I’d advice we hold closest to our hearts Eccl 5:5, this mouth must not put us in trouble.
Every time I read the story of Jephthah in the Bible (Judges 11), the best word to describe how I feel is fear. Now it’s not just fear of something dreadful killing or frightening me but the fear of making bogus promises when in high excitement or desperation.
I mean, what did Jephthah think when he made that promise to God saying: “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me… I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” Mheeen! That was some heavy vow. If I were the one making such a vow, I probably would have been thinking at the back of my mind that it would be my pet dog or domesticated goat or cattle I would meet grazing in front of my house. But it just had to be the only child!
Bible may not have explained if the daughter was literally offered as a burnt offering but we might just have to take the Bible for its word. After all it is the Word of God. But I keep wondering if God would have allowed that young lady to be killed because of some vow her father made in the heat of the quest for victory.
Today, when people find themselves in a fix, they end up making some bogus vows to God or even their fellow men. They let their emotions and tongue run ahead of their reasoning thereby putting them in serious trouble.
I respect Jephthah though for one thing; though pained, he kept his promise. Let’s be real people, we are talking about human life here, an only child, okay, let’s say I even had ten of them, giving up one would still be like giving up all. (I don’t have Job’s patience abeg).
Should I find myself in Jephthah’s shoe, honestly speaking, I would go back to God so we renegotiate the terms of our deal. After all, He’s merciful and He even abhors human sacrifice. Yes, I know He said in various passages that we must keep our vows. But He didn’t He say, “Present your case, Bring forth your strong reasons,”?-Isaiah 41:21.
Though my arguments may not be as strong the stem of a waterleaf plant, I’d still make my move reminding Him of His promises like: “Children are a heritage of the Lord”-(Psalm 127:3); “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods…they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods”-(Deuteronomy 12:31); “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children”-(Isaiah 54:13). In this case peace is far from the child o!
Shebi Hezekiah was to die but he prayed and God extended his life. I probably would wrestle like Jacob for the mercy of God to prevail, I would not let go till my change comes and the terms of our negotiations are reviewed!
While on that, I’d advice we hold closest to our hearts Ecclesiastes 5:5 “It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it” because this mouth must not put us in trouble.