4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
As I continue studying Ecclesiastes I realize it is a deep well filled with much knowledge. The book reminds me of many of the sayings and proverbs in the Book of Proverbs. Many of the Proverbs were written by the same person who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, a wise man that did not always use the knowledge and wisdom that the Lord had imparted to him. As I wrote, I thought, I am just like Solomon, not filled with much wisdom but I don’t use the wisdom and knowledge God has entrusted to me.
The word vow is mentioned 41 times in 35 verses; only 2 verses in the New Testament contain the word “vow”. In the Hebrew the word vow means “a promise (to God)” taken from another Hebrew word which means “to promise (positively, to do or give something to God)”. The Greek meaning, from the New Testament is “a wish, expressed as a petition to God, or in votive obligation: -prayer, vow.” Basically my conclusion is do not make a promise that you cannot keep. Oh wait a minute that is what God says, if you make a promise make sure you are going to keep it.
There are a few instances in the Bible that talk about vows and the results of keeping the vow. Hannah made a vow to give her son, Samuel, back to the Lord. Samuel as a young child lived in the temple with the priest. His mother visited yearly. The Lord blessed her and gave her more children. (I Samuel 1)
Jephthah made a vow in Judges 11:30-40; the first person who walked through the door he would sacrifice. The sad ending to the vow was his daughter was the one who walked through the door. Judges 11:35 says, “…for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.”Is it any wonder why God tells us to think before we make a vow and when we do we need to keep it?
It boils my blood when I read or hear foolish sayings such as if you do this God will do something for you. God is not in the “game business” or is He someone you make “deals” with. God is a holy God who will keep us to our word.
These verses go along with Ecclesiastes 5:2-3, think before you speak and don’t promise anything you cannot fulfill. This section ends with “fear (to reverence) thou God”. Fearing God is more important than making vows. When we fear or reverence God we will want to obey His word.
Have a blessed day,