Promises

When someone makes a promise, that person is declaring to another that something will or will not be done. When a promise is made, the person to whom it was made has the right to expect that it will be kept. Yet sometimes it can seem like promises are made to be broken. Children promise their parents not to repeat a bad behavior, only to do so. Husbands and wives promise to stay together through good times and bad, only to jump ship when times get rough. Nations promise to abide by a treaty, only to violate that treaty. One often broken promise is the campaign promise. Political candidates, in their efforts to be elected, make promises to the voting public to do something, or perhaps not to do something. But then, once elected, those promises are sometimes unfulfilled.

The bottom line is that we can’t always count on people to keep their promises. But when it comes to God, Scripture makes it clear that He is a promise keeper. God’s promises reveal His purposes and God does not waver from those purposes or from His promises. He is fully committed to His promises. If God says He will do something, we can be sure that He will do it. Scripture tells us, in Numbers 23:19, that “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Hebrews 6:18 says that “God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” God doesn’t lie and God is unchanging, so when God makes a promise, it is something that we, as believers, can totally depend on. Just ask Joshua.

After God used Moses to set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the promised land, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, as a result of their disobedience. But God had promised them that land. And God delivered on that promise. Let’s take a look at Joshua 21:43-44. Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites finally entered into the promised land. In verse 43, we read, “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.” Not only did they enter the land but, when they did, they faced the enemies that lived there and, with God’s help, defeated them. Verse 44 says, “And the LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the LORD helped them conquer all their enemies.”

Now let’s go to Joshua 21:45. It’s here that Joshua tells us that, “Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” God was faithful to His promise. He kept His word. God said He would give the Israelites the land He promised them, and He did. But perhaps the greatest promise that God has ever made, a promise that He made to you, to me, to every person who has or will walk the face of this planet we call home, is the promise that He would make a way for each of us to have eternal life, a promise to send a Redeemer who who paid the price for our sins. And that promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

In his second letter to the church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 1:20), the apostle Paul wrote, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” All God’s promises are “Yes!” and “Amen!” in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we can experience the hope of eternal life in God’s presence. This is a promise we can depend on, a promise we can hold onto. As the writer of Hebrews said, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23)

Can I get an “amen?”

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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