Today’s readings are Psalm 26-30 and Proverbs 6.
Have you ever made a commitment that you wish you hadn’t made? Lord knows I have, but a commitment is a commitment. As a follower of Christ, you (we) are duty bound to honor your agreements and commitments, but wise old Solomon mentions one option as a last resort – throw yourself on the mercy of whoever you’ve committed to in hopes that they will release you from the commitment. In Proverbs 6, he wrote:
“My son, if you have become a guarantor for your neighbor, or have given a handshake for a stranger, if you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth, or caught by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself:
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; Save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
Now with that said, if the other person refuses to release you from the commitment, then the Lord says you must honor it. Let me to introduce you a man that learned that lesson the hard way. His name was Joshua, and he was the leader of Israel after Moses died. God told Joshua to clear out all of the other inhabitants of the promised land. They were not to spare anyone. However, one of the tribes, the Gibeonites, knew that they would be killed so they crafted a plan. They came to Joshua and the leaders of Israel disguised as travelers from a far nation needing help. (When in fact, they were actually neighbors of Israel.) Joshua listened to their hard luck story and had compassion on them. Joshua 9:14-15 says:
“So the men of Israel took from their provisions, and did not ask the counsel of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.”
Did you see that? They made a covenant that went against what God had told them to do, because they “did not ask the counsel of the Lord.” They were stuck. They had to uphold their commitment. The people of Israel were quite upset with their leaders, but a commitment is a commitment…even if you made it without wise counsel or the counsel of the Lord.
The moral of the story, my friends, is to be careful what you commit to. Do not let the emotion of the moment draw you in. Take time to seek the wisdom of others and the Lord.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, my friends!