Sirach 35:12-1512 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford. 13 For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
14 Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it; 15 and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him there is no partiality.
Have you ever tried to negotiate with God? I have, when my son was deathly ill. You know, it goes something like this, “God, if you ______, then I will _______.” (You fill in the blanks.) Well, brothers and sisters, that is a dishonest sacrifice, a bribe. Whether you fulfill your end of the bargain our not.
A vow to the Lord is much different than a bribe. A vow looks like this, “Lord, I promise that I will _____.” A vow to the Lord is a serious thing and not to be taken lightly.
Deuteronomy 23:21 “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.”
And Ecclesiastes 5:4 “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.”
Prayer:Lord, forgive us or vain attempts to bargain with you. In recognition that you have given to us all that we have, we bring our offerings to you, to return a portion of the gift. Any vow that we may make will be a vow that we truly intend to fulfill. Amen.