Posts Tagged ‘act’

Reverence and Worship

July 21st, 2009 No comments

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7; Psalm 84:1-4, 10

To make a vow (what we often call “a pledge”) – nadar – is a serious thing. It should never be taken lightly. A nadar means the act of verbally devoting something or a person to the service of God. It can be positive or negative in intent. In other words, it may be a vow to do something for God, or give something to God. On the other hand it may be a vow to NOT do something because of the relationship with God. It involves promising God something. It is a freewill offering. Laws concerning vows can be found in Numbers 30.

Biblical vows were both conditional and unconditional. Genesis 28:20-22 is an example of a conditional vow. Usually they are preceded by the condition, “If.” God ALWAYS considers an unconditional vow (a pledge) to be binding. Deut 23:22 says that if someone promises something to God he is obliged to fulfill his promise. The Biblical vow is ALWAYS to God. This word never refers to a promise made between individual human beings.

Almost anything can be vowed to God. A person can vow himself to service. Land, houses and possessions are even Biblical examples of vows that have been made. God will not accept any vow that is an abomination to Him, however, such as the wage of a harlot. Both men and women can make vows. Vows, however, are not a religious obligation. They are voluntary acts of devotion and love. Biblical examples show that they either preceded or followed divine blessing and were accompanied by joy.

In our lesson for today verse 4 states the rash vows should never be made. It fact, it is better not to make a vow (verse 5) than to not pay it. Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.” A vow is an expression of love, Thanksgiving, zeal and devotion to God. The context indicates that to make a vow in haste (vs. 1), to be rash in declaring what you will do for God (vs. 2), and then not to fulfill the vow (vs. 4,5) is to cause your flesh to sin (vs. 6). It is considered to be obnoxious to God for someone to say, “Oh, I made a mistake,” or “I didnt really mean it.” To make a vow is an act of worship that is not required but once done is binding.

Two special vows should be mentioned. The Nazarite Vow of Num 6:13ff and the herem of Num 21:1.

(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament) (Keil and Delitzsch)(Vines Complete Dictionary) (Smiths Bible Dictionary)

Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News

Bless the Name of the Lord

July 21st, 2009 No comments

Psalm 72:17-19 (17)

The knight kneeling before his lord is a picture that brings feelings of nobleness to our mind. The person of Asian decent bowing the head and stooping to those to whom he wishes to show respect causes us to have feelings of admiration and appreciation. The European man kneeling on one knee and taking the hand of the one he loves brings feelings of romance to mind.

In other cultures to kneel before a superior, someone you love, or someone you respect is expected protocol. It is something that is demanded be all. It is something that is ingrained into the training of the person.

In the American individualistic culture, kneeling has not taken on the significance that it has carried in other parts of the world. No American citizen would ever think to kneel before the President of the United States let alone before their landlord. Could this be why some do not like to kneel in prayer to God?

The Psalmist spoke of blessing the Lord. The Hebrew word he used indicates the act of kneeling in an act of reverence. This is the attitude of heart that is expressed in the life of all who love Him. We bless God. We worship Him in our humble submission. It is a time when we express that we recognize who He is and who we are.

Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News