The Bridge of Nevertheless [Oaths]

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Intro: In my daily devotion readings,“All The Days” by Vance Havner, I came across an unusual word last December. He used this word for four consecutive days. The word is, “Nevertheless”.
You have only to check your Bible concordance to discover how often that word “nevertheless” shows up [118 times]. Often against the dark background of conditions in this world, it turns the picture to say, “Notwithstanding, however, still, on the other hand, there is another side.…” Nevertheless is a bridge one can cross to pass from darkness to light, from defeat to victory, from bad to good. But unfortunately visa versa as well.
Havner, V. (1976). All the Days (p. 188). Fleming H. Revell Company.
What I want to do in the next few weeks or months is to discover the Bridge of Nevertheless.
Text; Mt. 14:9
Matthew 14:9 NKJV
9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.
Summary; This text is a flashback of Herod and the beheading of John the Baptist. Herod had heard of the reports of Jesus’ preaching/works, but Herod believed that Jesus had come in the power of John the Baptist return from the grave to haunt him for what he had done. Herod had put John in prison for boldly preaching against his sin of divorcing his wife and marrying his brother Philips wife, Herodias.
Leviticus 18:16 NKJV
16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.
Leviticus 20:21 NKJV
21 If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.
On Herod’s birthday, Herodias [evil woman] devised a plan to get John killed by sending her daughter, Salome, in before the king and his guests to dance provocatively while they were drinking. She knew Herod had a weakness for women and Salome would have him eating out of her hands. Her plan worked and Herod made a foolish oath before his guests, to give Salome whatever she asked even up to half his kingdom. Her mother asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Matthew 14:9 NKJV
9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.

1. Sorry, Nevertheless;

Sorry and nevertheless don’t seem to fit together.
Sorry- grieved, distressed, a state of sadness at someones misfortune
Herod was sorry that he let himself get put in this situation to cost John his head. Herod liked to listen to John and knew he was a godly man.
Mark 6:20 NKJV
20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Herod did not want to kill John the Baptist, but he gave the order so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of his guests.
Herod had made a promise and had sealed it with an oath.
Oath-A formal promise that binds an individual to do as pledged under threat of some penalty in the failure to fulfill that promise.
To back out on the promise would show his important guests [dignitaries, military brass, Roman government officials] that Herod was not a man of his word or that he was afraid of this “unimportant” prisoner in a dungeon.
Nevertheless- “however, on the other hand, there is another side.”
“Sorry John, However, I must save face before these important people.”
“Sorry, On the other hand, John, you had a good run but all things must come to an end.”
“Sorry John, but there is another side, hey you get to enter the kingdom of heaven early.”
Imagine a man being motivated like that! He was afraid of what his guests might think of him for having made a promise and not making it good. He would stoop so low that he would have a man killed to save face. Herod crossed the Bridge of Nevertheless from wanting to do good by John to doing evil against him.
Pride is what made him cross that bridge!
Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
1 John 2:16 NKJV
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
I often wonder as christians, if when we make promises to God, that we do the same thing that Herod did with John, “Sorry, Nevertheless.”

2. Vows to God; Eccl. 5:4-5

Vow- A formal promise to God that binds an individual to do as pledged under threat of some penalty in the failure to fulfill that promise. [Oath]
Vow is used 76 times in the scriptures and is always used voluntarily.
Numbers 30:2 NKJV
2 If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Deuteronomy 23:21–23 NKJV
21 “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. 22 But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. 23 That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.
Look at some vows people make to God and then say “Sorry, Nevertheless”
Vow of faithfulness to our spouses in marriage - I know I said for richer or poorer, sickness and health, till death do us part, but I’m sorry she/he doesn’t make me happy anymore or fill my desires, nevertheless I found someone who does.
Vow to raise our children in the Lord- [Baby Dedication] Lord I know we promised to raise our children to know You and walk in Your ways, but God I’m sorry, I can’t send them to a Christian college because I don’t have the money or they might feel called to the ministry/missions and I can’t let them go overseas or out of state, nevertheless they have a great chance to play ball at “wherever” and I’ll make sure they’ll do what You want there!
Vow to meet God daily for prayer/devotion/seeking guidance- Every new year most christians make a resolution to spend more time with God and by now in May we have to say I’m sorry. Nevertheless we move forward with life like nothing happened and we fall farther away from God moment by moment.
Vow to His church to minister through serving, giving and worship- Church membership is important because you are making a commitment to the Lord’s body to be active with your spiritual gifts to do your part to keep the body healthy.
1 Corinthians 12:13–14 NKJV
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
1 Corinthians 12:26–27 NKJV
26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
God I’m sorry, I’m so busy, my job is overwhelming, the kids have these activities, I can’t tithe I can barely make ends meet, I can’t come on Sunday night because [excuse]. Nevertheless, I love You Lord, and I’m praying for the church will grow.
Vow to be more active in church if God will resolve my stressful situations- And when God does take care of those situations, we say, “God I’m sorry, but when you fixed my job situation I got a promotion so I’m over my department now and I don’t have enough time to spend with my kids in their activities if we have to be in church, and thanks for the raise but nevertheless we needed a new car for the trips we take so I can’t tithe, have You seen the price of a new vehicle, and we get back so late on Sunday afternoon that we need to get our rest for work and school on Monday.
If we were to compare what Herod did with his oath concerning John and how we treat our vows to God, we have crossed the same Bridge of Nevertheless. From good intentions to bad practices. It is a mistake to think an oath/vow of good intentions will justify our inactions or evil actions.
Galatians 6:7–8 NKJV
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

3. Don’t Cross that Bridge of Nevertheless; Eccl. 5:5-6

Don’t cross the bridge of good intentions to bad practices by trying to bargain with God. “God, if You will do this for me, I’ promise ....”
Just don’t make vows you can’t/won’t keep and keep our mouth’s shut!
Proverbs 10:19 NLT
19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
Proverbs 10:14 NKJV
14 Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Proverbs 12:13 NKJV
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble.
Proverbs 12:22 NKJV
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Proverbs 13:3 NKJV
3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
Proverbs 14:3 NKJV
3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.
Proverbs 15:4 NKJV
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 16:23 NKJV
23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.
Proverbs 18:6–7 NKJV
6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.
Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Matthew 12:37 NKJV
37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
God gives us His best in Christ and the Holy Spirit and He loves us and wants to bless us every day. We often prevent that from happening by making vows we know we will not keep. To keep from failing in fulfilling our oaths/vows that we make, there are some things we need to consider.
We need to be careful before we enter into any oath/vow and make sure that it is lined up with God’s will.
If we enter into an oath/vow and then realize it was a mistake or that we cannot fulfill our part, we need to come clean and repent before God and the person we might have made a vow to, instead of letting our pride destroy us and hurt others.
Don’t take your spiritual commitment casually. When we say “yes to God” we need to mean “yes”. We never need to put ourself in a position to say to God, “Sorry, Nevertheless!” That is a bridge we never need to cross!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more