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This Chapter is devoted to the prescribing of laws concerning vows. Here are general rules, as well as particular cases, considered: such as the vows of daughters, and those of wives.
In the first ages of the church, and even in later periods, some pious persons, out of an holy zeal for the LORD'S honor and glory, have obliged themselves to certain acts, either in doing or suffering, concluding thereby, that they did GOD service. In general it may be observed, that unless they are founded in divine grace, and conditionally promised in the aid of divine strength, they are unsuitable, and unbecoming poor, fallen, and sinful creatures; who in their best moments can assure themselves of nothing. See the case of Jepthah, Judges 11:30-31 , with Judges 11:34-35 . Hence that advice of Solomon, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 . But there is a case where holy vows, formed in the grace of JESUS, and arising from a deep sense of his love in the heart, renders them sacred things. See the case of the Psalmist, Psalms 66:13-14 .
The particular case of an unmarried woman's vow, being still under age, and under subjection to her father, is here set forth. It serves to show the spiritual, as well as natural authority of the parent, as pointed out by the LORD himself; and may, by the way, indirectly teach what sentiments the LORD would have entertained of parental power. That precept of the apostle's is founded upon this ground: Ephesians 6:1-3 .
The special case of the widow, respecting vows, serves to show the personal responsibility of each character. It is the language of the scripture that everyone shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:8 .
The special case of a married woman, in the obligations upon her soul by reason of her vows, is also particularly noticed; and it should seem, from the great attention which the law of GOD was pleased to pay to this subject, in devoting a whole chapter to the express purpose of marking out the boundaries and extent of the several obligations, that vows were common things among the children of Israel. We have an awful example to show to what a desperate degree of wickedness, in the after ages of the church, the people proceeded, in making vows to offer incense to the queen of heaven, and the LORD'S solemn determination concerning it. See Jeremiah 44:25-26 . But there is such a thing as the gracious vows of GOD in a covenant way, resting in blessings upon his people: here they are sweet and refreshing indeed. See Psalms 66:12 .
BLESSED JESUS! do thou undertake for me, in all my earnest desires and strongest resolutions, to love and serve the GOD of my salvation, for otherwise I am well assured, that all my strength in the hour of trial will prove to be perfect weakness. I can do nothing, dearest LORD, nothing in myself but sin; but I can do all things if thou art my strength and confidence; and therefore, never can I trust myself too little, or my Saviour too much.
But may I not see, in this merciful exemption from rash vows ill undertaken and unfaithfully performed, a gracious exemption for the infirmities of thy people? Surely JESUS is the everlasting Father of his people: and surely thou art no less their husband also. Do thou then, blessed LORD! confirm and strengthen my soul by thy grace, to perform all I vow in thy strength, and enable me to accomplish it. And do thou rescind and do away the obligation to perform everything unprofitable to be done, by thy sovereign power, and right of dominion over me. For I trust, that by thy HOLY SPIRIT thou hast begotten me again to a new life; by which I am thine as thy child by adoption and grace: and that thou hast betrothed me to thyself forever, by which my Maker is mine husband, the LORD of Hosts is his name. And for the dedicating myself to thy service forever, LORD enable me so to vow, and so to perform, that I may say with one of old, I will pay my vows unto the LORD, in the presence of all his people; even in the courts of the LORD'S house.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 30". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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