What is the purpose of an oath or a vow? "Men swear by one greater than themselves and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute" (Hebrews 6:16).
God confirmed His promise to Abraham with an oath. "By Myself I have sworn," declares the Lord, "I will greatly bless you" (Genesis 22:16 and 17). The New Testament verifies this. "When God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself" (Hebrews 6:13). God interposed "an oath" (Hebrews 6:17).
Frivolous oaths and vows do not confirm our words. I swear on a stack of Bibles. Does the strength of our word depend upon the number of Bibles in the stack? Cross my heart and hope to die. Will we be struck dead if we are not true?
Lawful vows imposed by proper authorities are stabilizing. They call us to truth and fidelity. They remind us to be true. "When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it (Deuteronomy 23:21). Are you a husband or wife? Keep your marriage vows. Do you serve on a jury? Remember your oath. Are you a church pastor, attorney, or physician? Consider your professional vows. Are you an elected official? Think about your oath of office. Be true to your word.