"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Sunday, September 4, 2022


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez, and James Fire

NUMBERS 30: “KEEP YOUR PROMISES TO GOD” Sonny Islas; check out the video teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: NUMBERS 30 serves as a good reminder for us - that we ought to be men and women of our word. Especially when it comes to making any type of promise to the LORD. We ought to be marked by honesty, personal integrity, sincerity, credibility, and trustworthiness. In the Old Testament, to make a promise and keep it spoke of faithfulness and loyalty to God.

One thing to keep in mind is that vows were not commended by God. Promises made to God were optional as a way to dedicate oneself to God a little more. No one was under any obligation to make a promise to God. BUT - keeping vows freely made, was commanded by God.

NUMBERS 30 consist of the Law (or rules) concerning vows (oaths or promises).

NUMBERS 30:1,2 
 1 Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, "This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: 2 "If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

This refers to vows made by Men both single and married.
IF A MAN MAKES A VOW TO THE LORD: LEVITICUS 27 gives us an idea of the kinds of vows or promises men and women made to God. Due to their love and appreciation towards God, they at times promised to give God a house, a piece of property, extra money, and extra animals (besides those offered as sacrifices). They would even fully dedicate themselves by taking the Nazarite vow found in Numbers 6.

The Nazarite Vow: Those who undertook the Nazarite Vow promised to abstain from wine and all grape products. They promised to let their hair grow without cutting it. They also promised to stay away from all dead bodies. Which means that if a close family member died, they would have to skip out on the funeral.

The promises that the Israelites made were pretty broad. There were vows of all kinds made to God.

HE SHALL NOT BREAK HIS WORD; HE SHALL DO ACCORDING TO ALL THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF HIS MOUTH: Men who made vows/promises to God were expected to keep it. Every man was held accountable to his promise. This shows that God is worth us keeping our word. To break a promise meant that one was a liar (making him guilty of breaking the 9th Commandment), unreliable and fickle (unfaithful).
ECCLESIASTES 5:4-5 says,
“When [that was whenever you’d like] you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.”
NUMBERS 30:3-5
3 "Or if a woman makes a vow to the LORD and binds herself by some agreement while in her father's house in her youth, 4 "and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. 5 "But if her father overrules her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the LORD will release her, because her father overruled her

This refers to young unmarried women who still live with their parents.
Vs 3 IF A WOMAN MAKES A VOW TO THE LORD: If a single woman makes a promise to God and her father either stays quite or agrees, the young women has her dad’s green light (approval) and is bound to keep her promise. BUT, if the father disagrees with her promise to God, on the same day he hears of it, then he can overrule her promise making it ineffective.

Reasons why a father may overrule his daughters promise could be that he feels that she is being rash. He feels that she’s being too emotional and not rational. He may see that she is unable to perform the promise because he knows his daughter. It may be that the young ladies promise could affect the family in some way.

So, really this rule where the father who is the head of the home, which includes his daughter served as a protection mechanism.

This also shows us the clear order in the home. The father is under the headship of God while the daughter is under her father’s headship and protection – until she gets married. And that’s the next part.

NUMBERS 30:6-8
6 "If indeed she takes a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself, 7 "and her husband hears it, and makes no response to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself shall stand. 8 "But if her husband overrules her on the day that he hears it, he shall make void her vow which she took and what she uttered with her lips, by which she bound herself, and the LORD will release her

These verses refer to the same young unmarried women in verses 3-5 but who is now a newlywed.

If the single woman who previously had her dad’s approval of her promise to God, gets married and her husband hears about her vow to God, he now has the chance to agree with her vow or disagree and make it void.

The new head/husband may feel like the promise his wife made while she was single may affect their marriage in a negative way. Or the new husband may see what her dad didn’t see and may feel like she is in over her head. Because verse 6 says “bound… by a rash (irrational or foolish) utterance from her lips…”

Again, this second chance to make her promise void or doubly solid, served as a protection mechanism. Because the new husband may have felt like her dad didn’t really care and didn’t really think things through good enough, but he has.

Again, This also shows the order of the home. The head of the husband is God, and the head of the wife is her husband. The single, unmarried woman goes from her father’s care and authority to her husband’s care and authority as they work together as a team.

NUMBERS 30:9-12
9 "Also any vow of a widow or a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. 10 "If she vowed in her husband's house, or bound herself by an agreement with an oath, 11 "and her husband heard it, and made no response to her and did not overrule her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement by which she bound herself shall stand. 12 "But if her husband truly made them void on the day he heard them, then whatever proceeded from her lips concerning her vows or concerning the agreement binding her, it shall not stand; her husband has made them void, and the LORD will release her

This verse refers to widows and divorced women who make vow.

Widows and divorced women may have been tempted to break the promise they made to God after their spouse either died or left them because they may feel as though the vow may have been too burdensome for them to keep and perform it on their own – that is, without their husband’s help.

BUT, if their deceased/dead husband or their divorced husband made the promise void before he died or deserted her – she was free to not keep the vow she made.

NUMBERS 30:13-16
13 "Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void. 14 "Now if her husband makes no response whatever to her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all the agreements that bind her; he confirms them, because he made no response to her on the day that he heard them. 15 "But if he does make them void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her guilt." 16 These are the statutes which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter in her youth in her father's house

These verses refer to a married couple.

If a wife makes a vow to God, verse 13 says to “afflict her soul,” this may be pointing to the Nazarite Vow or some other deep and costly dedication to God and the husband confirmed it, then it’s confirmed but if he makes it void, then it’s void.

But if for some reason the wife tells him what she promised to give to God or to do for God, and he doesn’t say anything “on that (same) day” she told him and she doesn’t keep her promise to God, he is to blame because he was passive and careless towards his wife and her vow.

This reminds me of Adam’s passivity in the Garden of Eden when Eve was somewhat making a deal with the devil and Adam stood by passively when he could have stepped in to override her sinful act in agreeing with the Serpent. And as you know, God held Adam accountable for original sin, not Eve - because he was the head of the home.

This shows us that God desires for husbands to be fully engaged with their spouses spiritual life and well-being. He is responsible for her.

Speaking of married women making vows to God. Hannah, who was a married woman, was also barren and burdened because of it. 1 SAMUEL 1 tells us that she promised God that if He gives her a son, that she would give him back to God, to serve God his entire life. God opened her womb and she got pregnant and gave birth to the would-be prophet Samuel. Hannah is known for keeping her promise.

Now it’s possible that Hannah’s husband Elkanah, could have made her promise to God void. BUT “Elkanah loved Hannah” (1 SAM 1:5) and said to Hannah after hearing her vow to give their son Samuel to God, “Do what seems best to you” (in 1 SAM 1:23).

Now this is one spiritually supportive husband.

Promises are good if they are good and we keep them.

BUT three foul and rash oaths or promises came to mind when preparing this teaching:

1. In JUDGES 11, Jephtha made a rash promise to God that if God give him victory over Ammon, that Jeptha he would sacrifice the first thing that comes out of the doors of his house to meet him AND it turns out that his one and only virgin daughter was the one that came out of his house doors to meet him and instead of repenting of his brainless promise, he went through with it and killed his daughter. And we know that that was definitely not the will of God because in DEUT 18:10 God forbids child and human sacrifice.

2. In 1 SAMUEL 14 King Saul’s son Jonahan and his armor bearer were given the grace to defeat some Philistines and this caused King Saul’s army to become emboldened to fight too, BUT then King Saul made a stupidly rash oath (promise) by saying “Cursed is the man who eats food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” Fasting during war is a dumb thing to do by the way. Well, it turns out that his son Jonathan didn’t hear about the curse/oath that his father King Saul made and ate some honey. Turns out that King Saul was ready to keep his stupid promise and kill his own son, but the people didn’t let that happen because Jonathan fought and won for Israel. (Saul should have taken that dumb vow back and repented of it)

3. In MARK 6 King Herod Antipas make a rash promise to his niece/stepdaughter, saying that she can have whatever she wished for dirty dancing for him and his perverted buddies and that when she consulted with her mother Herodias, she then asked for John the Baptist head on a platter. Herod, like Jephtha and Saul, should have gone back on their wicked promise.

Let’s never make rash and absurd promises like these three knuckleheads (Jephtha, Saul and Herod). But let’s make and keep those promises that are God honoring i.e. Promises to praise Him and serve Him with a whole heart.

People make many promises today that they don’t’ intend to keep:

Many people tell others that they will pray for them and never do.
Many people dedicate their babies in church, promising to raise them in the Word and ways of God but never follow through. As we already read, Hannah made this promise and followed through.
Many people verbally and publicly make wedding vows and then break them.
Many people sign contracts to pay for houses, cars and other things but then don’t follow through.
Many people lie in court while under oath and their hand on the Bible.
Many people borrow money, promising to pay it back but never do.
PSALM 37:21a says,
“The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.”

Lasty, Jesus strongly discourages flippant vows and promises.

In MATTHEW 5:33-37 Jesus says,
Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord. ’But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
In Jesus' time, many people were swearing by heaven, earth, and their own heads instead of just saying “yes” or “no.” It’s very much like today, when people say, “I put it on God.” Or “I swear to God.” Or “I put it on my mom.” Etc.

God hates when people swear like this, when they can just say yes or no when asked to be truthful about something.

The LORD wants us to be the kind of people who are trustworthy and don’t need to swear but just say yes or no.

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