“Perhaps the Most Foolish Vow Ever”
Now that is a rather bold statement. There have been many vows made since creation, perhaps you have made many vows. Well, what vow could be so foolish?
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30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.
33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.
34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her, he had neither son nor daughter.
35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched because I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”
36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.
37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”
38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.
39 After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
Now, do you see what I meant? If you read before the vow was made, the Lord God told that he would win his battles. The Lord God did not ask Jephthah to make a vow.
The vow might have sounded cool, it might have made Jephthah seem tough. But why in the world would you make a vow to kill whoever came out of his house? The daughter’s attitude is humbling. Like Isaac was ready to allow his father to sacrifice him, the daughter did not put up a fuss.
But, oh what a waste of life. When we are tempted to spout off and say something foolish, remember scripture says we will answer for every idle word we utter. The Lord God doesn’t want us to swear oaths or make foolish vows. He simply wants us to follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.