Reneging on a Promise to God

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thyGod will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.” Deut.23:21

In a position of desperation, sometimes some make a plea to the Lord for His help in a matter. They beg, and even promise God that if He remedies a situation they will do, or stop doing, something in return for His intervention. No matter the dire, compelling circumstances, they still vowed to the Lord they would do something.

A frantic mother at the bedside of her deathly ill child may beg God that if He heals her child, she will go to church every Sunday, and bring her children. Distressed on losing his job, a man may promise God that he will quit drinking, if only God would get him work. Anxious from seeing unpaid bills piling up and visions of being homeless, a parent may promise God all kinds of changes, if only He will deliver them from the financial mess they have found themselves in.

Often God does deliver the despairing one from the serious situation. However, the rescued person often goes back on his commitment to the Lord. He reneges on keeping his promise to God.

Such was the situation in Jeremiah’s day. God had the prophet Jeremiah relay a commandment to the Hebrews. The commandment was that they were to release all the Jewish maids and manservants from bondage. They were to be set free (Jer. 34:8-10), and the servants were released from their servitude.

However, as do so many in a similar situation, many changed their minds (Jer. 34:11). They went back on their commitment to the Lord. Those that were freed were again put into bondage.

Their doubled-mindedness, unfortunately cost those the broke their promise to the Lord quite a lot, as He dealt with their disobedience and promise breaking. Enemies attacked them; pestilences plagued them; famine ravished the people; their reputation was tarnished; many lost their lives (Jer. 34:17-22); and there were other punishments. They paid an extremely exorbitant wage for breaking their word to God.

Let this hard lesson Israel learned from the judging hands of God be a wake-up call to you for any promises you have made to Him. The Lord takes our words very seriously. Be honest; be true; keep your word as God expects you to!
“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.” Num. 30:2
“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.” Eccl. 5:45

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