Making a vow
Numbers 21:2 says, “Israel made a vow to the LORD…" When is it right to make a vow? Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says, “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— 5) Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.” So, first of all, it’s better to never make a vow if we don’t fully intend on keeping it; we must learn to be people of our word. When you read Numbers 21:3, we see Israel’s vow caused God to listen and act on their behalf. After they made the vow it said, “The LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites…” Remember how Hannah vowed to the LORD in 1 Samuel chapter 1 and He answered her also. I believe in both of these vows (Israel’s & Hannah’s), their vow was a vow to do what they knew God wanted them to do after God answered. If a vow is simply someone trying to “buy” a miracle from God, then it is wrong. A good vow is when you fully commit to do what you believe the LORD would have you do after He answers. Do you believe God wants you to give a certain amount to fund the Gospel or feed the poor? You can vow to give the money when the LORD gives you the means to do it.
Balaam thought he could get God to change his mind after he found how much was to be gained if he went with the men sent from King Balak. He went and verse 22 says, “The Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him.” Even though God’s Angel came as his adversary, he still gave him mercy and a chance to repent by opening the donkey’s eyes to see the Angel and causing the donkey to talk. I think there is a deeper meaning to how God allowed Balaam to see that the LORD was opposed to what he was doing. Instead of just opening Balaam’s eyes at the start, God showed him that He can cause a donkey to do what Balaam does (see into the spirit and speak the oracles of God). If God gives us a gift, it is to be used the way God directs and not for personal gain.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan