Pay Your Vows to the Lord

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 11/05/2023

Foundation Scriptures:
When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack in paying it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and slackness would be sin in you. 22 But if you refrain from vowing, it will not be sin in you. 23 The vow which has passed your lips you shall be watchful to perform, a voluntary offering which you have made to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 AMPC

1. Pay Your Vows.
a. Psalm 50:14-15 AMPC — Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, 15 And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.
b. Pay your vows to the Most High.
c. Pay (Hebrew šālam) means: to pay a debt or fulfill a promise; to perform it; to complete or finish it; to make prosperous; to make whole or good; to restore something lost or stolen; to make compensation for injury or to recompence to reward (with good or evil).
d. It also means: to be in a covenant of peace, be at peace; to make peace with; to live in peace; to be complete; to be safe (in mind, body, or estate); uninjured.
e. Vow (Hebrew neḏer) means: a vow; a promise; a thing promised; a voluntary gift.

2. The Commanded Tithe.
a. Hebrews 7:5 KJV — And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.
b. Israel was commanded to tithe to the Lord of the increase of all their income.
c. The Tithe (ten percent) was a commandment and was required—not voluntary.
d. God’s covenant promises are only activated in the life of a man or woman, when they fully obey His commandments.
e. The Tithe had to do with the establishment of covenant, the participation in covenant, and the entitlement to covenant benefits.
f. When God visited Jacob and pronounced His covenant and His promises to him, Jacob made a covenant vow to God to always bring the Tithe back to Him (Gen. 28:13-22).

3. The Voluntary Vow.
a. The vow is a freewill offering—a voluntary offering commitment.
b. It is an offering to fulfill a promise made in your distress.
c. It is an offering made to thank God for a promise fulfilled or a benefit bestowed.
d. 2 Corinthians 9:7a NKJV — So let each one give as he purposes in his heart…

4. Vows Made in Distress.
a. Psalm 66:13-14 AMPC — I will come into Your house with burnt offerings [of entire consecration]; I will pay You my vows, 14 Which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in distress.
b. God is faithful to rescue us when we call on Him.
c. Therefore, we should be faithful to keep the promises we made to Him when we were in distress.
d. Some promises have to do with money, but others may have to do with surrender to the will and plan of God.
e. As in the case of Jonah (Jonah 2:7-10).
f. People cry, “Lord, if you rescue me, I will serve You.”
g. We need to do our best to keep our word to God, since He always keeps His word to us.
h. Psalm 22:24-25 AMPC — For He has not despised or abhorred the affl iction of the afflicted; neither has He hidden His face from him, but when he cried to Him, He heard. 25 My praise shall be of You in the great congregation. I will pay to Him my vows [made in the time of trouble] before them who fear (revere and worship) Him.

5. Vows of Honor.
a. Some voluntary vows are motivated by honor, thankfulness, and appreciation.
b. Psalm 76:11 AMPC — Vow and pay to the Lord your God; let all who are round about Him bring presents to Him Who ought to be [reverently] feared.
c. Presents (Hebrew šay) means gift: present: gift offered as homage.
d. Psalm 116:12-14 AMPC — What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? [How can I repay Him for all His bountiful dealings?] 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and deliverance and call on the name of the Lord. 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord, yes, in the presence of all His people.
e. Benefits (Hebrew taḡmûl) means benefit, act of grace.

6. Keep Your Promises.
a. Do not vow a vow you are not prepared to fulfill.
b. Ecclesiastes 5:2 AMPC — Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.
c. Do not give place to the devil to steal from you because you were rash with your mouth and promised that which you were not prepared to perform.
d. Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 AMPC — When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Do not allow your mouth to cause your body to sin, and do not say before the messenger [the priest] that it was an error or mistake. Why should God be [made] angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
e. Do not despise or mock God by refusing or neglecting to keep your vow.
f. The word, “messenger” is also translated “angel.”
g. If you have vowed a voluntary vow, before God (and your angel), endeavor to keep your word and fulfill it at all costs so that your Heavenly Father can continue to protect and bless you.