When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. . . Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. Ecclesiastes 5: 4 – 5, 7
Have you ever made a promise to God in a moment of uncertainty, fear, or danger? Or was it made during a moment of deep desire for something or out of deep gratitude? Did you say to yourself or even out loud, “Dear God, if you’ll do this one thing, I promise I will do such and such.”
We might promise to be faithful, to go to church, to serve Him with our lives, or to be a better husband, wife, parent, daughter, or son. We’ve all probably said these words at one time or another in our lives, but amazingly, we don’t have to promise God anything in order to receive a blessing from Him. He gives His abundant goodness out of His abiding love for us.
This verse from Ecclesiastes is filled with much wisdom as it reminds us that our words can be so meaningless and foolish when we make promises to God in our weakest moments and then forget we made them, or we make them when we really had no intentions of fulfilling them.
But if we do make such promises, He expects us to mean them and to keep them – not just for those moments, but throughout our day to day living. We are also reminded that if we have no plans of following through, we shouldn’t make them at all. God takes our promises to Him very seriously and we should never make one causally or lightly.
When individuals join a church, when couples exchange marriage vows, or when parents vow to raise their children in a Christian home, these are solemn promises to God that we should feel committed to keep. Any vow we make to Him or to anyone else should be taken with the same spirit. Fulfilling a promise is a matter of integrity and honor. Failing to do so is a sign of insincerity and disrespect to God.
God keeps His promises to us and He expects us to do the same. There were many covenants God made with His people in the Old Testament, but with the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the old went to the wayside and the new appeared. With the gift of His Son, there was no need for the legality of laws for righteous living. We had a Savior who could give us eternal life for believing in Him. There were far greater blessings in the new covenant, and we can choose to either accept or reject them.
God in His infinite wisdom has made a promise to us – an eternal covenant through which we can forever live in His presence, He will be our God, and we will be His people trusting in His love and grace. May we stand in awe of His greatness, His power, His glory, and His love for us. What a promise for all eternity!
Our most gracious and loving God, we are so grateful for your love, the promises you have made to us, and the many blessings of life. May we be faithful in our vows to you as you have been to us, but when we’re not, we thank you for your loving grace to cover us. Amen