Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fulfill Your Vow to Follow JESUS All The Way To The End

Ecclesiastes 5:1-20 NIV

Fulfill Your Vow to GOD

1Guard your steps when you go to The House of GOD. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

2Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything Before GOD.
GOD Is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

3A dream comes when there are many cares,
and many words mark the speech of a fool.

4 When you make a vow to GOD, do not delay to fulfill it. HE Has No Pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 

5It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the Temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why Should GOD Be angry At what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear GOD.

Riches Are Meaningless

8If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

10Whoever loves money never has enough;

whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
11As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?
12The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.

13I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:

wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.

16This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life GOD Has Given them—for this is their lot. 19Moreover, when GOD Gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a Gift of GOD. 20They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because GOD Keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

When you make a vow to GOD, do not delay to fulfill it. HE Has No Pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 


Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.'  "But I Say To you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is The Throne of GOD, or by the earth, for it is The Footstool of His Feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING.” Matthew 5:33-35

We also read in James 5:12;

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear--not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple "Yes" or "No." Otherwise you will be condemned.

What does the Bible say about keeping your vows / oaths?

There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who made and broke vows, especially vows to GOD.

The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah—described as a mighty man of valor—made a rash vow that he would give to The Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When The Lord Granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to The Lord (
Judges 11:29-40). Whether or not Jephthah should have kept this vow is dealt with in another article. What this account shows us is the foolishness of rash vows.

Perhaps this is why JESUS Gave a New Commandment concerning vows. "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to The Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is GOD's Throne; or by the earth, for it is His Footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the City of The Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No ,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (
Matthew 5:33-37).

The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to The Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only GOD Does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (
James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish.

 GOD Is The ONE in control, not us, and HE “Works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His Purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and that it indicates a lack of trust in Him. Finally, JESUS Commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony.

If we have made a vow foolishly and realized we cannot or should not keep it, we should confess it to GOD, knowing that HE Is “Faithful and Just and Will Forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” A broken vow, while serious, is not an unforgivable matter if taken to The Lord in true confession. GOD Will Not Hold us to vows made imprudently, but HE Expects us to obey JESUS and refrain from making vows in the future.

Amen, so be it!

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