Ecclesiastes 5:4 – 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.
“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error.” Hasty words, used in prayer, show the folly in our heart, low thoughts of God and careless thoughts of our own Souls. When a person makes engagements rashly, he suffers his mouth to cause his flesh to sin. “Neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error:” speaks of a man coming to the priest pretending his vow was made rashly, and that it would be wrong to fulfill it. Such mockery of God will bring Divine displeasure. Set God before thee. Fear Him and not man. It is better not to vow in favor of always telling the truth. The emphasis of this passage is on the foolishness of an empty promise made before God. He is not impressed with foolish vows. “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."
Ecclesiastes 5:2 – Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Let not thy tongue speak in haste. It is not enough that what we say comes from the heart; it must come from love. Forget not that between Him and us there is an infinite distance: God is in Heaven while we are on earth and utterly unworthy to receive any favor from Him. Therefore we must be humble, serious, and reverent and choose our words very carefully. Don’t be careless of your Soul.
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.
A vow is a solemn promise often accompanied by earnest prayer asking God for deliverance or blessing. Vows are often uttered in times of crisis but when the crisis has passed and the prayer answered, there is the temptation for a person to forget the vow.
Deuteronomy 23:23 – That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
A vow is not to be made rashly and must be kept. This includes not only vows made to God but also vows made before God such as marriage vows.
Proverbs 20:25 – It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, And after vows to make inquiry.
Our Soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our self. Mercy and Truth are the Glories of God's throne. It is a snare for a man to vow rashly. The vow is a promise made to the Lord. If He answered an earnest request it is our duty to keep our end of the bargain. Sometimes such a vow is made hastily and is not carried out. That does not excuse it.
Judges 11:31 – Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
To his horror his only child was the first to greet him upon his return. This passage shows the seriousness of such a promise not to be made lightly but carried out none the less. Our vows to God should not be looked upon as a favor we desire, but to express our gratitude to Him. What we have solemnly vowed to God, we must perform, though it be difficult and grievous. I end this lesson with the most Sacred Covenant one can make, which is to dedicate one’s self to the service of God.
We will sincerely promise in the presence of God and these witnesses that we will accept this Bible as the Word of God, believe and practice its teachings rightly divided, the New Testament as our rule of faith and practice, government and discipline, and walk in the light to the best of our knowledge and ability.