Leviticus 27:8: “But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.”

October 9th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This closing chapter of the book of Leviticus deals with a set of instruction about vows. Vows were voluntary acts, resolutions or promises made by a believer to devote himself or his property to God.

We must be careful to not assume from these instructions that somehow we need to make a vow to get something from God. That is not the case. You don’t have to promise God anything in order to get something from Him or to get closer to Him. God is, by His very nature and character, the Giver. He wants to give good things to His children, just as a human father enjoys giving his children good gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Our heavenly Father derives and receives pleasure and joy in giving to us.

Because this is true, Jesus makes it clear in the Sermon on the Mount that a vow is not a wise thing to make. “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matt. 5:37). Jesus is warning against the careless use of oaths in everyday speech. James writes something similar in his letter. “Above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No,’ lest you fall into judgment” (James 5:12). In James’ day some tried to make distinctions between binding oaths and non-binding oaths. In their minds, somehow an oath that did not include the name of God could be considered non-binding. They would use these oaths as a way of crossing their fingers behind their backs when telling a lie.

“LORD, we want to be truth speakers today, so please be a sieve to our minds and mouths. Make us people of integrity, walking close to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”