God Will Bless the Promises You Keep
by Marilyn Hickey
Sometimes when we’re in trouble we try to petition God’s help by making a vow, saying, “Lord, if You just get me out of this mess, I’ll read the entire Bible, or fast every Wednesday, or make a special offering of money!”
Have you ever wondered whether it is scriptural to “bargain” with God in this way? Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about vows.
Vows Are Promises…
Often, people vow they will do something to please God–especially when faced with a serious problem. In I Samuel 1, a woman named Hannah made a vow when she was in distress. Her husband had a second wife who had borne children, while Hannah had not. Yearning for a child, she made a vow to the Lord: if God would give her a son, she would commit her son’s life to God. As a result, God gave her Samuel.
Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him up to the Tabernacle and gave him to the Lord as she had vowed, even though it must have been very hard to part with her only child. Samuel became a priest and a prophet, and ultimately, one of the mightiest men of God. Because she had kept her vow, God blessed Hannah–not only with Samuel’s success, but with five other children! God is pleased to grant blessings in exchange for a vow–as long as you remain faithful to what you promise.
Vows Are Serious Commitments
When we make a vow to the Lord, it is a commitment–a consecration. When you make a promise to God, He expects you to keep it. “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. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5).
If you vowed that you’d read through the Bible–do it. If you promised you’d fast and pray, or give some money–do it. We cannot play around with something as serious as a commitment made to God. If you make a promise and it turns out to be inconvenient, you must still keep that vow–you promised it to the Lord. God holds us accountable for what we say and do. He blesses us when we obey. Even if we feel pain or discomfort while fulfilling our vow, it is certain that God will eventually bless us abundantly if we remain faithful and committed.
A rash vow is one made without forethought, and without a serious resolve to fulfill it. This sort of vow should never be made. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira made a rash vow to sell a certain piece of property and give all the money to the church.
Afterwards, they thought, “God surely wouldn’t expect us to give all that money away!” They gave only a portion of what they vowed they would give, and lied to the Lord about it. They should have kept their vow, no matter what it cost them. God would have blessed them, had they been faithful to their commitment; instead, they died immediately.
Jesus Kept His Vow
When you vow to do something–do it! Let Jesus be your example. He made a vow to go the Cross for you. Imagine how tempted He must have been to go back on that promise! He wept in the garden and asked the Father to let the cup pass from Him (Matthew 26:39). He didn’t go back on His commitment. Because of His faithfulness, we have inherited everlasting life.
God is always available to help you through. All He asks in return is your faithfulness. If you seek God’s help and make a promise in return–honor that promise. God states His law concerning this matter very clearly in Numbers 30:2: “If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”
God’s Word is good. Make sure your word is good in return–and God will bless you abundantly