The Keeping of Vows (1/1/2023)
“Better not to vow than to vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).
God has always demanded integrity from His people; and the keeping of vows is no exception. While the New Testament more often uses words like “keeping promises” and “telling the truth,” the Old Testament is replete with teaching about the making and keeping of vows.
The preacher, in this verse, says it more succinctly than any of the other writers: when we make a vow to God, we must intend to keep it or we should not make it at all. To “pay” means we have every intention of doing whatever it is we are promising.
Vows include any promise we make to God or before God: for example, obeying the gospel (this vow means we intend to be faithful to Him for the rest of our lives) or taking our marriage vows (this one means we commit ourselves to our spouse for the rest of our lives).
If we fail to keep any promise to anyone, we have violated our relationship with God; and we stand in need of His forgiveness. As we begin another new year, it is well that we think seriously about the resolutions we make—these resolutions are vows for which we are responsible.