“But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
Desperation can cause people to do many things, including making promises they have not thought through completely. That apparently is not the case with Jonah as he speaks to God here.
Jonah is desperate, but his later actions show he is also serious. He keeps his promise to God and goes straight to Nineveh after being regurgitated from the belly of the big fish.
The keeping of vows has been part of every relationship with God since the beginning of time. He has always demanded that those with whom he communicates do precisely what they promise to do or what He tells them to do.
God has shown through teaching in the New Testament that He has not changed: a vow is a vow, a promise is a promise, a commitment is a commitment. When we obey the gospel, our promise to God is that we will serve faithfully and completely—as well as unendingly.
And why would we not? Jonah states it so well: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Our eternal destiny rests totally in the hands of God, and He has been specific in laying out the terms of that destiny. As we begin another new year, may we remind ourselves that if we keep our vow to Him, He will provide the promised reward.