Tuesday, July 15, 2008

God's Promises

In Joshua 21:43-45, we read this:

So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. (NASB)

God had kept His promise to the patriarchs, the children of Abraham now possessed and lived in all the land that God had promised. God had kept His word. Not only did God give the land to the people, this passage tells us that not one of the promises he made to Israel failed, but all of them had come to pass. Every promise he made came true.

How hard it should be for any human to make a promise. The reason being that we can't control all events around us to make sure the promise we make will come to pass. In fact, we can't control our next breath or the next beat of our heart. But God can make promises to His people because He controls all things. My pastor said in his sermon this Sunday about taking what Paul refers to as a "trustworthy statement" "to the bank." Why can we guarantee the promises of the Bible? Why are the promises of the Bible, trustworthy statements? We can truly trust every promise of God that He makes for He alone has the power to make sure it happens. If He promises it, you can bet on it. It will happen. Charles Spurgeon has a wonderful quote on the control or sovereignty that God has over every atom in the universe:

I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens—that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphis over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He that believes in a God must believe this truth. There is no standing-point between this and atheism. There is no half way between a mighty God that worketh all things by the sovereign counsel of his will and no God at all. A God that cannot do as he pleases—a God whose will is frustrated, is not a God, and cannot be a God. I could not believe in such a God as that.

God controls every atom, so every promise will come true. Read your Bible and see the hundreds of promises God makes to His people. If you are a believer, they are sure because He has the power to see it through. Think for example of all the promises in Romans 8. I really like the verse Romans 8:32, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things" Paul tells us that if God has given His own Son for us, he will most certainly give us all things. What an amazing statement.

What is also amazing is that God's faithfulness to His promises is secure outside of our ability to be faithful to Him. Though we have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, we are still sinners, and we still fail. Is our hope in our ability to obey? Thank God it is not! Our hope is in the promises of God that all who put their trust in the work of Jesus Christ as their substitute will be forgiven of sin and have eternal peace with God. Our hope is outside of ourselves - it is in the hands and promise of another. Will we trust him to keep His word? Do we believe that He is faithful and able to keep His word? Let us not be like the first generation of freed Israelites who did not enter the promised land because they "were not able to enter because of unbelief" Hebrews 3:19. Let us hope in Christ alone. That is our only assurance because only "He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" Hebrews 7:25.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Amen, brother - God has the will and the ability to keep his promises!