For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors. Deuteronomy 4:31
He stood there, just having got off the school bus. Refusing to come inside the house. He did this frequently, so today was not any different than most. So I did what I usually do, sat on the porch and waited for this to be over.
Until he looked at me and said, “Aren’t we going to get donuts?”
He hadn’t forgotten. And I was really hoping he had forgotten.
“Can we go tomorrow?”
“No! You promised! You promised we would get donuts!” I could see it coming. Only because it used to come every afternoon (not over donuts, just because it was part of the after school sensory overload). A meltdown was brewing in the front yard. In full view of all the neighbors. And this one was all my fault. Because I was breaking a promise.
I did go get those donuts, and I vowed to not break a promise if it was in my power not to ever again. Not because I wanted to avoid a public meltdown. Simply because I wanted to avoid the disappointment that another person may feel. And because I now knew-kids remember promises. Frankly, I believe we all do. And we remember even more those that are broken.
And in those broken promises we build a foundation of mistrust, disappointment, and insecurity. In the world around us and the people in it.
It’s common. It’s a part of our carnal, sin nature. We say things and make promises to get the heat off us for a while. “We will do that tomorrow,” is often code for “Man I just don’t feel like it today, and I likely won’t want to tomorrow either. Maybe they will forget.” They don’t. They ask again. We put it off for another day, and they eventually do stop the asking, which is what we desired. But they also stop trusting. They stop seeking a relationship with us. They stop seeing us as reliable. Safe.
Until we start to wonder if promises were ever meant to be kept at all. Or mere lip service. Never to honored in the first place.
They were. They are meant to be kept. They will be honored.
And they are kept and honored by God. Every promise He makes He delivers. He has in the past and He will again.
He promised Abraham a son, and delivered. He promised to make him a father of many nations, and blessed him with offspring that made up the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
He promised David a descendent that would build a throne for God, which was in fact Solomon; but that would also sit with God. That his lineage would include one who saves. Through the lineage of David, we have Christ.
He promises that for those who believe in Christ, to provide the Holy Spirit, and He is surely alive and active. He promised and did adopt us as His children.
He also established an eternal kingdom for us, one He promises we will inherit one day. Do we believe His words are more than mere lip service? I know I do.
Promises may not mean much to people. They may be mere words spoken in haste, or to put someone off for the time being. But they are a covenant to God.
He WILL do what He has promised. He has before and He will again.