Summary: For vows every Christian ought to make and keep; Preached Dec. 31st 2006, for New Years service.
(Psalm 76:1-12) "Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared."
In 701 BC God gave Judah a great victory over the Assyrians.
JUDAH WAS A SMALL NATION, ALMOST COMPLETELY IN BONDAGE TO ITS NEIGHBORS...
Assyria was a mighty nation.
Having defeated the most powerful nations in the Middle East, the Assyrians had become the fear of the region.
SENNACHERIB, THE ASSYRIAN KING DEMANDED 300 TALENTS OF SILVER FROM JUDAH.
Hezekiah, King of Judah took all the gold and silver from the temple and from the palace to give to the Assyrian king.
Assyria sent her great general Rabshaken, with their mighty army who camped outside Jerusalem.
> Rabshaken rebuked Judah by saying can you turn to for help?
> Egypt and other nations will not help you.
> YOU CAN’T EVEN CALL ON YOUR GOD, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT SERVED HIM.
Assyria was rebuking not only Judah, the Lord God Jehovah.
> Hezekiah, turned to the Lord and confessed his and the sins of Judah, and asked God for help.
The Lord responded, that they were not to fear the ungodly Assyrians.
> That He would deliver them!
During the night God killed 185,000 Assyrians.
General Rabshaken returned home with what was left of his Army.
> Back in Assyria, God continued to work, and Sennacherib’s sons assassinated him.
God gave a great victory to Judah even when she did not deserve it!
> Judah was not right with God, but when Hezekiah prayed, God still delivered them!
This Is a Psalm of Victory, and Joy.
The Psalmists encourages the people to make vows unto God...
(v. 10-11) The people vowed themselves unto the Lord. They committed themselves unto the Lord.
> God had delivered them when they did not deserve it.
God turned their desperate situation around and greatly blessed them...
> So the Psalmist encourages them to dedicated themselves to God and make vows unto Him.
This is the beginning of a new year.
It is a time to reflect on the past and consider the future.
It is a time when resolutions are made and vows are made toward living a better life.
> It is a time when we resolve to do better this year than we did LAST year.
Every Christian ought to know the joy of making solemn sacred vows unto God.
> God has been good to us when we did not deserve it.
> God has forgiven and received us when we should have been condemned.
Only carnal or backslidden Christians would refuse to make a commitment to Christ.
Jesus died for our sins.
> Jesus suffered an agonizing death on our behalf.
> Jesus committed His life for our benefit.
> He gave the ultimate sacrifice!
But, He has continued to bless and keep us even when we should have been judged (Ezra 9:13-15).
> You have punished us LESS than we deserve.
> And we have continued living this way!
> We’re on our face before Thee, because we cannot stand...
The Psalmist sings a song of Joy to God’s people.
He tells them they ought to dedicate themselves to God because of His goodness toward them.
> He tells them that they should have been destroyed, but God delivered them instead.
They ought to make VOWS unto God for His great mercy and blessings.
> He tells them that it’s a time for spiritual RESOLUTIONS...
Four Vows Every Christian
Ought to Make Unto the Lord
I. God Rules On Making Vows (Ecc. 5).
A. An Exposition of a Vow (5:1-5).
(v. 1) Be extra careful of everything you do when you are in God’s house.
> Be MORE ready to hear than to speak like a fool.
> You had better leave the fighting at home; And the gossip...
> Some do not even realize that this is EVIL.
(v. 2) Be careful what you SAY in God’s house.
> Its better to be a person of FEW words, than to be RASH with thy mouth.
> (v. 3) "A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words."
(v. 4a) "When thou vowest a vow unto God..."
> Not IF but WHEN. Not in case you do, but WHEN you do.
> It is evident that God intends us to make vows!
(v. 4-5) "...defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed."
> "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."