The Vow of a Soldier

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, May 27, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia


Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 15:1-15

Text: 2 Chronicles 15:14

2 Chronicles 15:14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.

Introduction: All this month I have been preaching about vows that people make and the commitment that we should make to KEEP those vows. This is also Memorial Day Weekend, when we honor those who died in war for our country. Today I want to combine both subjects, as we think upon THE VOW OF A SOLDIER.

In verse 5 of today’s scripture reading the Bible says that there was no peace. It was a time of war.

People get very religious in desperate times of trouble. One of those times is the time of war. A man who is an atheist is likely to lose his atheism when bullets are flying over his head and bombs are landing around him, as he moans, “Oh, God! Oh, GOD!”

On the battlefield, soldiers sometimes make vows to God. “If you will only get me through this, Lord, I will …” (finish the statement)

Sometimes a soldier might make a foolish vow. Perhaps the best example of this in the Bible was that of Jephthah, a judge of Israel and a soldier, when he was in battle with the Ammonites:

Judges 11:30-31 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

His own DAUGHTER was “whatsoever” came forth of the doors of his house to meet him, and he offered her up for a burnt offering.

However, many soldiers make GOOD vows: a vow to trust Christ and be saved; a vow to get back into church; a vow to spend time in prayer or in reading the Bible; a vow to be true to his wife.

When a soldier recognizes his need of God in a time of war, and he makes a vow to God, he should KEEP it:

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

A vow that is not honored is an example of what we call “foxhole religion.”

Perhaps you did not serve in the U.S. armed forces. However, you have still been in battles, if you have lived for very long. You have experienced times of distress. Let me mention some of the battles of life and the vows people might make during them.


2 Kings 20:1-3 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, 3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

Hezekiah was in trouble. The Bible doesn’t say that he made any vows, but it certainly would have been understandable.

I have known people to vow to God that if they could just get well, then they would

A. Be born again

  • However, some of these same people get well, go on living as they did before, ignore the gospel, and die and go to hell.

B. Be baptized

  • You should never put off being baptized if you’re physically able to do it.
  • Last Sunday evening a young lady was baptized, who had broken her neck only a couple of weeks earlier.

C. Belong to a local church

  • Every believer should make church membership a top priority!
  • I believe that a Christian should find the place God would have him to serve, and THEN trust God for a job, not look for a job and then hope there is a good church in that area.
  • People move to a town and in less than a month’s time, they pick out a bank, a day care, a grocery store, and a pharmacy, but they will sometimes take months and YEARS to find the right CHURCH to join!


Jacob, also known as Israel, the father of the Jewish nation, was largely occupied with money and possessions. He had swindled his brother of his inheritance and of his father’s blessing. As he was sent off by his father to seek a wife and God’s blessing, he felt his need of God. He vowed a vow.

Genesis 28:20-22 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob vowed that if God would be with him, protect him, and provide food and clothing for him, he would be loyal to God above all idols, he would honor a place as God’s house, and he would tithe.

Do you want God’s blessings upon your life? Have you been through a financial crisis? Do you need God’s blessings on your substance? Then make a vow and keep it

A. To glorify God

  • This is our chief reason for living.
  • Everything we do should be done to glorify our Lord.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

B. To go to the house of God

  • People ask God to meet their needs. Then they take a job that requires them to miss church!
  • Heb. 10:25 INCLUDES jobs, my friend!
  • Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
  • It may take some time and praying, but God is able to provide your needs WITH you coming to every church service!
  • By the way, you’ll never grow like you should, as long as you’re just a Sunday morning church goer, or even worse.

C. To give tithes and offerings to God’s church

  • ALL of our money belongs to God; we are just stewards, managing it for Him!
  • We should give tithes and offerings FIRST, off the top, and trust GOD to meet our needs.
  • Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


Most of you young people don’t have any idea about this, and even some of you adults don’t realize this, but the GREATEST battles you will ever fight will be fought within your own mind.

One of the men who fought this battle was a famous king of Babylon, named Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

A. Humble yourself

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s biggest problem at the time was PRIDE.
  • Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
  • Pride will destroy ANYbody, and it will destroy the growth and fruitfulness of a Christian.

B. Honor God

  • Daniel 4:37a Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven …

C. Hunt for HIS wisdom and blessing

  • Seek HIS peace; HIS goals; HIS emotional stability; HIS mind; HIS happiness.


I’ve known men who wouldn’t give God the time of day until their home started falling apart. Just as soon as the thing got back together, they acted like God didn’t even exist!

Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

People have all kinds of battles about the home:

  1. The loneliness of the single life, desiring a mate
  2. The breaking of a home in divorce
  3. Unfaithfulness by a spouse
  4. Arguments between husband and wife
  5. Disobedient and wayward children

Before, during, and after such battles, it is not surprising that people make vows to the Lord.

A. They vow to follow the Savior

  • When we married we made up our minds to be faithful to every church service, and to give tithes and offerings faithfully.

B. They vow to be faithful to their spouse

  • You made that vow when you married. RENEW it! … especially when you’re having problems!

C. They vow to be fruitful in soul-winning

  • Dad, Mom, and the children in a Christian home should all be soul-winners!
  • I remember a lady who worked a full-time job, had a husband and kids, and taught a Sunday School class. At an invitation following one sermon, she almost ran down the aisle, tears streaming down her face, to surrender to be a bus captain. Why? She wanted to reach young people for Jesus Christ!

Have you made a vow to God when you were going through some battle in your life?

About …
Getting saved?
Getting baptized?
Being a church member?
Being faithful to the church services?
Tithing and giving to missions?
Going soul-winning?
Reading your Bible?

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