Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that "God is a giver and He NEVER COMMANDS A VOW."
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris
CP Walker, Taegu South Korea
BIG IDEA: GOD IS A GIVER; HE NEVER COMMANDS A VOW.
Jephthah – means “HE WILL OPEN” 1100 BC (Driven from his home because he was the son of a prostitute but became know as “mighty warrior”. Defeated the Ammorites. (See Judges 11:1)
REFERENCES: Matt 4:19-20 (And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him - KJV);
Numbers 30:1b-2 (This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth – KJV); Leviticus 27:1-8 (... when a man shall make a singular vow...); Matthew 5:45 (That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust – KJV);
Micah 6:8b (and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? - KJV); Romans 12:1 (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. - KJV);
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: JUDGES 11:29-31; 34-35
II. READ THE PERICOPE: JUDGES 11:29-31; 34-35
III. READ THE TEXT: JUDGES 11:30-31
(Jephthah made a Before God: "If you give me a clear victory over the Ammonites, then I’ll give to God whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in one piece from among the Ammonites—I’ll offer it up in a sacrificial burnt offering."- MSG).
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that “God is a giver and He NEVER COMMANDS A VOW.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “How To BUY God’s Favor?”
INTRODUCTION: (Today is 21 November 2004. I don’t know about you. But, it seems to me that the YEAR 2004 is moving pretty fast. It seems like just yesterday, we were leaving the ECC after having had our GOSPEL Flavored WATCH-NIGHT 2003 Service – here in the chapel. And here we are today, fastly approaching AMERICAN THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, and Watch-NIGHT 2004.
I’ve always found WATCH-NIGHT Services and the days leading up to WATCH-NIGHT rather intriguing. Because this is usually the period of time when people (both Saved & unSaved; Churched & UnChurched) are fully engaged in NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, PLEDGES, AND PROMISES. AND I’ll be honest with you, I too (like many of you) have made my share of promises and pledges to myself ... BUT ALSO TO GOD.
********************TAKE 5 BEATS *******************
MOVE 1: Yet, in all of scriptures, both Old and New Testaments alike, GOD NEVER COMMANDS A VOW.
a. Vows are never Mandatory, and they become OBLIGATORY only after man has FOR WHATEVER REASON ... made a promise to God.
b. Vows according to Holmans’ Bible Dictionary are Voluntary expressions of devotion which are usually fulfilled ... after some condition had been met.
c. In fact, Vows in the Old Testament usually were conditional. In other words, God IF you do SUCH and SUCH, I’ll do SUCH and SUCH ....
d. For WHO CAN EVER FORGET Jacob’s VOW in Genesis 28:20-22. For don’t you remember, the Bible says:
Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on my
trip and give me food to eat and clothes to wear,
and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a marker will be the house of God, and I will
surely give you a tenth of everything you give me.” -(GW)
***********************TAKE 5 BEATS *******************
MOVE 2: In other words, my brothers and sisters ... the emphasis in the Bible isn’t placed on MAKING A VOW with GOD,
a. but the emphasis is ON KEEPING THE VOW MADE TO GOD.
b. For you see, a vow unfulfilled is worse than a VOW NEVER MADE.
c. Ecclesiates 5:2 says ... Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
d. And Ecclesates 5:5 says ... Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
e. As human beings, we often make promises to God in response to WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US.
f. Often time, we make these promises to God IN THE TIME OF DANGER ...