I’ll never forget the first vow l made. As a child, l grew up in Zambia where vows are normal. We grew up being taught that a vow made to God is important. I don’t remember hearing anyone teach about vows from the Bible, but it was such a part of our culture that l understood how serious and vital they were. l can tell that God loves vows. Throughout history, He has worked mighty miracles when people have made and fulfilled vows. Numbers 30:1,2

There are many examples in Scripture of people making vows. The first vow recorded in the Bible is in Genesis:

Jacob vowed a vow, saying , “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that l go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that l come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which l have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me l will surely give the tenth unto thee.”Genesis 28:20-22“

Jacob made this vow on the way to the house of Laban. He had walked all the way from present-day Israel to present -day Iraq. He was in trouble. He had lost his home. His life was in danger. His brother had threatened to kill him. People generally don’t make vows unless they are in trouble and they are backed into a corner.

Jacob was obviously aware that his survival was obviously aware that his survival was at stake. Where would he get food and water? How could he protected from the dangers he faced? That’s when he vowed that if God would get him where he was going and back, he would give a tenth of everything he owned. He was protected. He served his Uncle Laban for twenty – one years. Then God spoke to Jacob:

The angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And l said, Here am l. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for l have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.(Genesis 31:11-13)

God showed Jacob all he had been given, and then came the reminder about the vow. Perhaps Jacob had forgotten about the vow he had made twenty-one years before, but God never forgets.