Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. – 2 Samuel 21:1-2
The Gibeonites are the people who tricked the nation of Israel into making a treaty to spare them from destruction all the way back in Joshua’s day. God was punishing Israel for violating this agreement that was originated in deception but was made nonetheless. In Matthew, Jesus reminds us of the seriousness of taking an oath. It is better to not even make an oath than to make one and then break it. This story from David’s reign as king of Israel serves to remind us of God’s standards when it comes to keeping our word. We have a God who keeps His promises always and forever. He expects us to grow to be like He is. If you want to be wise, be careful what you promise to another. And if you make a promise, keep it.