Showing posts with label vows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vows. Show all posts

17 March 2020

A Few Thoughts About Vows

B1 English
C1 a solemn oath, commitment, or undertaking that binds one to a particular act, service, or condition. (Source)
C2 A set of solemn promises committing one to a prescribed role, calling, or course of action, typically to marriage or a monastic career. (Source)
B2 Hebrew
C1 Example: Genesis 28:20 NAS Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,
C2 1 Samuel 1:11 GW She made this vow, "LORD of Armies, if you will look at my misery, remember me, and give me a boy, then I will give him to you for as long as he lives. A razor will never be used on his head."

A vow should be for a set time, say a week or a month.
A vow should be for a set circumstance, say asking for wisdom.
A vow should include a sacrifice, say a sum of money (an offering) or some community good deed (the community could be the congregation or civil care).
A vow should include prayer, Bible reading and study, etc.
An answered vow should see God being praised and the prescribed offering completed as soon as possible. (See Psalm 22:25).
An answered vow should give praise and thankfulness to God. (See Psalm 50:14)
A public vow should give a public praise and thankfulness to God publicly.
An unanswered vow should also cause praise and thankfulness to God for NOT allowing it.
An unanswered vow should be understood that the answer is no. If a person vowed to God for wisdom about a certain job, and the job did not come into being, then we shouldn’t try to force obtaining that job.
A vow can be private (only known to God and me), small group (known to God, family, or a few friends, and me), or public (known to a large group of people).

It is better not to vow, and not keep the agreement:
B1 Proverbs 20:25 GW It is a trap for a person to say impulsively, "This is a holy offering!" and later to have second thoughts about those vows.
B2 Ecclesiastes 5:4 BSB When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it, because He takes no pleasure in fools. Fulfill your vow.
B3 Ecclesiastes 5:5 BSB It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
B4 Ecclesiastes 5:6 BSB Do not let your mouth cause your body to sin, and do not tell the messenger that your vow was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands?

Other verses and comment
B1 Matthew 5:33-34 BSB Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
Adam Clarke comments on this verse:
Thou shalt not forswear thyself] They dishonour the great God, and break this commandment, who use frequent oaths and imprecations, even in reference to things that are true; and those who make vows and promises, which they either cannot perform, or do not design to fulfil, are not less criminal. Swearing in civil matters is become so frequent, that the dread and obligation of an oath are utterly lost in it. In certain places, where oaths are frequently administered, people have been known to kiss their thumb or pen, instead of the book, thinking thereby to avoid the sin of perjury; but this is a shocking imposition on their own souls. See Clarke on De 4:26; "De 6:13".

Perform unto the Lord thine oaths] The morality of the Jews on this point was truly execrable: they maintained, that a man might swear with his lips, and annul it in the same moment in his heart. Rab. Akiba is quoted as an example of this kind of swearing.
B2 Jephthah:
C1 Judges 11:30-31 GW Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, "If you will really hand Ammon over to me, 31 then whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return safely from Ammon will belong to the LORD. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.
C2 Judges 11:39-40 GW At the end of those two months she came back to her father. He did to her what he had vowed, and she never had a husband. So the custom began in Israel 40 that for four days every year the girls in Israel would go out to sing the praises of the daughter of Jephthah, the man from Gilead.
Adam Clarke comments (go to the passage and read it all as it is very interesting):
Verse 40. To lament the daughter of Jephthah] I am satisfied
that this is not a correct translation of the original lethannoth lebath yiphtach. Houbigant translates the whole verse thus: Sed iste mos apud Israel invaluit, ut virgines Israel, temporibus diversis, irent ad filiam Jepthe-ut eam quotannis dies quatuor consolarentur; "But this custom prevailed in Israel that the virgins of Israel went at different times, four days in the year, to the daughter of Jephthah, that they might comfort her." This verse also gives evidence that the daughter of Jephthah was not sacrificed: nor does it appear that the custom or statute referred to here lasted after the death of Jephthah's daughter.

THE following is Dr. Hales' exposition of Jephthah's vow:
"When Jephthah went forth to battle against the Ammonites, he vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, 'If thou wilt surely give the children of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall either be the Lord's, or I will offer it up (for) a burnt-offering,' Jud 11:30, 31.

According to this rendering of the two conjunctions, vau in the last clause 'either,' 'or,' (which is justified by the Hebrew idiom thus, 'He that curseth his father and his mother,' Ex 21:17, is necessarily rendered disjunctively, 'His father or his mother,' by the Septuagint, Vulgate, Chaldee, and English, confirmed by Mt 15:4, the paucity of connecting particles in that language making it necessary that this conjunction should often be understood disjunctively,) the vow consisted of two parts: 1. That what person soever met him should be the Lord's or be dedicated to his service; and, 2. That what beast soever met him, if clean, should be offered up for a burnt-offering unto the Lord.

"This rendering and this interpretation is warranted by the Levitical law about vows.

"The neder, or vow, in general, included either persons, beasts, or things dedicated to the Lord for pious uses; which, if it was a simple vow, was redeemable at certain prices, if the person repented of his vow, and wished to commute it for money, according to the age or sex of the person, Le 27:1-8: this was a wise regulation to remedy rash vows. But if the vow was accompanied with cherem, devotement, it was irredeemable, as in the following case, Le 27:28.

"Notwithstanding, no devotement which a man shall devote unto the Lord, (either) of man, or beast, or of land of his own property, shall be sold or redeemed. Every thing devoted is most holy to the Lord.

"Here the three vaus in the original should necessarily be rendered disjunctively, or as the last actually is in our translation, because there are three distinct subjects of devotement to be applied to distinct uses, the man to be dedicated to the service of the Lord, as Samuel by his mother Hannah, 1Sa 1:11; the cattle, if clean, such as oxen, sheep, goats, turtle-doves, or pigeons, to be sacrificed; and if unclean, as camels, horses, asses, to be employed for carrying burdens in the service of the tabernacle or temple; and the lands, to be sacred property.

"This law therefore expressly applied in its first branch to Jephthah's case, who had devoted his daughter to the Lord, or opened his mouth to the Lord, and therefore could not go back, as he declared in his grief at seeing his daughter and only child coming to meet him with timbrels and dances: she was, therefore necessarily devoted, but with her own consent to perpetual virginity in the service of the tabernacle, Jud 11:36, 37; and such service was customary, for in the division of the spoils taken in the first Midianitish war, of the whole number of captive virgins the Lord's tribute was thirty-two persons, Nu 31:15-40. This instance appears to be decisive of the nature of her devotement.

"Her father's extreme grief on the occasion and her requisition of a respite for two months to bewail her virginity, are both perfectly natural. Having no other issue, he could only look forward to the extinction of his name or family; and a state of celibacy, which is reproachful among women everywhere, was peculiarly so among the Israelites, and was therefore no ordinary sacrifice on her part; who, though she generously gave up, could not but regret the loss of, becoming 'a mother in Israel.' And he did with her according to his vow which he had vowed, and she knew no man, or remained a virgin, all her life, Jud 11:34-39.

26 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 5:7-12

C2 The Christian life—Suffering James 5:7-12
D1 Believers Should Be Patient in Suffering James 5:7-9
D2 Believers Should Know About Those Who Have Suffered Before Us James 5:10-11
D3 Believers Should Know That Yes and No Are Better Than Oaths James 5:12

James 5:7-12 WEL Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the Lord comes. Look how the farmer waits for the valuable yield from the land and waits for a long time for the early and later rains. 8 Likewise be patient and steady your hearts, for the Lord’s coming draws near. 9 Do not complain about one another, brothers, lest you be condemned. Look! The judge stands at the doors. 10 My brothers, let the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord be your example of suffering affliction and of patience. 11 Look, we consider them happy who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and have seen the Lord’s conclusion [to it], because the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brothers, do not take a vow, not by heaven, nor by the earth, or anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no, lest you fall into hypocrisy.

Another list from James regarding how to live our Christian life.
  • The Greek word for patience is μακροθυμέω makrothyméō. It means to persevere patiently and bravely (Thayer’s).
  • Patience towards God to intervene in suffering. He wants all to repent.
  • Luke 18:7 NIV And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
  • 2 Peter 3:8-9 CSB Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
  • This patience is a character and action of love: 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
  • Abraham waited for many years: Hebrews 6:15 NIV And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
  • We need patience, too, in this world of evils. God gives grace. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 GW I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 But he told me: My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. 10 Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong.
Lord’s coming=
  • What is this coming?
  • Various opinions
  • This is His coming for Christians, that is, the Rapture.
  • To destroy Israel and the Temple, Israel, and the Jews that existed in James time. Then Jesus would begin His reign.
  • But why would James want the Temple and Israel destroyed? There is no indication that he wanted such a thing. He wanted his people, his kinsmen, to repent.
  • The people that James wrote to want deliverance from evil. The Jews aren’t the only ones who are evil. All people are evil.
  • Some resources.
  • Major Rapture Terms and Passages (pdf)
  • Waiting for the Blessed Hope (pdf)
  • We need to stop complaining.
  • Judgment is coming.
  • James 5:9 GW Brothers and sisters, stop complaining about each other, or you will be condemned. Realize that the judge is standing at the door.
  • So, we want to warn people.
  • Romans 2:7-8 GW He will give everlasting life to those who search for glory, honor, and immortality by persisting in doing what is good. But he will bring 8 anger and fury on those who, in selfish pride, refuse to believe the truth and who follow what is wrong.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 NKJV For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
  • Personally, I understand this as a warning to those who do not believe that judgment is coming.
  • But many others understand the warning to be to Christians that we must live a life pleasing to God, because we Christians will be judged.
  • Doesn’t make much difference though, we must persuade Christians to live a life pleasing to God, and we must persuade non-Christians to believe. Judgment is going to happen but there is a different judgment for the believer and the unbeliever.
In verse 10, James gives examples of those who suffer and are patient (longsuffering)
  • We are to patiently endure testing and temptation: James 1:12 NLT God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
  • The Lord Jesus is our example: Hebrews 12:2 NIV fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Again, it is God’s grace that we can endure, but we also need each other to comfort and pray for each other.
  • The Hebrew words are נָדַר nâdar (verb) and נֶדֶר neder (noun). They mean to do or give something, and is a promise to God. It is understood to be voluntary and of a free will. Here is an example: Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 CSB When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because he does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it.
  • Making a vow is very serious and should be a rare occurrence.
  • Our yes and no should be sufficient.
  • If a vow is necessary for someone to believe, it might mean that we appear to not be totally honest.
  • God honors truth. He does not lie; He cannot lie.
  • What James is teaching is a reflection of the Lord Jesus who said, Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord. "But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; "or by the earth, because it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. "Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. "But let your “yes” mean “yes” and your “no” mean “no;” Anything more than this is from the evil one.“ (Matthew 5:33-37 CSB)
  • What is patience?
  • Is there a difference between a Christian and non-Christian’s patience?
  • Why are we to persuade others?
  • Why is making a vow to be a rather rare occurrence?

20 September 2017

When God Makes You Wait

Theme: Dedicated to serve

Scriptures: 1 Samuel 1:1-28

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson Book)
Know: Hannah, who had been unable to have children for years, promised God that if He would give her a son, she would give him to serve the Lord all his life.
Think: Rest in the assurance that God’s timing is perfect.
Do: Take my needs and requests to the Lord, knowing He will accomplish His will in His perfect timing.

Notes and questions:
B1 The home place (Ramathaim Zophim).
C1 Various authorities have suggested the different locations.
C2 Map of Ramah and area.
B2 1 Samuel 1:1-8, The Setting,
C1 1 Chronicles 6:16-30, traces Samuel’s ancestors to Levi. Samuel was a descendant of Levi and the priestly clan of Kohath.
C2 Hannah probably was the first wife. Since she had no children, Elkanah married Peninnah, who did have children. He married Peninnah, in order to have children.
C3 Shiloh was the main center of Israel’s worship during the period of the Judges.
C4 Hophni and Phinehas
D1 Sons of the prophet-priest Eli (1 Samuel 1:3)
D2 Evil (1 Samuel 2:12-17)
D3 Dishonored the office of priest (1 Samuel 2:12-17)
D4 Were cursed by God (1 Samuel 2:27-34)
D5 Died before their time (1 Samuel 4:11)
D6 An example and warning to false pastors today
C4 Hannah and Peninnah
D1 What are some similarities?
D2 What are some differences?
D3 Why did Hannah get a double portion of the food?
D4 Did Elkanah love Peninnah?
D5 Why did Peninnah provoke Hannah to anger?
C5 Was Elkanah’s comfort to Hannah good comfort?
C6 Why would the Lord prevent Hannah from having children? This caused her a lot of distress and sorrow.
B2 1 Samuel 1:9-18, Hannah’s Prayer,
C1 After the feast, Eli sat in his chair to give counsel and make decisions for the people. Eli was High Priest. A few of the responsibilities of the High Priest are
D1 Offer sacrifices Leviticus 1:4-17
D2 Bless the people Deuteronomy 21:5
D3 Teach the people God's law Deuteronomy 31:9-13
D4 Give decisions Deuteronomy 17:8-13
D5 Be the administrer in the Temple Numbers 4:19
D6 Special duties on the Day of Atonement Leviticus 16
D7 Be judge Deuteronomy 17:8-13
C2 Bitter has the idea that life has been a disgusting taste in her mouth, so sorrow, pain, unpleasantness, etc. What are some of the reasons Hannah is so bitter? What can we learn about Hannah’s bitterness? What way did Hannah deal with her bitterness? How do we deal with bitterness?
C3 Hannah made a vow.
D1 What was her vow?
D2 Some things about vows?
E1 It is a solemn promise with God as the witness.
E2 It is limited by time.
E3 It is agreed to give or do something if prayer is answered. (Psalm 76:11)
E4 It is a very serious error to NOT do your part of the vow. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6)
D3 Another example of a vow: (Genesis 28:20-22 (NKJV) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, “so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. “And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
D4 Consider:
E1 (Proverbs 20:25 (NKJV) [It is] a snare for a man to devote rashly [something as] holy, And afterward to reconsider [his] vows.
E2 (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 (NKJV) When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For [He has] no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed– Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger [of God] that it [was] an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
E3 (Psalms 116:16-19 (NKJV) O LORD, truly I [am] Your servant; I [am] Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people, In the courts of the LORD’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
D5 Did Eli handle the following situation wisely? 1 Samuel 1:13-14 NRSV  Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk.  (14)  So Eli said to her, "How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine." How could he have handled it better?
D6 1 Samuel 1:16 shows that Hannah’s bitterness was not anger; it was sadness.
D7 1 Samuel 1:20, Hannah had waited a long time, but after Eli’s blessing, she was no longer sad and waited for answered prayer.
D8 Some things about waiting patiently.
E1 It is character building: Romans 5:3-4 (WEL) And not only [that] but we rejoice in distress knowing also that distress brings about patience. (4) And patience [brings about] proven character, and proven character, hope.
E2 God gives grace to endure. From this grace, we get patience and strength to endure. As a result, we give joyful thanks to God. Colossians 1:11-12 NRSV  May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully  (12)  giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
E3 It is something we must pursue. 1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
D9 How are we to act towards those who want children but cannot?
D10 Nazarite
E1 Laws are found in Numbers 6
E2 Was voluntary
E3 Could be a man or a woman (Numbers 6:2)
E4 Was a vow of special holiness and separation to God
E5 The vow dedicates themselves to serving the Lord. (Numbers 6:2)
E6 Cannot eat or drink wine, strong drink, vinegar, no anything from grapes as grape juice, raisins, grape skins, grape seeds, etc.
E7 Cannot cut the hair growing on their head
E8 Cannot come near to anyone who is dead, not even for father or mother. If they do, even if accidentally, they must offer a special offering and start over.
E9 Had to shave his/her head and offer a special offering to God after the time promised is fulfilled
B3 1 Samuel 1:19-20, Prayer Answered,
C1 How many blessings can you name from God’s answering Hannah’s prayer?
C2 What does the name Samuel mean? (Essentially, it means God heard me, that is, answered my prayer).
C3 Psalms 116:1-2 NKJV  I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.  (2)  Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
B4 1 Samuel 1:21-28, Vow Kept,
C1 In 1 Samuel 1:21, who also had a vow?
C2 It’s been mentioned in a number of commentaries that weaning meant until the child could potty, dress, feed himself, etc., so Samuel might have been approximately 5 years old.
C3 Why 3 bulls for an offering? John Wesley writes: Three bullocks - One for a burnt - offering, the second for a sin - offering, and the third for a peace offering; all these sorts being expedient for this work and time. Flour - For the meal - offerings belonging to the principal sacrifices, which to each bullock were three tenth - deals, or three tenth parts of an ephah, and so nine parts of the ephah were spent, and the tenth part was given to the priest. Wine - For drink - offerings.
C4 Would Hannah been tempted to not give Samuel to the Lord? What about Elkanah?
C5 1 Samuel 1:27-28 NKJV  For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.  (28)  Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD." So they worshiped the LORD there.
D1 The words asked of and lent are the same words in Hebrew.
D2 This has been variously translated as given, lent, lend, asked of, dedicated, and let.
D3 The idea is that Samuel was asked for and that the asked for is given to the Lord.
D4 How can we apply this to ourselves and our children?
C6 The he in 1 Samuel 1:28 is Elkanah. While Elkanah worshipped, Hanna sang her song that is in 1 Samuel 2.
B5 Read Psalm 13 for comfort in troubles and seemingly unanswered prayer.
B6 Next week:
C1 Enoch, The Man Who Was Nowhere To Be Found
C2 Theme: Integrity in Friendship with God.
C3 Scriptures:
  • Genesis 5:1-24
  • Psalm 26:1-2
  • Proverbs 20:7
  • Luke 3:37
  • Hebrews 11:5-6
  • Jude 1:14-15