Judges 15:12-13 – But the men of Judah told him, “We have come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.” “All right,” Samson said. “But promise that you won’t kill me yourselves.” “We will tie you up and hand you over to the Phillistines,” they replied. “We won’t kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the rock.
Making a promise to someone used to mean something. When someone gave their word to another that they would or would not do something, you could trust it. In those times, a man’s word is as good as gold. Men lived nobly and would honor their word to another. Unfortunately today, words are cheap, and some cases someone’s “promise” is not enough to be trusted. For some transactions, contracts are written to be legally binding so as to keep the parties involved at their word.
In the days of Samson, you could trust another with your own life, including your enemy. A promise is a promise. Both sides know what their words would mean and they know what is honorable. At the end of this story, Samson is brought to the Philistines where he slaughters thousands with a jawbone. Samson’s captors could have easily broken their promise and kill Samson at the opportunity, ensuring their victory, but their promise would mean more to them than a cheap win.
For the men (and women) of today, do our promises mean something to us? Do we honor our word no matter what it will cost of ourselves? We must be accountable to the promises we make even if those promises mean we will end up with the short stick left in our hands. When we give our word and honor it, our word is more valuable than gold. Keeping our promise will give others the confidence that we can be trusted and doing so will build long-lasting relationships. However, not keeping our word will quickly create enemies which can isolate us and become lonely.
Action: When we give our word to someone else, follow through with what you say.
Prayer: Dear heavenly father, please keep me accountable to my promises to others and to you. Amen.