I rarely think about the hundreds of times God made promises to His people and kept them. God never made a promise without keeping it, even if it was concerning evil if His people worshipped other gods. I’ve listed just a sampling of God’s major promises, sometimes with consequences for not obeying.
- God made promises to mankind from the very beginning of people’s existence when He told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or he would die (Genesis 2:16-17). Spiritually Adam and Eve did die, shown by their fear when He appeared to them that evening; beforehand, they’d welcomed God’s presence.
- God made a promise to Noah that a great flood was coming on the whole earth, but to build an ark and his family would be saved. Noah obeyed and only his family survived the horrible flood (Genesis 6:11-8:12.)
- God promised Abraham that He would make a great nation from him and Sarah. The beginning of the nation of Israel was born from Isaac, the child of promise in Abraham’s old age. (Genesis 13:1-7.)
- Even Jesus Christ was a long-awaited descendant of Abraham. Did you know God has over 300 prophesies about Jesus in the Bible? All have been fulfilled exactly as stated except those in the future still (reference: the whole Bible.)
- God said that the nation of Israel would be restored to their native land and did more than once after Israel disobeyed and went into captivity. Centuries later, our promise-keeping Lord did this in 1947 when that covenant became reality for the last time.
Why do I mention so many times promises God has declared and kept? Because that’s the theme of this article – God’s faithfulness to His people. To You and to Me!
At times I haven’t been faithful to God in my heart, even though I never denied Him or did what we think of as “big sins.” I simply didn’t do things I knew I should do as the child of a Holy God. Has He ever quit loving me? No! I’ve known His love, and the older I’ve gotten the more real it is, but that didn’t always keep me as close to Him as I knew I wanted to be but simply didn’t take the steps to make that happen.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God makes a new and different covenant with us than the Old Testament people of God had. Why? Because Jesus became our offering to God to save us from Hell instead of us sacrificing animals to ask for forgiveness. God is always perfect and just; our human nature keeps us from being that way. God never breaks that covenant, even when we stray from Him. He always loves us as His child, even more than a parent loves and forgives a disobedient child.
But when I strayed from God, I was like that rebellious child who even though they loved their parents, stayed away from them because they were unwilling to change their behavior. There was a gap in the fellowship and both missed it, but the child was stubborn. As people, sometimes we find ourselves wanting our way more than God’s way; that’s what happened to me. I was simply being lazy as far as God was concerned.
In Revelation 2:1-7 Christ recognizes the church at Ephesus for their good works, patient endurance and how they hate those who do evil. Jesus then gives a warning to the church, saying they have left their first love meaning – in today’s terms – they’d let family, work or self-interest come before Him. This is what I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, that I’d put other things before spending more time with my Father.
God gives us that choice, but He always longs for us to return to our rightful place of easy communication with Him. When we choose to return, He draws us ever closer and we experience His love with greater reality. That doesn’t mean our Father doesn’t love us less when we stray but simply that our disobedience has gotten in the way of our experience of His love.