We live in a world and cultures which are full of broken promises.
How beautiful it is to get out first thing in the morning and walk on freshly fallen and yet frozen snow. To hear the sound of the snow slowly giving way beneath your feet as you tread a path across the untainted and uncharted whiteness that stretches out before you. The feelings of a pioneer moving through a newly discovered frontier filling mind and heart. Nothing is impossible for you!
How usual after living long enough to know to walk daily across ground littered with broken promises. Gifts that offered so much shattered by reasons as numerous as their bearers. Some broken for reasons well beyond the capabilities of anyone or anything. The promise was that we would do this together, but now, their places stand empty and so I stand alone with a broken promise at my feet. We promised that we would do that, but now the resources have gone and we stand together with that promise unfulfilled seemingly pulling our lips edges ever downward.
Some promises though have been broken through malice of others. A promise of loyalty, fidelity, love, care, affection, provision and the list could go on and yet it was smashed much like a sledgehammer intentionally brought down upon a crystal wine glass. Why destroy the gift that was given? Why give it in the first place? Would it not have been more loving never to have promised at all?
Chris Corner and his band went to La Vegas which seemed to promise them everything. When they left they wrote a song about their experience and the city that promised so much is referred to as ‘the land of broken promises.’ Places, ages, parents, family, careers, money and on and on the offerers of promises are listed and yet we are all in the ‘land of broken promises.’ It seems that Chris Corner’s revelation about Las Vegas is simply a magnification of the fallen world in which we live.
What if when man fell in the garden of Eden we lost the ability to fulfil not just our promise, but our promises. Is that why, perhaps, Jesus said it is best to let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Or in turn why we should add ‘God-willing’ to out statements about the future in place of making promises that we may not have the ability to fulfil.
Where the Scriptures seem like a refreshing drink is when we come across verses like these:
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. 2 Cor. 1: 20
Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21: 45
Unlike every other person that you will ever come across God does not have the ability to lie. He is the only person with the inability to break His own promises. That means that if He makes a promise it is more certain than the portion of the earth that is currently supporting you. Seriously look down to the ground beneath you!! God’s promise keeping is more sure than what is beneath you, more secure than the entire created order which at the moment he is sustaining by the word of His mouth.
Surely then the believers greatest task is to discover the promises that he has made. To read them, think about them, memorise them and draw comfort from them. Yet we must understand them well. I have occasionally come across believers who feel that God has broken his promise to them. Yet it is what was assumed God was promising rather than what He actually did.
He does not promise health, freedom from debt or even family life free from trials and heartache. He does not promise world wide fame, or local fame for that matter! He does not promise obedient children nor an understanding spouse. Nor does He promise the dream house or sun swept beaches with perfect surf. His promises are of a different order, an eternal nature.
Upon closer inspection we see through careful attention to the promises themselves (in their individual context) that none lie broken on the ground. These promises have stood through famine, pestilence, plagues, pandemics, fires, trials and yes even through death itself. Unlike the kingdom of the world the kingdom of God is one where we walk inhaling the fresh life-giving promises of God. A kingdom in which none of His promises lie broken on the ground.
Over the next few weeks a variety of authors will lead us as we seek to breathe deeply from the promises of our promise keeping God. Pray that as we do faith will form from hearing these together. That our trust in His Promises will be more certain than your trust in that ground beneath you!
P.S: Good song to reflect on these points.