Keep Your Vows

The will of the late President Harry S. Truman raised some eyebrows when he left bequests of $500 each to fifteen of the sixteen grandnephews and grandnieces but only $5 to one, John Ross Truman of Boston. Contacted by newspapermen, the Truman grandnephew said the will was … More


The last phrase of verse 7 gives us a key to this section - “stand in awe of God."  Never under any circumstances, in any situation, underestimate the God of Creation. Solomon expresses what our attitudes should be when we approach God in acts of worship.

1. The words - “Keep thy foot” conveys the seriousness of a man’s attendance at God’s house (v. 1).

2. Plan to listen - The man who worships properly is a careful listener. When the Scripture uses the word listen it usually implies the concept of obeying, as well as hearing (vv. 2-3). Fools worship ignorantly. They go to the temple for the sake of saying they were there.

3. Button our lips - The wise man must watch his words. He especially must exercise extreme care in the making of promises to God. In fact, it is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay (vv. 4-5). Far from being a marginal error, the failure to fulfill a sacred promise is a sin that merits God’s full judgement (Deut.23:21). With the teachings of the Word of God we do not worship Him in ignorance. Don’t let your mouth talk you into committing a sin (v. 6). In spite of daydreams, pointless actions and empty words, you should fear God (v. 7).

A vow should not be hastily made (Judges 11:35, 1 Samuel 14:24). When made, it must be kept (Psalms 76:11), even as God keeps His word to us (Exodus 12:41,51, Joshua 21:45).


It is foolish for me to make a vow I can’t keep or to play games with God by only partially fulfilling a vow I make (Prov. 20:25).    

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 (English Standard Version)

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