A Promise or Commandment?

11 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. Psalm 76:11

Ecclesiastes 5:5 tells us this:

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.”

Asaph tells us the exact opposite.

Or does he?

The writer of Ecclesiastes, probably Solomon, just told us to be careful about making a vow and not fulfilling it. It’s very easy to make promises and vows without keeping them. Usually breaking vows is not intentional. Things just happen and sometimes life just crowds out the promises. Or we forget them.

So then why is Asaph telling us to make vows?

2 Chronicles 32:23 provides us with a precedent regarding promises.

Many brought offerings to Jerusalem for the LORD and valuable gifts for Hezekiah king of Judah. From then on he was highly regarded by all the nations.

There seems to be a balance. Make promises but make sure you can keep them.

What kind of promises is he talking about? Well, if we want to affect the “nations,” it will have to be something simple and something that people will notice.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

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