We place our hand on the Bible and close with “so help me God,” but what does that mean? What difference does it make? Jesus said it shouldn’t, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37), so what does it add to add God’s name to an oath? In one sense, nothing. It is your character, not God’s, that will determine whether you are trustworthy or a liar.
Yet “a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord” (Numbers 6:2) adds several extra toppings like “he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink” and “no razor shall touch his head” and “he shall not go near a dead body” (Numbers 6:3, 5, 6). This is not a vow to be sober or grow a beard or stay clear of death, but to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and the rest is externals, symbols of separation, signs telling the world to watch me and see if my vow has made a difference. These are external signs inviting the world to watch and see the internal character of a man or woman of God.
When a Christian accused of being a hypocrite responds, “I’m no more than the next guy,” isn’t that the problem? When I place my hand on the Bible, the question is not do I take this oath seriously, but do I take my God seriously. When I take God’s name upon myself, it should make a difference. The world is watching.
My Holy God, You are good and just and holy and loving and full of grace. Your Son was pierced for my transgressions, He was crushed for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me peace was upon Him; by His wounds I am healed. May I take sin as seriously as He did.
Thank You, Father, for salvation, for forgiveness, for the atonement for my sins offered by the death of Jesus Christ. Thank You Jesus for taking what I deserve so that I will share in what You deserve. May my love You for You be seen in my desire for righteousness.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall he put his name upon his people and he will bless them.