There is a story in India of one who went on a voyage to another country and was returning by ship to his own country when they encountered stormy seas. In great fear of drowning he prayed to his god, and vowed to sacrifice ten fat oxen if his life were saved. The storm passed over and the sea became calm again.
Before he landed at the port, he reconsidered his promise of ten oxen, and thought the god might be satisfied with five. On his way home, he again thought over his vow, and feared he was still too generous, so he vowed to sacrifice two oxen if he reached home safely without mishap.
Arrived home, he retired to rest, but could not sleep, and vowed that he would the next day take one fat bullock from his herd and make a public sacrifice to his god in thanksgiving for his preservation and safe return. But, awaking in the night, he again changed his mind, and thought his goat might be a good substitute for an ox. When he told his wife the next morning that he intended offering the one goat they had to their god in gratitude for the preservation of his life, she strongly objected, saying that it had just begun to give a seer of milk daily and she could not afford to lose that milk. 'All right,' said he, 'I shall take to the temple a large basket of peanuts: and these will surely be better and more pleasing to the god than an animal sacrifice.' So he prepared the basket of peanuts and was on his way to the temple, when it occurred to him that he had not tasted peanuts for some
considerable time. So he began to take a few and liked them so well that he had eaten them all by the time he reached the temple. All that was left to pay the vow that he had made was a basket of husks.
(Deut. 12. 10, 11; 23. 23; Eccles. 5. 5; Mal. 1. 14)
A Christian in a South Indian town where there was a large assembly, lay at death's door with typhoid fever. At that time the assembly was very poor and met in a schoolroom 150 years old, and too small for the congregation of God's people. They very much needed a hall sufficiently spacious for the increasing numbers being added to the local church, and there was only Rs.2,000 in hand.
The sick brother then made a vow that, if the Lord restored him to health, he would provide a commodious hall for the local assembly. When he recovered from his sickness, Satan tempted him to break his vow and withhold the money, but the Lord had the victory and the hall was built and called `Bethany', which means 'the house of the poor'. It not only provided what was so much needed for the assembly but became, as the years passed, the birthplace of many souls. The brother who fulfilled his vow and gave so generously for the construction of the hall was granted renewed health and prospered in his business.
(Gen. 28. 20; Judg. 11. 39; Eccles. 5. 4, 5)