We must ask Him for the grace to learn from our mistakes—and from our successes.

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 23-24

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 23:21

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.

Family life, societal life, personal and corporate health practices, financial matters, justice issues, and care for the poor are all covered in our reading. We might do well to follow some of these instructions today. In Biblical times, there were upper and lower millstones needed to grind wheat, corn, etc. The creditor is not to deprive the miller of his means of income (Deut. 24:6). What if we followed the instructions here for a honeymoon of a full year (Deut. 24:5)? Interest-free loans and not entering someone’s home to repossess borrowed items are all good ideas. And our key verse is so important. An unpaid pledge is serious business. It is a betrayal of our word. Then there is the last verse of our reading and the word “remember.”


Lord God, please bring to my remembrance those experiences from the past that I need to think about. May I have grace to learn from my mistakes and also from my successes. May I also learn from the experiences of the Children of Israel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


I well remember the occasion when Norma-Jean and I made a pledge to the building fund of Bethel Church in Hamilton, Ontario. I had been pastor there several years before, and when I went full time as an itinerant evangelist, Norma-Jean and the children continued to participate in the life of that congregation. It was time, by vote of the people and the leadership of the pastor, to build a new church building. Our pledge was a significant amount. Our date for paying up, Dec. 31, 1976, came and went and I had not paid the pledge. At the same time, our house was for sale, as we knew we must move to Toronto, but it was not selling. Finally, in desperation, my wife and I went to the bank, borrowed the money, and made an appointment to visit Pastor Shepherd to present our check, almost two months late. As far as we know, at the very time I laid the check on the pastor’s desk, Ray Edwards, our realtor, received the call that sold our house. I don’t believe the timing was accidental. I learned that God takes pledges very seriously.

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