A Vow to God

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Num 30:1-2 NKJV)  Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: {2} “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Observation: This chapter deals with vows taken by men or women, and makes it clear that these vows are made with God and are therefore eternally binding.  There is a difference in the words used in the original Hebrew; “If an individual made a vow (neer, a promise to do something) or a pledge (’is’, a promise not to do something), he must keep it without equivocation (vv. 1-2).[From the BKC].  The SDABC adds:  Not break his word. Literally, “not untie his pledged word,” in the sense of “to loosen,” “to set free from obligation,” “to make lawful,” “to profane.” To refrain from carrying out one’s solemn promises to God is an act of base ingratitude and sinful neglect (Deut. 23:21; Eccl. 5:4; Matt. 5:33). It is better that a man make no vow than to promise and not carry it out (Eccl. 5:2–5).

Application: Nowadays people take promises and vow as light as if they were simply momentary opinions, particularly when it comes to marriage vows.  In order to prevent long divorce procedures and a lot of expenses and hurt feelings, courts have created uncomplicated processes by which people can get a divorce without feeling guilty or responsible for their actions or decisions.  These so-called “no fault” divorces simply claim that neither party is responsible for what happen and it was inevitable that the divorce would take place.  What this has done is to lessen the sense of responsibility and commitment to each other, to the family, and ultimately to God that He intended for marriage and which should take place once a couple makes a vow to each other, and to God, to be united and remain so until death would separate them.
     While we recognize that there are harmful relationships – abusive, neglectful, adulterous – when none of these exists, every effort should be made to not only maintain the relationship intact but to do all in the couple’s power to have a healthy, happy, and thriving relationship, and to eliminate divorce from their vocabulary so that instead of looking for a way out they will look for ways to make of their relationship a better one each day.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, help us to not look for a way out of our marriage but rather for ways to make it better and life-lasting.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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