Standing on the Promises of God
Beauty and the Beast – a promise kept. I recall when my daughter was a little girl, she came downstairs and asked me a loaded question. “Daddy, why do kids have to keep their promises, but grown-ups don’t? I knew where this was going. I asked what that might be, to which she replied, “You promised to take me to the movie, and you didn’t. We saw it that afternoon.
Most of us do not make promises we do not intend to keep. Circumstances may arise that prevent us, but the promisee is not always understanding—even if s/he is not a child. Breaking a promise you can keep insures one thing. You are a liar. That is a strong indictment, but it comes from a strong source—the Word of God. I could list more than a dozen verses in both OT and NT that speak to the subject.
What about God? What was said above about us holds even more true for God. If every promise of God is not true—
if He does keep even one of them, then He is a liar, our faith should crumble, and we are simply back depending on ourselves or others.
But, indeed, God is not a liar and all His promises are true. Biblical Christians believe the Bible is the true Word of God, i.e., it contains no errors or inaccuracies (in its original form). He is Truth (Jesus words in John 17), and we can take God at His Word. The question is “Do we?”
Three Promises of God that “stand out” so we can “stand on” them
1. Promised to be God to His People (that includes us)
Let’s begin by letting God speak for Himself regarding His promises. The first example is fascinating because the words are spoken by a profit-seeking prophet named Balaam. His story may be read in Numbers 22-25.
This so-called prophet was hired by the king of Moab to curse God’s people—instead he ended up blessing them. It may be hired to understand, but God speaks to and through whomever He chooses. BUT only to accomplish His purposes, i.e., bless or punish His people. Here is part of Balaam’s response to the pagan king.
“God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
From Abraham to Jacob to Moses to David and throughout the Old Testament, God made and kept His promises. Joshua summed it up best (Joshua 23: 14)
“Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.”
2. Promised to send a Savior (Messiah) – From Genesis to Malachi, there are many prophecies about this Promised One:
- Genesis 3: 15 God’s words to Satan; 12: 1-3 God’s promise to Abraham
- Isaiah 9: 6-7 wonderful counselor, prince of peace mighty God; 53 suffering servant
- Micah 5: 2 born in Bethlehem
- Zechariah 9: 9 rode into Jerusalem on a donkey – righteous and having salvation
- Malachi 4: 2 Sun of Righteousness rises with healing in His wings
If His promise was not kept, we are all as Paul said,
“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15: 16-18
3. Personal Promise to all who are in Christ
“…being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”” Heb. 13: 5-6
The part of verse 5 in caps is quoted from Deuteronomy 31:6 when Moses was about to die and passing the baton to Joshua. He said those words to encourage their hearts as I do now to encourage yours.
And one more. Perhaps the most important promise of all—eternal security. The Apostle Paul taught the following to the church to reassure them (us) that God keeps His promises and our salvation is secure because He does.
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” 2 Corinthians 1: 20-22
I know some of you are still not convinced. You look at your circumstances and question why you are here or why God would let the bad things happen in your life that have? The first question we have to ask ourselves is what is my part? Did my bad choices or decisions bring me to this point? That can be the hardest truth for men to face—looking first in the mirror.
Or perhaps it is someone else’s fault. “They are to blame. I am a victim.” Brothers, no matter how you arrived at this point, God promised all I have covered tonight with one condition – that you take Him at His Word that Jesus is His provision for our sins and receive Him as Savior. The Apostle Paul told us “we can do all things through Christ. But perhaps the words of Jesus bring more truth to this lesson. Jesus Himself said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
So let us trust the Lord our God and take Him at His Word. Let is be said of us as it was of Moses by the writer of Hebrews,
“By faith (Moses) he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king (Pharaoh); for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible (unseen).” Hebrews 11: 27