top of page
  • Chad Werkhoven

Proverbs 16:1-9 - God IS Your Witness

God knows what you know whether you know it or not.

Read / Listen

Read Proverbs 16:1-9

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 102

Q. May we swear by saints

or other creatures?

A. No.

A legitimate oath means

calling upon God

as the one who knows my heart

to witness to my truthfulness

and to punish me if I swear falsely.

No creature is worthy of such honor



One of the key characteristics that you have as an image bearer of God is your ability to make plans for the future. Certainly animals have an instinct - especially around this time of the year - to begin squirreling away resources for the coming winter, but as a human being you can do much more by developing hopes and dreams for things that will make your life better.

But like everything else related to your human nature, this God given ability to desire improvement has been wrecked by sin. Maybe you started off asking God to help you accomplish something, but after days, weeks, years or even decades of waiting, you've given up on Him and have set out on your own. Maybe what you want is incompatible with what God has ordained, but it doesn't matter, since "all of the ways of man are pure in his own eyes." This passage makes it clear that no matter how hard you attempt to camouflage and hide your ideas from God, He knows your true desires: your "motives are weighed by God."

These verses here in Proverbs are a textbook example of the need to align your life plans with God's will:

  • Commit your work to the LORD and your plans will be established (v3);

  • The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (v9);

Dig Deeper

When you take an oath, you are calling God as a witness to testify that what you've just reported is the full truth, or that it is your sincere desire to do all that you can to fulfill a promise you've just made. There's no higher authority you can call in to validate your claims than God Almighty.

But take caution in doing this! The testimony you are swearing to may seem "pure in your own eyes" and convincing to everyone else, but God knows the truth. To use God as a character witness to make a lie seem more believable is the height of arrogance, and as v5 says, "everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished."

You make more oaths than you think. Certainly the times you'll testify under oath or make vows to your spouse are limited, but how many dozens or even hundreds of times have you stood up and promised in God's name to help raise a newly baptized child to know Christ?

And how many thousands of times have you ended a prayer with the oath in Jesus' name, amen ('amen' literally means let what has just been said be true or be done)?

As a Christian, you are always under oath; even more so, you are in Christ. So keep all of your ways - your work, your plans, your dreams - committed to the Lord and aligned with His Word. In doing so God will bring the proper answer from your tongue (v1) whether you're formally under oath or not. When your ways are consistent with His ways, all of God's answers to you will be 'amen' in Christ!

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who weighs our motives and and detests arrogance;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established;



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Timothy 3


Questions or comments?

Recent Posts:

bottom of page