Now the men of Israel were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed be any man who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the troops tasted food. The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out, yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath.
1 Sam 14:24-26
Saul, who has lost his communion with God, now he has his men swear to a foolish oath without thinking through the implications.
- The oath itself does nothing to move people to a commitment to the Lord; it's all about Saul's ambition and his glory.
- Legalism moves us towards pride and rarely produces holiness. It usually leads to fear and hypocrisy as people live double lives.
- The oath actually weakened them and made them bitter.
- The oath actually caused them to commit an even greater sin.
- The oath caused them to miss out on the victory and the honey that God had provided.
As a leader I must choose my words and directions carefully, but more importantly I must look at my actions for pride and legalism, which might mean I'm out of step with God.
Have you missed the honey because of the fear of an oath?