“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to war so that I return safely to my father’s house, hen the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (Genesis 28:20-21)
Beloved a vow or oath is a pledge of faithfulness expressed in specific ways. A covenant originates in God; a vow is a human response of faithfulness to God’s faithfulness. Later, the Law made the taking of a vow entirely voluntary, but if a vow was made, it was binding (Deut. 23:21-23). Regulations for vows are spelled out in Numbers 30.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize not being required to make a vow to God, but if we do, it becomes as binding as a contract. However, should we desire to make a vow to Him, He will accept it in the spirit it is made and expect you to fulfill it! Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Jesus is the Rock and our Rock doesn’t roll!”
“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: ‘If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes ou of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.’” (Judges 11:30-31)
God did hand over the Ammonites to Jephthah and when he returned home, his one and only daughter was the first one to come out of the house to greet him, as was her custom. A vow commits a person to action before God. Jephthah had made a foolish vow and he should have sought God’s forgiveness for his foolish vow rather than compounding the sin by sacrificing his daughter. Two factors underlie this very tragic story of Jephthan and his daughter: the absolute authority of father over daughter and the sanctity of vows. Even though the vow was rashly made, it ha invoked God’s name. Jephthah’s daughter knowingly agreed to her own death. Part of the tragedy of this situation is the essential nobility of the persons involved. Jephthah was committed to the Lord, and his daughter was committed to her father and her God. Sadly their commitment was not joined with moral judgment. So, Jephthah gave his daughter two months to prepare herself, as she would never marry, and then she returned and Jephthah did as he had vowed. So if you desire to make a vow to God, it would be wise to think it through very carefully before you commit yourself to the vow.
“When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, the king summoned Shimei and said to him, ‘Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warn you, on the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die? At that time you said to me, ‘What you say is good. I will obey.’ Why then did you not keep your oath to the Lord and obey the command I gave you?’” (1st Kings 2:41-43)
Solomon had confirmed his intention with an oath. The oath here is a curse against his enemy. It invokes God’s action against the speaker if he does not carry out his announced intention. Solomon followed near eastern practices of vengeance in securing his throne against competition. He saw himself as God’s agent in securing justice and carefully avoided harming the priest. All of this was to secure King Solomon’s throne as his alone, and accomplished by eliminating his enemies, through their own actions; thus, God blessed Solomon’s rights as King.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. ‘I am about to go the way of all the earth,’ he said. ‘So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires. Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go; ‘and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how the live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’” (2nd Kings 2:1-4)
The expected way to live is in the obedience to God. This is the basis for the good life, for receiving God’s promises. God is true to His word; His promises are fulfilled. If His people are faithful to Him, God will bless them. Solomon confirmed his intention with an oath. The oath here is a curse against his enemy. It invokes God’s action against the speaker if he does not carry out his announced intention. Solomon followed near eastern practices of vengeance in serving his through against competition, by allowing his enemies to make an oath of obedience, without their realizing the cost of doing so.