scripture because of its succinctness: "A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies." -Pr 12:17

    I strive for my "yes be yes" and my "no, no". But my sinful nature always wants to put forward a false front.

    Good reminder what's at stake.

  11. Eileen, I'm encouraged by your words. As far as translations, none are as perfect as the original text. My personal favorite is the NKJV for its accuracy, and lyricism similar to the original language. But as you say, prayer for the Holy Spirit's guidance is the most important factor for understanding.

    Bible Lover, we are indeed fallible humans with imperfect credibility. We inevitably prove untrustworthy in some manner. Good reason to weigh our words, and to forgive others when their words fail us.

    Fatha, the sinful nature wants to put forth a false front when it knows the heart is not right. If we'll cooperate with the Holy Spirit purifying our hearts, what comes from our lips will be more pure.

  12. Anonymous guest, thanks for commenting. Each of us chooses what we believe in. When we find all else fallible, truth becomes relative, and nothing may be relied upon. This is a sad state for humanity.

    If the Bible is seen as merely inspirational, then we pick and choose which parts inspire and which parts we don't care for. We then believe not in the Bible, but in our own judgment. As you say, people are fallible, and there's nothing left to stand upon.

    I've well-researched the Bible for 24 years. I've found neither patriarchal agendas, nor errors and contradictions in Scripture. Women are valued and protected as the more delicate sex. Contrasts bring balance.

    Though errors occur in translation, the Bible is nonetheless reliable. Nothing in it has been or can be disproven.

    I do not think I shall change your view, but I thank you for feeling free to present it. Peace!

  13. Follow-up to Anonymous:

    I got to thinking about the matter of "patriarchal agendas." May I clarify something about the priority given to sons carrying on a father's name. That certainly exists, but it is the agenda of a God Who would one day send His Son in His Father's name, not the Old Testament patriarchs.

    Unless a person believes the Bible was authored by God's Spirit and only recorded by men, then the entire volume is the agenda of men, and not of God.

  14. Ms. Lang Bundy,
    You say, "Unless a person believes the Bible was authored by God's Spirit and only recorded by men, then the entire volume is the agenda of men, and not of God."
    I believe that God certainly inspired some men to write some parts of the bible, but I believe some parts are not inspired by God, otherwise we wouldn't have so many errors and contradictions in scripture. We don't live in just a black or white world, and neither is the bible just black or white.
    Also, "patriarchal agendas" as I'm using it has nothing to do with "the priority given to sons carrying on a father's name" or to the OT patriarchs as you try to claify. You might want to check out some other definitions of patriarchy, i.e.,

  15. Dear Anonymous Guest,

    First, thank you for the chuckle on addressing me by both my father's and husband's surnames. You correctly noted that I eschew the practice of a hyphen, which allows a woman to continue being called by the name of her father (or grandfather), and appending her husband's name. Though my maiden name serves as the middle name by which I retain a connection to my father's family, my husband's name is not an addendum.

    I do not deny that the biblical culture was patriarchal, or that God Himself appointed men to the primary role of leadership in society. But to say that patriarchy is the Bible's agenda is to distort the purpose of God's Word. Scripture was given by God to reveal His plans, purposes and Person. Because He is the Author, it is infallible. Because it was recorded by men and recopied innumerable times over 3500 years, a very small number of minor discrepancies exist between some of the copies, none of which are critical or alter foundational truths. That the Scripture should have survived with such consistency over the millennia with such astounding accuracy is itself testimony to a divine hand. Scripture as a whole never evidences contradictions or errors. Even Jesus' introduction of a New Covenant complements and fulfills rather than contradicts the Old Covenant.

    Of course all of this (even the way my name is used) is only a smokescreen for the real issue: authority. Will we accept that God's order has placed woman in subjection to man and humanity in subjection to Creator? Do we accept that God is well capable of communicating with us in written language and has chosen to do so, in order that His will has no ambiguity? Will we accept from God the black and white of light and darkness, truth and deception, good and evil, life and death?

    Or will we try to shake off authority on every level, color truth relative in shades of gray so that we may define for ourselves what is moral, and assert that we are equal with the God Who made us so we are not accountable to Him?


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