Devastating Vow

Friiday February 18, 2011

I have thought about Jephthah the reject judge of Gilead who had a great victory over the Ammonites. But before he claimed victory he made a vow to the Lord before he went into battle in Judges 11:29-40. He vowed that if God would give him victory, he would come home and the first thing that came out of his house would be a sacrifice to the Lord. I don’t know what he was thinking about. Was it going to be a sheep? Or maybe a goat! Or a calf! Not in his wildest imagine did he think it was going to be what came out when he arrived home

Have you ever been a pinch and made a vow to the Lord saying, “If you get me out of this pickle I will _________________(fill in the blank).” After the Lord answers your prayer, do you find yourself backpedaling on what you vowed? In the new testament it says that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no, and don’t vow what you can’t keep.

What is sad in this story is that Jephthah had only one child and when he came home she was the first to come out of the house. She and her father were devastated, and she asked to have two months to mourn what was going to happen. She went up into the mountains with her friends and grieved over her impending death. After the mourning process, she came down from the mountains and her father killed his only daughter and sacrificed her to the Lord, completing his vow. I don’t believe I could have done that. My only child. I have three wonderful children but I couldn’t do that to any of them

I guess the insight I get from this is that God takes us at our word so we need to be careful what we say and what we commit ourselves to. Let your yes be yes and let your no be no. Sometimes this journey is a hard one.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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