And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, if You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering. So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them and the Lord delivered them into his hands. And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith – twenty cities – and to Abel Keramin, with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing and she was his only child. Besides her, he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes and said, alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low. You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord and I cannot go back on it – Judges 11 : 30 – 35.
When Jephthah was making his vow, he thought that the task was very difficult for God to do. He thought that the battle was his. He forgot to remember the he was leaving with his family because he focus on the problem instead of focusing on God. How many times do we make vows a year and how many do we fulfill? How many times do we do like Jephthah – focusing on the problem instead of focusing on the Redeemer who is ever ready to redeem us from any circumstance that confront us.
Friends, there is no obligation to make vow but there is obligation to pay your vow. ”Better not to vow than to vow and not pay” – Ecclesiastes 5 : 5. It is not bad to make vow but what is bad is not being able to fulfill it so, be careful in making vows.
Father, may Your name be exalted. Help us to focus on You instead of focusing on the size of our problems that will make us to make a vow which at last we will not be able to pay in the name of Jesus Christ.