Broken Vows – Promise Forgotten

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Broken Vows – Promise Forgotten

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2 Timothy 4:8  NKJV    

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 

         A crown of righteousness will be given to those who have remained faithful to the Lord. God desires for us to be faithful in every aspect of our life. Things will turn out well for a faithful person. Faithfulness to God brings true success. A faithful person will accomplish what was attempted or intended.

Proverbs 28:20  NKJV  

   “A faithful man will abound with blessings,

But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”

Luke 16:10  NKJV   

  “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

          A vow is a solemn promise. Words said or written binding a person to do or not to do something (pledge).

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5  NKJV   

  “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed –  Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”

          When you make a vow you must not break your word. Breaking a vow is a sin.

Deuteronomy  23:21-23  NKJV  

   “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you promised with your mouth.”

Numbers 30:2  NKJV    

“If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”

Psalm 66:13-14  NKJV  

   “I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows,

Which my lips have uttered

And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.”

          You should not try to gain God’s favor (or man’s) by making a hasty (rash) vow. Ananias and Sapphira made a hasty vow and did not carry it out. Nor did they intend to fulfill it. They made a vow for the purpose of gaining praise from man (they were full of pride). They wanted a good reputation (like Barnabas) without earning it by their character.

Acts 5:1-11  NKJV    

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.’ Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?’ She said, ‘Yes, for so much.’ Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.”

          A vow is a commitment. It is made voluntary, but one it is made it becomes an obligation to fulfill it. God expects us to keep our commitments.

Matthew 5:37  NKJV   

  “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

          Broken vows (promises / pledges) are unfaithfulness, and it leads to bondage. Faithfulness is more important to God than what many of us realize.

Nehemiah 1:1-11  NKJV   

  “The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.  It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel,  that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’ So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: ‘I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let You ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of  the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of man. For I am the king’s cupbearer.”

          The people in Jerusalem were in distress and reproach. The enemy had came in and broken down their walls, burned the gates and taken captives. God allowed reproach to come to Jerusalem in order to bring the people to a place of repentance so that He could restore them. It is always God’s desire to restore people.

God did not desire to hurt the people, but He did want them to be faithful to Him and to have an intimate relationship with Him. God used the taunting and scorn of the enemy to bring about repentance and restoration.

Nehemiah 1:8-9  NKJV   

  “Remember, I pray, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heaven, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling place for My name.”

          Faithfulness is being worthy of trust, doing one’s duty, keeping one’s promise and being true. Faithfulness emphasizes being true to a person or thing. When you are true, you will be loyal and constant. When you are loyal to a person or thing, you will stand by and fight for the person or thing, and you will have steadfast devotion. Faithfulness is very important to God. God desires for us to be faithful both to Him and to what He has called us to do. God desires a people that will stay true to Him in their thoughts, words, and actions. Faithfulness matters to God.

Genesis 22:1-14  NKJV    

“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.’ So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’ Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord is shall be provided.’ ”

          Abraham was faithful to what God told Him to do. Because of his faithfulness God was revealed to Abraham as “The Lord Will Provide.” Because of Joseph’s faithfulness He was entrusted with interpreting the dreams of God (Genesis 41:1-36). God blessed Joseph because of his faithful (Genesis 41:37-57). Jesus will be returning for the faithful church.

Revelation 3:7-13  NKJV    

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens. I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

          One blessing given to the faithful church or person is that they will not have to go through the great time of testing. Everything starts out small, including faithfulness. If we are faithful in the little things that God allows us to do, then He will give us something bigger to do and He will pour His presence out in a larger amount. If, as a church (a ministry, a family or individual), we can’t be faithful with what we see as small things, we will never be entrusted with anything other than small things.

Luke 16:10  NKJV   

  “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is also unjust also in much.”

Matthew 25:21  NKJV   

  “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant: you are faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ ”

          As Christians, we always like to sing, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” According to Matthew 25:21, the “joy of the Lord” comes through faithfulness. Therefore, if you want strength you must be faithful. Faithfulness brings rewards and blessings and unfaithfulness brings heartache and destruction. When the enemy is allowed to come into the church, your home or your life through unfaithfulness three things happen: our walls will be broken down, our gates will be burned and our loved ones will be taken captive by the enemy.

I. Broken Down Walls:

The first thing that unfaithfulness brings is broken down walls. Broken means to break or burst out, to break through, to make a breach in, to break into, to break open.

Nehemiah 1:3  NKJV    

“And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’ ”

          A city without a wall was defenseless against outside forces. Without a wall around it the cities were at the mercy of the oppressive nations around them. The wall was the city’s protection. A city without a wall was vulnerable to the enemy.

Vulnerable: can be wounded or injured, open to attack, sensitive to criticism, temptations, influences, a place where penalties and premiums are increased.

        Faithfulness is like a wall of protection around us. Without a wall of protection around us we are open to the enemy. Without a wall of protection around us we can be wounded or injured by the enemy; we are open to the enemies attacks; we are sensitive to criticism, temptations, and influences. Through these openings the enemy can come in and steal, kill and destroy.

Proverbs 25:28  NKJV    

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit

Is like a city broken down, without walls.”

II. Burned Down Gates:

The second thing that unfaithfulness brings is burned down gates. Burned means to kindle, set on fire, to be left desolate.

Nehemiah 1:3  NKJV   

  “And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’ ”

          A gate was a place of influence. A gate was an entrance to a camp, a house, a tent, a temple or a city.  To posses the gate meant power and wealth. To control the gate was to control the city.

Genesis 22:17  NKJV    

“blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.”

          A gate was a place of assembly for social and legal purposes.

Ruth 4:1  NKJV   

  “Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, ‘Come aside, friend, sit down here.’ So he came aside and sat down.”

          A gate was a place of attraction attention.

Daniel 2:49  NKJV    

“Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”

Proverbs 1:21  NKJV   

  “She cries out in the chief concourses,

At the openings of the gates in the city

She speaks her words.”

Esther 2:19  NKJV     “When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.”

          Unfaithfulness in our lives (family / church) will cause us to loose our influence, power and wealth. Our ability to win the lost to Jesus Christ will diminish.

III. People Go Into Captivity:

The third thing that unfaithfulness brings is our loved ones being open to being taken captive by the enemy. Captive means to be taken and held against your will, a prisoner, being owned or controlled by another.

Nehemiah 1:8  NKJV   

  “Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations”

Conclusion:

The enemy is allowed into our homes, the ministries we are involved in , and our churches through unfaithfulness. When we are not faithful we will be defenseless, we will cease to be of influence, and our loved ones will be taken captive by the enemy.It should be our desire to be faithful to God and to what He has called us to do.  If you are desperate, be faithful to God and for God. Faithfulness brings rewards and blessings.

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