Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Promise Keeper

When I was growing up nothing got me in trouble quicker than not telling the truth.  As I recall, it was not something I always found easy to do.  Sometimes telling the truth was more like a game of confession and consequences.  And to be honest is to admit that I often succumbed to the temptation of not telling all the truth, or stretching it a bit, or just choosing what I knew to be an untruth.  But, I also remembered that promising something raised the seriousness of whatever was at stake. It was one thing to tell a lie, but an even more serious thing to break a promise. 
One of the things we can say about God is that He is always faithful to keep His Word.  While He does not have to say, "I promise" in order to be trustworthy, there are those moments in the Scripture when He talks about Himself as a Promise Keeper.  One of those places is found in the middle of the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah.  Beginning in verse 14 we hear Him saying, "The days are coming , says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In those days and that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land."   What God promised through the prophet Jeremiah, we see Him bringing to pass when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  He came saying about Himself, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,..."  (Luke 4:18)  Indeed, He came as the righteous One of God.  He came to establish a new order.
God is One who does not change.  As He has kept His promises, so He continues to keep them.  Sometimes it takes hindsight to see that it has indeed happened.  The birth at Bethlehem and the death at Calvary revealed Him as the Promise Keeper.  What He said He would do, He did.  When we are in the midst of moments which seem empty of hope and God's presence, we, too, have every reason to hang on to God as a faithful Promise Keeper.  As it has been in the past, when we move out of the darkness and into the light of hope again, we are able to see clearly that His promises to be with us never changed.

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