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The Rash Vow

Key Verse

“And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 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” (Judges 11:30,31).

TEXT — Judges 11:29-40


As the wealthy oil tycoon lay on his deathbed, his pastor talked of God’s healing power. “Pastor,” he gasped, “if God heals me, I’ll give the church a million dollars.” Miraculously, the man revived and within few weeks was out of the hospital. One day, several months later, he and the pastor chatted on the sidewalk in front of a hardware store. “You know,” the pastor said, “when you were in the hospital dying, you promised to give the church a million dollars if you got well. We haven’t got it yet.” “Did I say that?” the tycoon asked. “I guess that goes to show how sick I really was!”

In our passage, we are confronted with the story of Jephthah, who vowed that if he defeated the Ammonites, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house to God when he returned home. His daughter, who was his only child, was the one who greeted him on his return. This was highly regrettable to Jephthah, as his only daughter remained unmarried and knew no man till her death.

Today, there are many people who in the heat of emotion or personal challenges have made hasty promises to God, which they later found difficult to fulfil. However, once they get what they want, they forget or pile up excuses why they would not be able to keep their vows.

It is instructive to note that though the vow was difficult for Jephthah, but as a man of integrity, he fulfilled his vow. God is not pleased with us when we make promises and do not keep them. We must not make vows we find difficult to keep (Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastics 5:4). Always be thoughtful and patient before you open your mouth before the Lord. Avoid making rash vows based on emotions.

Thought for the day

Avoid making vows you cannot fulfil.

  • Bible
  • in one year
  • PSALM 68-71 (Read By Alexander Scourby)
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Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
About Author - Pastor W.F. Kumuyi

Listed among “500 most powerful people on the planet” by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2013, Pastor (Dr.) William F. Kumuyi is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. DCLM started in 1973 as a 15-member Bible study group right in Kumuyi’s apartment at University of Lagos where he was a lecturer. His revolutionary Bible teaching on personal holiness and commitment to evangelism soon gained so much traction and resulted in a widespread revival.

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