Profiles in Leadership—Paying Your Vows—April 30, 2017

Vol. 2, No. 18 – 2017Promises

I have made a vow to the Lord and I cannot take it back. Judges 11:35

When is the last time you made a vow? The greatest vow of my life is one I made to God regarding my life to Him. Another vow I made was 54 years ago as I stood with my lovely bride before God, the preacher, and all those attending the wedding. I have kept those vows, and they remain precious (as does my wife) for all those years. The keeping of vows is a sacred duty.

Leaders often make vows before the one(s) they are to be accountable. At times, a leader comes to a place where they do not want to keep a specific vow; it is inconvenient, hard, not the best time, there are few resources, or some other excuse that seems appropriate for their use.

Jephthah trained a hapless group of jobless, uneducated, and ill-fit men for 18 years, developing them to be following leaders and functioning warriors.

Jephthah would not make the list of select leaders today. He was an illegitimate son who was cast out of his home. He is not embittered; he develops into a God-fearing leader. Although he did not seek the eyes of others, there came a delegation from Gilead to enlist him to be their commander against the Ammonite warriors.

He gained a great victory, yet there was a situation. He had made a vow before God–his ultimate authority. The vow?

God, if you would but give me the ability to defeat this evil enemy, when I get back home, I will sacrifice the first person who comes to greet me—I will offer them back to You. Judges 11:30-40

Upon his return home, the first to greet him was his daughter. What do you do with someone, or something you love and discover you have included that person or thing in your vow? A leader keeps their vows, or they are not really a leader. Theologians debate the outcome of this vow as many use eisegeses rather than exegesis–many do not consider the laws of God. God is one who holds to His vows. Principles in God’s Word do not change; our making of a vow demands its fulfillment.

Leaders must take note:

  1. God honors the one who keeps their vows in a day when leaders breaking their vows is the norm
  2. God denounces complacency, while many of today’s leaders practice complacency
  3. God honors those whose lives reflect integrity, while many of today’s leaders forfeit integrity for their own convenience
  4. God honors truth, while many of today’s leaders make up their own truths
  5. God is the authority, while many of today’s leaders attempt to make themselves to be the authority

So when you talk to God and vow to Him that you will do something, do not delay in doing it, for God has no pleasure in fools. Keep your promise to Him. Ecclesiastes 5:4

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