Reading through the Bible together
The Holiness Code in Leviticus, listing what God expects of those who belong to Him, concludes in chapter 26. The final chapter of Leviticus deals with the question of vows made to the Lord. Vows were promises made to the Lord to perform some service, give some gift, or offer Him a sacrifice. Vows were entirely voluntary, but sometimes they could not be kept, so in His mercy, God generally offered a way to redeem the obligation. This was done by placing a monetary value on what was vowed. If the vow could not be carried through, then the value of that vow could be paid directly to God instead. This money could not be paid with either the tithe or with animals that normally were to be sacrificed to the Lord.
Our voluntary vows, or promises to God, are serious obligations that must be fulfilled. They should always spring from hearts overflowing with gratitude and love for God. They should not be rash vows, but thought through as to their feasibility. They should always stem from our desire to do something special for our God, rather than to try to bargain with Him.
Atlantic Union College