“And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”” Judges 11:30-31 NKJV
What was Jephthah thinking of when he made this vow? Was he expecting a lamb or goat to be coming out of his house? Why would he even think of such a vow? Obviously, he did it in haste. And very often, this happens when a man is so focused on his own accomplishment. Unfortunately, his daughter became the victim of his hasty action.
Saul similarly made a rash vow in 1 Sam 14:24…“Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” What was Saul doing at that time? He was fighting a battle. He was concerned about victory for himself. He did not care about the welfare of his troops. He was not concerned about the glory of the God. In the end, it was his son Jonathan who became the victim of his rash action.
Consider what the scriptures teach us about making vows:
“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—” Ecclesiastes 5:4 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.” Deuteronomy 23:21 NKJV
Consider what our Lord Jesus taught concerning swearing & the making of vows:
“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:34-37 NKJV
Finally, the Apostle James has this to teach us concerning swearing & making vows:
“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.” James 5:12 NKJV