Keeping Vows

Today's devotion from Numbers 29 and 30.

As I'm writing this, I am sitting in a hotel in St. Louis during the Southern Baptist Convention, but I'm here at a cost. A few weeks ago our oldest daughter began softball practices. Before the first practice a message went to all the parents asking for assistance. My beautiful, loving, and ever-wise wife gently let me know that I would be helping. Well, helping that first practice somehow morphed into coaching my daughter's team. When the schedule came out, guess when our first game would be played? Yep. You guessed it. The first game was also on the first night of the convention. What to do?

We face these issues in life.

In reading Numbers 30 it would be easy to see nothing more than another example of the patriarchal nature of the early Israelite community. However, that would be only a half-truth. The real issue is the responsibility of our word. Notice that the discussion covers the entire range of familial relationships. Husbands, wives, children, and widows are all addressed in some way. The word of everyone in the family was important. Therefore, vows were to be taken seriously.

Because of the severity of the issue, there was an additional responsibility on the head of the family. Women are just as responsible for their vows, but because of the familial relationships involved, it was the husband/father's responsibility to safeguard the word of His family. Part of the vows of marriage and the family were related to helping and keeping one's sacred vows to God.

This isn't as much about limiting women as it is promoting the family. The wife or daughter was able to make the vows, but within the balance of the family. This is what Moses himself said, "These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the relationship between a man and his wife, or between a father and his daughter in his house during her youth." (Numbers 30:16, CSB)