Psalm 66:13-14Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you— yes, the sacred vows you heard me make when I was in deep trouble.
It is commonly understood that when it comes to life threatening situations people who exhibit little interest in spirituality and eternity are suddenly moved to pray when under fire. Others have been known to experience dramatic conversions under threat of hanging.
In many instances people are moved to make vows and commitments to God in their desperation, it is often a reflection of their realization that they are not in control of the out of life situations. Example of such , is when people are facing life sentences or near death experiences. They tend to seek God and make promises.
And when death sentences have been commuted, some relieved offenders have sadly forgotten the commitments made to God under duress. The psalm writer, recounting the dire circumstances through which his nation had passed, observed, “We went through fire and flood. But you brought us to a place of great abundance” (Ps. 66:12).
This situation offered the chance for the people to express great gratitude in genuine worship, obedience, trust, and service. It also provided the opportunity for shallow promises to be exposed by thoughtless, thankless actions. We must be a people who follow through with our Vows, Promises, and Commitment to God.
The Lord had warned his people of such a possibility when Moses gave them their final instructions shortly . No foxhole faith is in evidence here, only a deep appreciation for mercy extended and grace received. He was deeply aware that the Lord “did not withdraw his unfailing love from [him]” (66:20).
The psalmist showed his appreciation first of all in the quality of his response. There is nothing grudging, halfhearted, or coldly formal here. He brought “the best of [his] rams” (66:15), unlike some of his compatriots who were known to “offer animals that [were] crippled and diseased” (Malachi 1:8). The quality of appreciation shown, demonstrates the depth of our. Heart to God in Gratitude and Thanksgiving.
His appreciation was shown repeatedly to be real through his desire to share his experience of God’s goodness with others—”Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me” (66:16).
What better response can a man have to the Lord’s unfailing love than to show unfailing gratitude to the one who has not failed him! Fires, floods, foxholes, and the actions that follow will show the caliber of a man’s faith. For in such Gratitude, we bear great fruits.