God gives His laws regarding promises made to Him. He doesn’t want “pie crust” promises. He wants ones done in blood.
As we close this book, which has been difficult for me, we get to read how God values us keeping our word. Have you ever made a “promise” and knew when you were making it that you weren’t really going to keep it? As kids we would cross our fingers and pretend that this act nullified any promise made. That way we could get away with breaking our promise. But if it was a solemn promise it was sealed with a special oath or an act. NOBODY broke a “hope to die” promise or a “pinky swear” promise. That was unforgivable.
Well, God says that promises made to Him are that binding. You can’t see it but I’m squirming in my seat because I KNOW I’ve broken promises to Him on several occasions throughout my life. One of the biggest that I repeatedly break is the promise to act loving towards others, no matter my stresses.
Some of the promises/vows listed in our reading leave me puzzled. The one I’m thinking about is dedicating people to God. I kind of understand Samuel’s mother dedicating him to the Lord. She was DESPERATE for a child! She had tried everything first. Then she promised God that she would give the child back to Him if He would only let her have him. I wonder if she considered what that would really look like when she made that promise.
Seeing her Eli told her that God would answer her prayers. But in answering them God expected her to keep her word. No bargaining her way out of it or pulling a switch. She HAD to give her baby up. She held on as long as she could but then made good on her word. I can’t imagine how hard that was; taking him to the priest and walking away without him.
Let’s get back to our reading. People were apparently able to be dedicated into God’s service. God has the priest attach a monetary value on the person’s life. I don’t know if this only applied for their “value” at the time or their cumulative value over their life so far. Males had a higher valued than females did, even from birth. I don’t think money actually changed hands but value was assigned regardless.
From that point on, the person belonged to God. WHATEVER was promised to God became His to keep. Person, place, or thing given to Him became His and was holy. It couldn’t be sold by the priests accepting it or redeemed without special conditions. It couldn’t even be swapped out for a better or poorer version. If a switch was attempted, for whatever reason, BOTH then belonged to God and were holy.
God is even more faithful with His promises. He promised Adam and Eve a savior and He delivered. Everything He said to Isaiah and David and Daniel spoke of His promise. He left NOTHING to chance. And He kept NOTHING back that He promised to release. We can trust the rest of His word to be just as accurate. Can He trust ours?
Father God, forgive me for all the times I make You a promise and then go about breaking them. It is NOT my intent! At least not in the beginning. I broke a promise to myself tonight and KNEW I was doing so as I did it. I’m conflicted about the foundation of that promise but want to return to keeping the concept. Maybe I need to make that promise to You instead and lean into You when I’m tempted to break it. I felt like You were specifically pointing out my breaking that promise as I began reading. I am going to turn this area over to You AGAIN and trust You with the results. Show me what that will look like Holy Spirit. Show me how to get through the “temptation” times too.
I want to give this part of my life to You and let YOU make it holy. The people, places and things weren’t holy because of what they were in themselves but because they were placed in Your hands and were made that way by You. Make me holy and acceptable unto You Lord Jesus!