To Vow or Not to Vow?

in #christian-trail4 years ago (edited)


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"The Value of a Promise is the cost of you keeping your word." ~Brian Tracey~

Anything can be part of a vow, Such as marriage, an agreement or acceptance of a new job, contractual agreements, and even verbal agreements.

In the U.S. there are actually laws that uphold verbal agreements as long as the agreements can be proven via witnesses, video etc..

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "Vow," as:

"A person's solemn declaration that he or she will do or not do something "we need your vow that you won't damage anything while we're gone."
Synonyms oath, pledge, troth, promise, word
Related Words appointment, arrangement, commitment, engagement, obligation; agreement, compact, contract, covenant; assurance, guarantee, guaranty, undertaking; bail, bond, deposit, gage, pawn, security, token, warranty."



Within the scriptures, there were sometimes different things that were involved in agreements or (vows.)



For example when Abraham made an agreement with Abimelech, the agreement, or "covenant," involved a sheep and an oxen.

"And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant."Genesis 21:27

A shoe:

"Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel."Ruth 4:7

And even in asking a promise from his servant, Abraham said:

"And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:"Genesis 24:2


There were also agreements that were made as verbal agreements that had lasting effects. People can forget about certain agreements, but God doesn't forget them.



The agreement that Joshua made with the Amorites, who actually tricked Joshua into agreeing that the Amorite people could dwell among the people of Israel. (These same people were later called the "Gibeonites.") These events took place early on in the land of Israel. Later, when David was King, there was a great famine in Israel, and David had to deal with the situation of King Saul breaking the agreement that was made long before, between the Amorites and Joshua, before David and Saul were even born.

"now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites."2 Samuel 21:2

"They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy."Joshua 9:3-5

"And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us."Joshua 9:6

"And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?"Joshua 9:7

"And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?"Joshua 9:8

" And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, Joshua 9:10 And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Joshua 9:11 Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us."Joshua 9:9-11

I'm going to skip down to the result of the original agreement, as it is written in the same book of Joshua 9. Please read the entire account of what took place.

"And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them."Joshua 9:15

"And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them." Joshua 9:16

And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. Joshua 9:17-18

"But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them."Joshua 9:19

"And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?"Joshua 9:22



When Joshua realized that he had been tricked by these "neighbors," of Israel, and lied to, the agreement still stood. But Joshua made them as servants in Israel.

"Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God."Joshua 9:23

Joshua forgot to do one very important thing. In fact, the most important thing he could have ever done before making the agreement.

"And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD." Joshua 9:14


The Vow that Joshua Made with the Amorites and into the Future during the time that David was King of Israel.


"...now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites."2 Samuel 21:2

"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites."2 Samuel 21:1

"And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)"2 Samuel 21:2

King Saul was dead by this point, and David was now the King of Israel. Because King Saul did not honor the covenant made between Joshua and the Amorites many years before, but Saul slew many of them. David was now faced a great famine in the land of Isreal. When David inquired God as to what brought on this famine, God told him that it was because of what King Saul had done to the Gibeonites.

And God reminded him of the covenant that Joshua had made with the forefathers of the Gibeonites.

David had to atone for this. The account is contained in 2 Samuel Ch. 21.

The point of this study is to show how far reaching our words, and vows can go, and how serious they can be.

God is a God of His word, and He most certainly expects us to be true to our word as well.

October 4 - 2017