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Friday, August 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

August 18, 2011

Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. – Judges 11:30

“Lord, I wanted so much to attend the out-of-town retreat. I pray that I may finish my pending work and that my boss would allow me to take a leave, with no questions asked. I will go to Mass for nine consecutive days as my sacrifice.” I made that prayer when I was still very new in the Charismatic Renewal. God answered my prayer as I fulfilled my part of the bargain. It was difficult for me for I was not a daily Mass goer.
In today’s first reading, Jephthah made a vow to God that if He would deliver the Ammonites into his hands, he would sacrifice whatever comes out of the door of his house to meet him after his return. He ended up sacrificing his only daughter.
During Moses’ time, vows made carried much force. In Numbers 30, Moses reminded the people that they have to keep their promises to God and to others. A broken vow meant a broken trust and a broken relationship. Jephthah fulfilled his vow even if it was foolish. Making spiritual “deals” with God may bring us disappointment and guilt when we are forced to fulfill them. God doesn’t want promises for the future, but obedience for today. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
What “deals” have you made with the Lord lately? Remember that God cannot be bribed. What He needs from us is to obey Him.

Lord, forgive me for my arrogance during the times that I tried to manipulate You by making promises.

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