Almost everyone recognizes the vow they took when they were married, through sickness and health, unto death do we part. These words do not mean as much as they use to for the divorce rate is at its highest level. Today men and women donít need much of an excuse to be separated or dissolve a marriage. Reneging on vows is common place in the world today as people lose faith and fail to honor their word.
A vow given to a person is a personal guarantee to another person that you will act in accordance with the terms of an agreement. For the most part a vow is a commitment on the part of giver that is similar to a verbal contract assuring them what you will do or will not do for or on their behalf.
A vow should be taken seriously as it affects your character by violating a system of morals that God wants you to adopt. People want friends that are reliable and come to depend on the promises you make. Christians depend on the promises that God made to them. What makes God different from men is that God makes a determined effort to honor his word. () Remember broken promises sever relationships when the trust factor can no longer be relied upon.
If we were to take the example of the determined effort that God makes to honor his word and apply the same effort to honor our promises then we would have the same kind of respect God has for his word. The effort may require you to keep a calendar, write your promises down and make an effort to complete them before the time you promised.
The same effort must be applied to your marriage vows. Marriages that last a lifetime are marriages where the partners made the effort to honor one another. It also meant doing certain things for your partner to make their life pleasant when you didnít want to. Most of all it meant respecting them as a person by allowing them to be the person of they want to be. The moment you stop loving them you will hear you donít love me anymore. What is means is that the determined effort to love them in sickness and in health is no longer a priority.
Vows strengthen relationships with shared responsibilities. Companionship for a lifetime is important to everyone for when your partner passes on the world around you changes. Your partnerís necktie or jewelry revives wonderful memories and the pain of their passing.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith. () Do not send God away nor forsake him for God can be grieved. For he has promised not to forsake you or leave you. He has promised us that nothing can snatch us out of his hand and that he would be with us until the end of the age. In addition, God has promised that in the age to come we will be in the light of his presence and there we will be forever.
So guard yourself in your spirit, do not make promises that you may regret.
And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: "If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." Judges 11:30-31
Jepthhah was horrified as his daughter came out the door to greet him. He wish that he could have substituted his daughter for an animal, but he was determined to honor his promise to God. His daughter honored the same promise made to God and submitted her life to be sacrificed.
If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23
The words of your mouth a vow obligates you to a promise you made. According to the footnotes of the NIV bible regarding a covenant of blood made by Abram there was a serious side to making a vow with the Lord. The vow was in response to the promise that God made to Abram. Abram wanted assurance that the promise would be kept and God said bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon. ()
Abram gathered the animals for the covenant ceremony dug a trench where the blood of the animals could be collected cut the animals in half and arranged half the carcass on each side of the trench and allowed the blood to fill the trench.
Then the covenanting party would walk the length of the trench passing between the pieces and stated these words - may this be done to me if I fail to keep my word. In other words may you walk between my body and through my blood if I fail to keep my word.
God made his covenant with everyone on the face of the Earth through the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus shed his blood at Calvary for the sins of everyone in the world. Those who accepted his covenant are reminded of the covenant of blood every time they take communion. Those who do not believe in Jesus have not accepted the gift of life that comes through accepting Jesus into their heart.
However we need to look at the full picture the covenant God made with man because God has warned mankind what he has planned to do when he comes to gather his elect. He said many would be slain on that day. () On that day God will harvest the fruit of the earth likening man to grapes. They were taken to a press and trampled upon to extract its blood. The bible tells us that there was so much blood that the blood rose to the height of a horseís bridle for two hundred miles. () We donít know all the particulars, but we have enough information to know that God intends to walk in the blood of those who would not live up to the covenant he made with mankind.