Psalm 76:11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him that ought to be feared.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 says it’s better not to vow than to vow and not pay. I have often used that verse as an excuse to simply not vow. I figure that if I don’t make a vow to the Lord, then I won’t run the risk of breaking it. But I had not noticed Psalm 76:11 before. I had read it, but it had never before grabbed my attention. Here we are commanded to vow. While Ecclesiastes 5:5 is a copout of sorts, but it doesn’t really get us off the hook. The only way to not be in trouble with the Lord is to make a vow and keep it. Period. To do otherwise is sin, either by neglecting to make the vow, or by neglecting to keep it. And it’s not because the Lord wants our money, or time, or possessions, or whatever else we may have vowed to Him; He wants us to trust Him and obey!
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.*
Can I make a pledge to God and then trust Him to provide for all my needs? Can you?
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed.
God desires to supply all our needs.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
He wants me to see Him at work in my life.
Acts 15:17 “That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called,” says the Lord, who does all these things.
He wants me to prove Him.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and prove Me now herewith,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The context of today’s theme verse is the majesty and glory of God. The entire psalm is dedicated to exalting Him who is worthy of our praise. And couched in the middle of all that praise is the command to make our vows to Him. When you seek to honor someone, you generally demonstrate that honor by presenting him with gifts, do you not? God is saying, “Honor Me, not with your lips only, but with your deeds, your possessions, your time—your all. And see if I will not pour a blessing upon you far greater than anything you could ever imagine.”
Am I going to take God at His Word, prove Him and trust Him wholly, finding Him wholly true? Or will I be like the little girl who fears to give up her shiny half dollar in exchange for the wrinkled piece of paper that just happens to have a one and two zeroes in every corner?
Lesson from the Garden
A mother pulled weeds in the garden one day,
Accompanied there by her small protégé.
Intrigued by the fountain that stood in the hub,
The tiny girl watched water flow tub to tub.
The spigot kept running and never ran dry,
While the bottom, though full, had sufficient supply,
Not too much, nor too little. Yet how could this be?
The little lass puzzled at this mystery.
Her mother explained, “It’s like when we pour
Ourselves into others, who pour into more.
We give to the Father, for we made a vow.
We give out of faith, not knowing just how
Our needs will be met, but God never fails.
He works like this fountain. For inside, it veils
A secret. You see how the water flows out,
But hidden within is a small water spout
That cycles the water back into the pot,
So it keeps on giving, diminishing not.
When we make a promise to give God our best,
Then on His sure promise we safely may rest.
For though we can’t see how the water comes in,
We can trust in our Father,” she said with a grin.
With this explanation her daughter sat still,
And pondered upon it a long time until
A smile lit her face and her eyes opened wide.
“Mom, let’s name our fountain, ‘The Lord will provide!’”
Genesis 22:8,14 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” So they went both of them together. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”
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*“Trust and Obey” written by John H. Sammis, in the public domain.
“Lesson from the Garden” Copyright © 2018 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved
Photos taken in Chesapeake, VA, 2015.