Psalm 15:1-4 says, “LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change” (NKJV). To understand verse 4 it’s good to see the context in which it is found. One has said about this passage, “Truth is the cement that holds society together. If people can get away with lies, then every promise, agreement, oath, pledge, and contract is immediately destroyed.” The one who can abide in fellowship with God in His presence will be known by their godly character towards his neighbor and the foundation of one’s godly character is TRUTH. It begins in the heart, for verse 2 tells us a righteous man “speaks truth in his heart.” If our hearts are honest and pure; the words that come out of our heart will be honest and pure. We will not resort to flattery or deceit of any kind when dealing with our neighbors or friends. And we will, according to verse 4, keep any promises that we have made, even if it involves getting hurt in the process. We won’t change our minds and try to back out of it, for truth must reign in our lives. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be a man or woman of our word!

In Old Testament times, God’s people often made vows to Him and they were bound to perform whatever they vowed to do. In Ecclesiastes 5:1-5 God warned His people to be very careful before making a vow. It reads, “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed—Better not to vow than to vow and not pay” (NKJV). These words are simple and instructive. In Psalm 15:2-4 we learned we are to be TRUTHFUL in everything we say; here we are taught to be WISE and CAREFUL in what we say, and especially when we are making a promise or a commitment. Before we make any promise, whether it be to God or man, let’s be absolutely sure that WE MEAN TO KEEP THAT PROMISE. If we aren’t sure, may we “hold our tongue,” for God will hold us to our word and expect us to follow through on our promise, even if it means we will suffer in some way. Again, truth must win the day, cost what it may! (156.3) (DO)