Jan 28, 2024

Vows, commitments, even your very word, is it even worth the paper it is written on, or is it vain useless hot air?  Do we live and breath the Gospel, are we of value or worthless, in words, deeds and being?  2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”    Quote; “At times peace offerings were vow offerings.  For one reason or another, perhaps because of some special blessing, expected or desired, an offerer would make a vow to the Lord.  He might vow himself to the Lord, or his wife, or children, or cattle, house, or lands.  (Leviticus 27) In this way Samuel was vowed to the Lord (1 Sam 1:11) In the case of persons, a vow could ordinarily be, redeemed or bought back, at a fixed valuation, adjusted by the priest in case of the very poor.  (Lev 27:1-8) If the vow concerned one of the beasts suitable for sacrifice, it could not be redeemed.  If a man attempted to exchange it for another beast, both beasts were offered. (Verse 9, 10.) In case of an unclean beast, (not being from the family of sheep, goats or cows; like a donkey, a horse or a deer) the priest was to evaluate it.  It could be redeemed by adding one-fifth to the estimated value, (verse 11-13.)

It was a clearly stated principle that nothing already belonging to God could be vowed.  Under this rule were the first-born (verses 26,27); anything devoted to God (verses 28,29); the tithe (verses 30-34).  There are some who do not consider vows with favour.  Yet God provides for vows.  While it is better not to vow than to vow and not pay (Eccl 5:5), at times vows are in order and acceptable to God.  “If thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.” (Deut 23:22); but if a man makes a vow, he shall “not slack to pay it” (verse 21).  The making of a vow is optional.  A man may or may not make a vow, but if he make one “he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” Num 30:2.

 The chief point is this, that a man is to keep that which he has promised.  He must “not break his word.”  He must not even be “slack” in fulfilling his vow.  When the proper time comes, he must pay.  God expects this.  God wants His people to be honest and dependable.  He wants them to keep their promises.  No man is fulfilling his Christian duties if he is undependable in business dealings.  No man can break his word and retain God’s favour.  No man can “forget” to pay his bills, or even be slack concerning them, and be counted honest in the sight of heaven.  A Christian, above all people, must be a man of his word.  He must not only be upright; he must be prompt.

This is an age in which many consider their word as of little weight, and have small respect for their promises.  While this may be expected of the world, there can be no excuse for any who bear the name of Christ to repudiate their promise.  Yet how many unpaid pledges there are, how many broken vows!  The marriage vow is broken; the baptismal vow is broken; the ordination vow is broken.  Covenants are repudiated, agreements violated, pledges forgotten.  Breaking of faith is common, disregard of responsibility almost universal.  Christ himself wondered whether He should find faith on the earth when he returned at the last day. (Luke 18:8).

In the midst of all this confusion there must be, there will be, a people upon whom God can depend, in whose mouth is found no guile, who are true to their word.  The question asked in Psalm 15 is also answered there.  The question: “Lord who shall abide in thy Tabernacle?  Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”  The answer: “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but honoureth them that fear the Lord.   He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.  He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”

One of the conditions here mentioned of abiding in the tabernacle of God is that of swearing “to his own hurt” and not changing.  A man may agree to sell or to buy some property, and after the agreement is made, receive a more favorable offer.  Will he stand by his bargain even at a loss to himself?  He will if he is a Christian.  Regard for one’s word is a crying need.  Nations need it, lest their agreements become meaningless.  Businesses needs it, lest confusion and disaster result.  Individuals needs it, lest faith perish from the earth.  Above all, Christians need it, lest men lose their vision and hope, and despair grip mankind. This is the supreme hour and opportunity of the church.  The world is due a demonstration and there is a people who remain faithful in a faithless generation; who have no respect for their own word as well as for God’s; but who are true to the faith once delivered to the saints.  The manifestation of the sons of God is overdue. (Rom 8:19) This revelation of the sons of God is not only “the earnest expectation of the creature,” but “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” for it. Verse 22.  And this manifestation will reveal a people who have the seal of God’s approval.  They keep the commandments.  They have the faith of Jesus.  Their word is yea, yea, and nay, nay.  They are without fault, even before the throne of God. (Rev 14:12, 5; James 5:12)” {The Sanctuary Service – M.L Andreasen P119-122} Quote; “The greatest want of the world is the want of men, –men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. {CM 54} Is your word trustworthy or is it faulty and deceptive?  Let our word be sure, pure and true, and our vows worthy, and we fulfill that which we promise to perform in a timely manner, every time, then is your vow to serve God still valid and still pure and true? Matthew 5:37 “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”