Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Numbers, Chapters 28-30 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Numbers 30: 1-2: … [Taking Vows Seriously] … 1 Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: "This is what the Lord commands: 2 When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. …”
Deuteronomy 23: 21 – 23 … 21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.
Ecclesiastes 5: 1 – 7 … 1 Guard 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. 2 Do 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. 3 A 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. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do 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? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Matthew 5: 33-37 … [Jesus speaking] … 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
James 5: 12 … 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.
My Journal for Today: Today in my chronological trek through the Bible, I was led to read/study/meditate in Numbers, Chapters 28-30; and there’s a lot in these chapters about the methods of offering and corporate worship of God; but when I got to Chapter 30, Moses’ discussion concerning vows jumped out at me for my blogging this morning. And so I did my own personal cross reference study today; and I have taken the liberty to copy/paste some passages from the Old and New Testament writings which forcefully - and clearly - discuss the seriousness of making and keeping vows.
And because just reading/meditating on those passages above is so clear, and being the very word of God, there is little that I can add to what God so repetitively and forcefully teaches from His truth. So, I’m not going to add very much to what you can read and glean above from God’s word. And I hope that we remember that when God says the same thing over and over again, especially through many of His authors, and most especially from God, The Son, we should pay attention – BIG TIME!
I WILL say, though, that I would bet you agree that we, in our post-modern culture, don’t take the making and keeping of vows all that seriously. How often are marriage vows made and broken these days? How often do we “Christians” make bargains with God and then when we’re blessed by God’s mercy, we forget and break our part of the bargain? How often do we sign contracts, which are legal as well as spiritual vows, and we hedge or break the contract?
Well, if God’s word above speaks as loudly to you as it did to me today, what more could Bill Berry add that would help us keep our word more reliably and vigilantly than we do? So … let God’s word on keeping our word be His directive to us this day.
My Prayer Today: … And, Lord, I pray that my “yes” will be ‘yes’ and my “no” will be ‘no,’ … always keeping my promises to You and to others. Amen