When God disciplines us we have two courses of action. We can either refuse it, thinking it’s only punishment. Or we can accept it, viewing it as positive correction for our good. Jeremiah talked about God disciplining him like an unruly calf, which if you’ve ever worked with livestock…you know what Jeremiah is talking about! You want the herd to follow the safe path, but suddenly they decide they’d rather go the opposite way…straight into danger. They are turning away from what they see as punishment (they’re being told where to go), and not accepting the discipline as what’s best for them. (they are unaware of the peril ahead)
A few verses later the writer of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, sums up this verse by saying, ” It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.” (Ecclesiastes 5:5) We are not to be rash or hasty in our promises to God…that’s what Solomon called sacrifices of fools. Rather, we are to use self discipline…listening for that still small voice of the Holy Spirit in order to hear clearly what the Lord wants of us.