Wednesday, July 20, 2011

31 DAYS TO A WISER YOU: Proverbs Chapter 20

Photo courtesy of discoodoni

This is part of a series, studying the book of Proverbs during the month of July, 2011. For more details click here.

Have you ever been in a pickle, and in a rash moment, made a promise to God that if He would save you from ______, you would do _____ for Him?  I would love to be able to say I've never done so, or maybe only as a child who didn't know any better, but that would be a lie.  

At some point you and I have both attempted to enter into a pact with the Almighty Heavenly Father.  If you will, think about that for a moment.  What could we possibly offer Him that would make Him jump at the chance to help us?  What - you're gonna start attending church once a week?  You might blow off the dust off of your Bible and open it up more than once a month?  What could we offer the Creator of everything that begins to compare with what He already possesses?

There are several instances in the Bible of people asking a favor from God and making promises to Him if He fulfills their desire.  One such case was dear sweet Hannah, one of Elkanah's two wives.  Hannah was childless, and continuously taunted by her husbands other wife Peninnah, the mother to several children.  In 1 Samuel 1, we read of Hannah, while in the tabernacle, making a solemn vow to the LORD of Heaven's Armies. This vow was simple -  if You will give me a son, I will give Him back to You.  He does, she does, and Samuel became the last and most effective of all of Israel's judges.

However, in Judges 11, we read of the great warrior Jephthah.  After trying to negotiate with the king of Ammon to no avail, the Spirit of the LORD comes upon him, and it's time to battle.  In his haste, Jephthah vows to the LORD that if He grants him victory, the first thing to greet him after he returns home victoriously will be sacrificed to the LORD.  His armies are victorious in battle, and he rushed home.  Unfortunately, his one and only daughter is the first to greet him.  Verse 39 tells us that after weeping for two months in the mountains, she returned home, and died a virgin. 

What are you asking of God today, and are you willing to keep your end of the bargain?     

Key Verses For Me
Proverbs 20:25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.

One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises that one makes.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Related Scriptures
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 When you make a vow to the Lord your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the Lord your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin.  However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow.  But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the Lord your God.

Father, may we not take for granted the promises we make to You, and the covenants You have with us.  

So what verse(s) stick out to you and why?


  1. Verse 24

    The Lord directs our steps,so why try to understand everything along the way?

    Good reminder for me to get out of God's way. :)

  2. Verse 24 "A man's steps are directed by the Lord, How then can anyone understand his own way?"
    Impatience is not a virtue when we wait on the Lord for what we have asked of Him. We become anxious and irritated lending more strife in our lives. We just don't understand why we don't get our answers in a timely manner or why things happen as they do. We need to learn to exercise patience and let the Lord work in His timely manner. The answers may not come when we want them to but He will deliver them. Only when He delivers them will we understand how He was working. Be patient and wait upon the Lord.

  3. I myself have clung to verse 24 as well in the past. When we suffered our miscarriage, the one thing that I clung to was the fact the God was in control. I had to realize that it wasn't for me to understand. That is so hard sometimes because as humans we want an answer for everything. That's when our faith and trust in God really has to kick in.

  4. Well I think we have a winner - #24!!

    It is such a great verse. He has a plan that far outstretches our imagination. Do we have the faith to trust Him?