Judges 11:30 & 31
“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, (31) then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”
Jephthah was called upon to save his people from troubles from the people of Ammon. It was then that he made the above vow to the Lord.
Surely, the Lord granted Jephthah, victory. Unfortunately, his daughter was the first to come out of his house to congratulate and celebrate with him. Immediately, Jephthah remembered his vow to the Lord and it devastated him.
“And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.”
‘Mighty’ Jephthah in the end had to sacrifice his only child to the Lord.
Can we genuinely say we posses the kind of trust, loyalty and integrity as Jephthah possessed?
I believe part of been Christ-like is been trustworthy. You can bet with your life that God is a god of His word; what he said he would do, no matter the circumstance or length of time, He will do. This, we must learn.
“…….. For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
Hannah in the Bible, was a great example of a person of trust. She dedicated her only child Samuel, to God as she had vowed. I am sure she loved him dearly and wanted to keep him by her side yet she knew she had to give the child back to God as promised. (1 Samuel 1:11 and versus 26-28).
I remember making a vow to the Lord in 2013. A year later, I had fulfilled less than half of the vow. I was laid back about it, thinking to myself that the Lord understands and I could take a lot of time fulfilling it. I was reading the Bible some time after that and I stumbled on Ecclesiastes 5:4.
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed”.
I was immediately reminded of all the vows I had made to God. Straight away, I put a plan in place to pay.
Most at times when we find ourselves in need/want of something, we get emotional and desperate and start making unrealistic vows to the Lord; most of them we know we won’t fulfil yet we think it would push God to give us whatever we desire quicker.
Again in Ecclesiastes, chapter 5:5 it says, “Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
I believe this too applies to our relationship with others. Do not make promises you know you can’t or won’t fulfil. It is a different story if you have a genuine reason as to why you are unable to fulfil, however, when you clearly can and don’t, you go against who you are called to be in Christ, which is a person of trust.
In marriage, you must fulfil your vows to your spouse, at work you must fulfil your part of the contract (it’s a form of vow to your employer/employee), in ministry you must fulfil your vow to your congregation, in relationship you must fulfil your promises. Of course all these vows/promises must be godly, nothing outside the word of God.
I pray we exercise the trust God has placed in us towards Him and others. It is never easy, ask the Lord to strengthen you to fulfil your vows. You can’t do it on your own.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
I’m praying for you.