When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. In any tradition or religion, a vow is a sacred promise, an oath or holy pledge, a commitment or undertaking that is for your highest benefit, an agreement between you and God.
A vow is a solemn promise made to God to perform or to abstain from performing a certain thing. The earliest mention of a vow is that of Jacob. ( Genesis 28:18-22 ; 31:13 ) Vows in general are also mentioned in the book of Job, ( Job 22:27 ) The law therefore did not introduce, but regulated the practice of, vows.
Jephthah led the Israelites in battle against Ammon and, in exchange for defeating the Ammonites, made a vow to sacrifice whatever would come out of the door of his house first. When his daughter was the first to come out of the house, he immediately regretted the vow, which bound him to sacrifice his daughter to God.
We should not be quick to make vows to God; but if and when we make them, we should keep them. If we cannot keep them, we must plead with Him to forgive us and learn to not make foolish vows again in the future. It is better to open our mouths but little, to “let our words be few,” than to promise much and deliver not much.
And we pray:
Teach us, O Lord, to weigh our words and to speak in wisdom, not folly. If we would make a vow to you, let it be only if it is according to your will. Teach us to watch our words when we pray to You and to speak reverently and rightly. Teach us also to speak only truth with our neighbors that we may be men and women of our word. Amen.