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Proverbs 20:25, It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.
Deuteronomy 23:21,22, When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.
Ecclesiastics 5:4,5, When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
God takes vows seriously, because God always keeps his word and keeping vows is keeping his word.
If he says that he will do something we can count on him doing it.
Every time he vows he will keep his vow. There is no shadow of turning.
He will not enter into a vow unless he intends to keep it.
God made us in his image and his will concerning any vows we choose to make, is the same as his will concerning vows that he makes.
The scriptures warn us: Don't vow unless you intend to keep your vow.
Making vows has no inherent benefit of itself. You will not grow by making vows.
If you vow and don't keep your vow you have stepped into the trap of the adversary.
You have found the snare of Satan.
Is not that holy thing that we devour simply bait placed in the snare and used by the devil to entrap us.
This proverb uses the phrase: "Devoureth that which is holy."
To devour means to consume with greediness for ones own use.
It is a selfish act. It is an act to benefit oneself.
To devour that which is holy means to consume for ones own use that which has been separated unto God,
that which belongs to God,
that which, by a vow, has been given to God.
God owns that which is holy; it has been separated unto him for his use.
To devour that which is holy is stealing from God.
That which is holy, in the mind of God, has been separated unto him for his use.
Remember what happened to Achan when he took the treasures of Jericho that had been separated unto God.
Was not the goodly Babylonish garment, the two hundred shekels of silver, the wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight holy unto the Lord.
Were they not separated by God to God's service?
What a snare Achan was caught in.
And don't forget his family whose feet were tied by the same snare! They suffered alike!
Perhaps a Christian who has been bought with the precious blood of Christ rebels and consumes his life in his own way thereby, devouring that which is holy. Remember just Lot!
1 Corinthians 6:19,20, What? (as if to exclaim surprise that you would not know such a basic truth) know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
You see, if you belong to Christ you are HOLY, you are separated for God's use.
I am a holy man, you are a holy woman, if you belong to God.
If you belong to God you are separated unto him for his use.
The Christian who rebels takes that which has been dedicated to God and uses it for his own purposes thereby denying God of that which is rightfully his.
If you came to Christ you came by a vow.
Ephesians 2:10, says, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
When you were quickened by the Holy Spirit, you came to Christ, and he gave you life with the purpose of you doing good works for God.
You are not your own, you are bought with a price.
Your time is not your own.
God says that your time, your being, is holy, separated unto him.
Is not this vow a part of your salvation?
Have not those of us who are saved vowed to serve the Lord and use the time that he gives us for his glory?
We are not to give that which is holy unto the dogs or cast our pearls before swine!
That which is holy belongs to the Lord, not to the dogs!
This proverb tells us that there is a snare designed to entrap those who devour that which is holy and inquire of God whether he really has to keep his vows.
Dear God, I know that I promised you that I would serve you here but it is so hard!
Do I have to keep my vow? How may I be loosed from this obligation.
Too many times we so carelessly vow, perhaps in an emotional environment and afterwards ask God how can this promise be retracted?
So many are much more ready in making vows than in paying vows.
Their life is built on shows of affection that are based upon some pleasant experience or some emotional sermon or service.
Jesus said in Luke 9:62, ......No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
His hand to the plow is the vow and the looking back is the inquiry.
As Charles Bridges quotes a Bishop Hall in his commentary on Proverbs: "He entangleth his soul in the snares of death, who resumeth unto a profane use that which is once consecrated unto God, and who, after he hath vowed aught unto the Lord, argues within himself, how to alter that holy purpose, and to defeat God of his due."
Mr. Bridges goes on to say:
"Alienation of the gift proves the prior alienation of the heart.
Let Ananias and Sapphira testify that God is a jealous God.
Take care of rash engagements. Be faithful to upright engagements.
Before entering into the service of God make inquiry into its full requisitions.
Beware of a religion of temporary excitement; far different from deep, solid, permanent principle.
And whatever be the cost, be true to the consecration of thyself as "a living sacrifice" on the altar of thy God."
In this regard we caution those who serve the Lord to be careful in encouraging and pressing people to make vows to the Lord.
This is an awesome work and must be bathed in wisdom.
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article 1 in "The Projector" for Proverbs 20:25, making vows
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article 2 in "The Projector" for Proverbs 20:25, making vows