As I read my Bible this morning, I came across a passage on the topic of making a promise or vow to God. After reading it, I am positively convinced that no one should ever vow to God. It effectually calls anyone making a vow to God a fool. And it is taken very seriously. Check it out:
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. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error:wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands.
The word "promise" is used in the King James Bible exactly 50 times and each time it's God doing the promising. This got me to thinking, what is the essence of a promise? Why do some people feel so compelled to make promises - whether to God or other people? I think it is a clear indication/acknowledgement of the person's intent to "make" themselves do something that they find very difficult to do or to make up for some past failure.
They feel the need to make their intention "official" and that by promising/vowing/swearing it somehow that will force them to keep their word. These people are often lying to others and to themselves. God's word says to "let your nay be nay and your yea be yea."
The essence of a promise has one crucial element that makes it a foolish and impossible thing to endeavor upon: knowledge of the future.
Who is the only one with knowledge of the future?
That's right. Only God. We can biblically conclude that the only one who is capable of making a promise and keeping it, is God. And any person who makes a promise - especially to God - is being a fool and does not have complete understanding of the seriousness of what he/she does.
The good news is that blood-washed believers have an advocate with the Father in his Son, Jesus Christ. Whenever we have done wrong, we can repent and asks forgiveness. Repentance, by the way, is a change of mind, direction and path, not just "feeling sorry". Repentance is making a 180° turn around. So if a man were walking North heading for a cliff and then repented, he would turn around an walk south.
Our walk with God is lit by the Bible. Reading his words in the Bible is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.