A Rash Promise

“So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has said we will do’” (Exodus 24:3).

From Egypt to Sinai the people witnessed the power of Jehovah.  At Sinai His glory was manifested and His will declared to the people.  The formal ratification of the covenant was one of the most momentous events in the history of Israel.

Such times of emotional excitement will prompt some to make a promise that they will not keep.  On this occasion the people had little knowledge of their own hearts or of the demands of God.  Such impulses are easy when emotions are reigning. The demands of the gospel’s lifelong commitment are in the background.

There are reasons why people are moved to make such rash promises.  The well-rounded life promoted by God’s word is enticing.  The laws of God are given for man’s best interest.  The gospel will produce a fruitful life of holiness (Romans 6:22).  It offers stability and peace for those who submit to it.  This is attractive!

Furthermore, God is the author of our existence and preserver of our life.  He bestows favors we could never repay.  The acceptance of the gospel is the difference between life and death.  Such wonderful blessings can hardly be resisted.

Finally, in the heart of every human is a sense of eternity and an aspiration to do God’s will (Eccl. 3:11). His spirit draws him toward God, but his flesh draws him away.  Following the inner feeling some will readily promise to obey like Israel at Sinai.

The contrast of Israel’s pledge with their conduct is well known.  Similar promises are made to Christ, but while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.