Of things vowed, offered, sanctified, and devoted to God.
In Leviticus chapter twenty-seven, there is much information concerning things (including persons) willingly given over to God. Of this, the authors Keil and Delitzsch observe “vows form no integral part of the covenant laws, but were a freewill expression of piety…” and K & D go on to say “it was not a sin to refrain from vowing, but that every vow, when once it had been made, was to be conscientiously and inviolably kept…” It was in that spirit that Hannah faithfully pledged to lend her son unto the LORD, and it was in violation of that spirit that Ananias and Sapphira unfaithfully kept back a part of the price of the land. (Acts 5)
In Leviticus 27:2 the word “vow” is used, in 27:9 “offering,” in 27:14 “sanctify,” and in 27:21 “devoted.” Forms of each of those words can be used as nouns; as our “vow” might be persons, beasts, houses, or lands among other things, and they can also be used as verbs; i.e we offer an offering. I believe it is in this sense that believers speak of their “devotions.”
I recently heard a fine Christian man that I love speak of his morning “devotions.” He was speaking of time freely and conscientiously given over to God! His devotions might include time reading the Word, or time given to prayer, and quite probably his devotions include times of each. “Devotions,” as we use the term, are a time of reflective thinking, maybe before we embark on the secular duties of the day, and a time where we faithfully pledge to carefully and with integrity meld the sacred and the secular, placing all properly under the banner of the sacred. For some, there are morning devotions, for others evening devotions, and again, possibly both. For preachers, devotions of this sort are an eight-hour-day-matter (if not twenty-four) with their particular challenge to not become a “professional devoter” but one whose heart never gets callous in the process. And if you don’t think that can happen, give yourselves a quick review of the lives of Nadab and Abihu, and also the lives of Hophni and Phinehas. These four all allowed the conscientiousness and the inviolability of their devotions to slip away, with results equal to the infamy of Ananias and Sapphira.
I’m not saying that God will kill you if you slip on your devotions. NO! I am not saying that! (Who knows, maybe He will – I’m just not saying it.) What I am saying is that God in His Word specifically addresses things specifically devoted to Him, and that we have borrowed a term to apply to our special times, our devotions, with Jesus. We need to sanctify those times that we have vowed to offer to God, and remember that such a sanctified spirit produced a Samuel through Hannah.
We are indwelled by our Triune God completely and totally, and that is the unchangeable work of God Almighty. Praise the LORD! All day every day is special for the Christian, but let’s be sure that our devotions are especially special!
Love and Prayers to all,