Spirituality

Published on November 18th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Extreme Vows

Dr. Jed Snyder

There are what one may call “extreme vows.” Some of these are very helpful and some are very dangerous. Is there a time when an extreme vow should be set aside? Perhaps we can think for a few seconds about wedding vows. When a man and a woman express their forever love in the vows that often end in “until death do us part,” these wedding vows are “extreme vows.” Such vows are only to be broken at death although there does seem to be a permission to break them if adultery becomes a problem. But standing before God and human witnesses, vows are extreme.

In the Bible in the book of Judges (chapter 11-12) a good, strong judge named Jephthah lead Israel in some military victories. He was blessed by God, the Holy Spirit. His beginning was in auspicious as the son of a prostitute, but he overcame this poor beginning showing us that we are not necessarily destroyed by poor beginnings. However, this judge made one “extreme vow”. He said that when he returned home that the first thing that came out of the door of his house would be sacrificed as a burnt offering to God. (One imagines that he thought a sheep would come out to greet him.) Unfortunately, his only child, a daughter came out of his house to greet her triumphant father. This was one “extreme vow” that he should have broken, even though it was a vow to God. He would have been forgiven and not lived out the rest of his life in anguish.

So, two quick final thoughts. Be very careful what you vow! When a vow shows disobedience to God, break the vow, ask forgiveness and renew your relationship to God.

Happy considering carefully such vows as weddings, contracts, treaties. Be sure to make good vows that must be kept.


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