Keeping Our Promises

Bruce Hoffman

READ : Judges 11:29-40

We admire people who keep their promises. A new organization called “Promise Keepers” is attracting thousands of men to conferences where the importance of making promises and keeping them is highlighted! Praise God! Humanity has always been weak when it comes to keeping promises. How easy to make marriage promises, but who anticipates the problems that most marriages encounter. Or we may make hasty promises to a new employer, but when the job demands more than we foresaw, we may try to “weasel out” of the promise.

Today’s Scripture tells about a man named Jephthah and a very rash promise he made to God. If God gave him victory in battle, he promised to sacrifice “whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me. . . .” What do you think went through his mind when he saw his beloved only child running to him? Nevertheless, Jephthah, being a person of his word, made good on his promise!

Today, civil law would step in to forbid following through on such a promise. The point is that Jephthah kept his promise! While the vow was foolish, yet he followed through as a point of honor! Today, when even easy promises are swiftly broken, we must call on God’s strength to KEEP OUR PROMISES.


Trustworthy God, in a world where promises are so easily broken, remind us of those solemn promises that were made at our baptism and confession of faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.