Have you ever had someone make a promise to you, then fail to keep it? Maybe when you were a kid, a parent promised to spend time with you and forgot. It could be a friend who said they would spend time with you and failed to make it happen. For some reading this, a spouse made a promise in a church, and then failed to keep that promise. We should be very careful when we make promises, because our integrity is on the line. When we break a promise, the person who was wronged will find it difficult to trust you the next time.
God keeps His Word. When He makes a promise, God keeps it! A covenant is a Biblical word for a promise. God had made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give their descendants the promised land. The book of Genesis tells the story of these men and the covenant God made with them. The Hebrew people we now find in the book of Exodus are the descendants of these early Hebrew fathers. God promised these patriarchs that their descendants would be a great people. When God made the promise He fully intended on keeping it… in His time.
But God’s timing took 400 years. Generations had come and gone, each looking for the fulfillment of God’s promise. But it never seemed to come. Now God’s people were losing hope and had started doubting that God would keep His Word. People had been praying for years to see God fulfill His promise, but instead the people ended up in slavery.
When we read about God’s promises and covenants, we should remember three things. First of all, God is sovereign. When God made his covenant with Abraham, he was revealing a little bit of His sovereign plan. He was letting Abraham know that His purpose and plan would eventually come to pass. Nothing or no one could keep God from doing what He had planned.
Second, God’s promises are a reminder that He is faithful. Since you will never find a promise that God does not keep, we can know that God is trustworthy. We can come to him and know that He will do what He has said.
Third, God’s promises remind us to wait on His timing. The timing of God is always perfect. He will accomplish His plan and His will in His time. As humans, we cannot see the entire picture. We want everything to happen now, and only see things one day at a time. But God sees the panorama. He knows what will happen each day and what each life holds. His timing may not be our timing, but God’s ways are best.
One of the great promises of the Bible is that Jesus will come again. As a Christian, we wait on the fulfillment of this promise, looking forward to the day where we will spend eternity in heaven. There is a word used in the Bible by followers of Jesus that expresses the hopeful expectation of this promise, “maranatha”, which means, come quickly Lord! Sometimes we want God to keep His promise now. But remember, God is faithful, and He will keep His Word… in His time.