The traditional courtroom oath is spoken with a Bible in one hand: “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.” The Bible is recognized as the highest standard of truth and justice; taking the oath while holding the Bible invokes God as a witness to the words. Now, when God swears an oath to do something, since there is no higher authority, He swears by Himself.1 But what words does God use? Paul tells us that God says, “As I live.”2 That oath, in various forms, is found sixty five times, so the words must be significant. Even Moses noticed:
See now that I, I am He,
And there is no god besides Me;
It is I who put to death and give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,
And say, as I live forever,
If I sharpen My flashing sword,
And My hand takes hold on justice,
I will render vengeance on My adversaries,
And I will repay those who hate Me. (Deuteronomy 32:39-41)
Earlier in his farewell speech, Moses had called God the Most High, here Moses re-emphasizes that no other being approaches God in authority, righteousness, and power. In fact, all the idols and gods of the world are nothing more than puny demons controlled by Satan.3 The message is quite clear: the Most High controls life and death, sickness and health, and metes out vengeance on His enemies. The single unique quality of God is the fact that He is alive forever; every other so-called god is limited in life, and therefore power.
So, why is evil still at work in the world? Two reasons: First, a defeated Satan and his demons continue to fight their last stand while God prepares their final destruction. Second, much of the power of demons is in their propaganda. When they blind our eyes to the truth, they hold us spellbound in their lies. The message of Moses, Jesus, and Paul exposes those lies and replaces them with the truth of God’s eternal sovereignty. The Living God is the one who can forever say, “I am He,” and who swears to punish His enemies and avenge His people.
Who will we believe? The forces of evil that claim the upper hand in an apparently deteriorating word? Or the Living God, who has calmly and clearly sworn His plans and demonstrated His power by raising His Son Jesus from the dead?
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