“Surely They are My People”

In (Isaiah 63:8) we read “For He said, ‘Surely they are My people, Children who will not lie.’ So He became their Savior”

How many of us men have been quite satisfied to hear someone  say the following about us –“He’s a man of his word.”? I know that would be just about the best compliment I could receive. Or how about, “His word is his bond”? Or “You can take his word to the bank”?

Our words tell a great deal about each and every one of us. On the flip side, it’s quite shameful to be spoken of as “He never keeps his word” or “His word is worthless” and so on. How many of us have had that sinking feeling when we know we are talking to someone we can’t count on, as keeping their word?

But as much as most of us value keeping our word and not lying, our Lord values it so much more, as His word reminds us so often throughout the Scriptures. Let’s look at the basic and simple act (speaking and writing) and how we can make or break our life with God and even each other.

In the above quote we noticed that the Lord claims a certain kind of person (people) as “His”. They are non-liars. You see, lying is really so much worse than most of us think. In fact the Lord says it one of the things he “hates”. He says “These six things the LORD hates… A lying tongue.” (Proverbs 6:17)

Many of us think that lying is outright and purposely deceitful, however that’s not what generally constitutes–lying. For example, every time we say we are going to do something for someone, and fail to do it–we have lied. This is so much more plentiful in the world than outright lies. It’s kinda known as the “not so bad” little white lie. But let’s not get fooled, it’s just as bad as those outright lies.

Granted , we are all sinners and imperfect and we all have spoken lies in our lifetime, but knowing this important truth in His word in this regard, we are then made accountable for the truth we know and understand.

As we have learned in studying the present truth of the Elijah message, we are called on to strive “with all the power God has given us to be among the 144,000” (Review and Herald, March 9, 1905). And to be found to be one of those elect,  we must have “no deceit (guile)” in our mouth (Rev. 14:5).We, as present truth believers, are to be reforming our lives to be able to be among God’s elect, the 144,000.

This really cannot be over emphasised. Our promises made must be kept. It’s like anything in life , if we make an effort to get good at something, we’ll get good! So we must make a careful and thoughtful effort to please the Lord in this regard. And most importantly we should ask our Lord for His guidance and strength through the Holy Spirit to accomplish this.

In the 59th chapter of Isaiah, we read specific Scriptures concerning lying. ” For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.” (verse 3) . And later in the chapter,  after explaining why we have become unrighteous, it reads “For our transgressions are multiplied before You…In trangressing and lying against the LORD, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” (verses 12-13).

“Better that you do not vow, than that you vow  and not fulfill it”(Ecc.5:5)

Being in business most of my life, I can attest to the value of keeping your word and how people so much appreciate it. If I tell a person I’ll do something for them , I sincerely try to do it. If I can’t I at least call them and let them know. I just feel bad if I don’t do what I say I will do, kind of like a bad reflex that wells up inside and says ” Your integrity just got a lot lower”. On the flip side, when I receive a verbal commitment from someone, I expect that which they said they would do, to be done. I shouldn’t have to remind them. Again ,  our word = our bond.

In the “old days” a man would receive one of the best honors among his fellow-men, when someone would say “Oh so and so, when he shakes his hand on a deal, you can take his word to the bank”. Now that was and is, a high compliment, and no doubt cherished from our Lord.

Have you ever felt that good solid inner feeling and confidence when you are speaking to someone whom you can trust, and know that what they say they will do, they will do? This is what we , as God’s image bearers, were intended to be.

With the advent of the computer, todays society revolves around less speaking and more typing. But let us not think that this gets us off the hook for accountability with keeping our word, both to people and to our Lord. Although it’s in writing, we  still make commitments, which should require us to hold true what we promise. It’s just a different avenue of “keeping our word” but with no less accountability.

Let us not think that we can, for example,  go on a Facebook message or send an email to a friend and say ” I’ll send that article to you about —, tomorrow” and then forget all about it and never do it. We may think this is no big deal but the recording angel has recorded it as a lie, a false promise made.If we continue to do this on a regular basis, we’ll be known as liars, not word keepers.  “Every man’s work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness…all chronicled by the recording angel.” (Great Controversy. p.482)

This truth telling is a basic component of our reformed Christian life. Unfortunately this simple yet needed requirement will be overlooked by the masses. We will get “above it”,  meaning we’ll look at it as  not really needed.  We know all the doctrines, attend church every Sabbath, why worry whether we speak lies?

Ellen White explains, ” In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work…” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol.1, p.608)

Our Lord gave one of the most beautiful Scriptures for us to live by, known as the Golden Rule  — “Do under others as you would want done unto you.” (Matt. 7:12).  Would you like to be lied to? Not able to rely on what other tell you?  Most all of us would shun this like the plaque, and say “definitely not”. Then we must speak truth and keep our word. Both our Lord and fellow-man and woman would be very happy and appreciate it.We just might be fortunate enough to have the reputation, and spoken of as a word keeper, “He’s (or She’s) a person of their word”.

Let us remember that the Lord will be a Savior to the “truth tellers” not liars. In the end of Revelation our Lord puts out the last important warning on those who will not make it to heaven. Included in this list is “all liars” (Rev.21:8).

This elemental quality of truth-telling will lead us to draw closer to Him daily and thus wanting to fulfill even more of His will. We have spoken quite a lot on “present truth” the last year or so, but let us not forget the “basics”. An essential in our Christian walk,  is –keeping our word.

God the Father and  our Lord our King, together with the Holy Spirit be with you all,    Your servant, Rob.

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