Why We Can Stand on God's Promises
Why We Can Stand on God's Promises
There is a clear difference between the promises made by human beings and the promises made by God. Take a look at four reasons why we can trust the promises of God and not of man.
Good afternoon everyone.
This afternoon I'd like to address a topic that touches all of us from time to time. I'd like to ask you this question. Anyone here ever had a promise made to you and had that promise broken? I think we're all in that same boat, aren't we? It can start as early as just a young child growing up. Promises are made by parents to the child and the child is all excited and waiting for it and all of a sudden, oh it doesn't happen. Then the child is kind of a little taken back and heartbroken. Then you get a little older and promises get bigger and stakes get higher and finally you get to adult life and you've got all these promises and people promise this and they promise that.
One of the things that I think is quite obvious from scriptural admonition and this is what I want to focus in on today; the differences between promises made by human beings and promises made by God. In fact I'm going to address this message as four reasons why we can stand on the promises of God. Four reasons why we can stand and show you four reasons why you can't stand on human promises.
Because we live in a day and age today where human beings have got to such a degree of confused understanding about life that they say things, they do things and they never really stop to consider how it is received by those who are receiving it. We make statements, things come flying out of our mouths and we might mean one thing but how is the party receiving it, how are they taking it? This is why God has cautioned us all to take heed how you hear and be slow to speak, don't be too fast and quick to just be popping off. We live in a pop-off world today where people are popping off their ideas left and right. God says we need to be much more thought provoking in our own personal analysis of things and be more cautious and careful how we say things and do things because He says for example,with His word; His word is like a two edged sword. If you take God's word and you say it to a certain other individual you could say something in such a way, you could cut him deeply and hurt them. You have to know how to wield the sword very, very carefully and skillfully as a skilled swordsman spiritually speaking. You can't just go around and start slashing away with the word of God or you can really do damage to people. You can misrepresent God in such a way that He is not glorified by that kind of conduct.
Well in the particular aspect of the question we want to look at on promises, generally these four areas where we fall down as human beings and we're all guilty of it, everyone has fallen into this trap and that you know is something that we just have to look at as an inherent weakness that we all have. It is not designed to throw stones at anyone; it just makes us realize we need to be a lot more cautious in these areas.
Now the first area where human beings fall down in this matter and you can kind of take your own spiritual temperature and see where you've fallen into this. Many times we'll make a promise and then we just flat forget. We just forget. We're forgetful. Maybe a husband has said something to the wife and the wife forgot or maybe the wife said something to the husband and the husband forgot. The person who asked the party to do something, you know, will you please remember to do such and such and oh yeah, o.k., I'll take care of that and then you don't, well how does the person who was waiting for you to come through, what happens then? How do they receive that? Well, I forgot just doesn't cut it, it just doesn't cut it, not to the person whose sitting there all anticipating and waiting for the certain thing to happen that was promised. That's why I say, we've all been hit with this and it's affected all of us as human beings.
Now the second area that impacts on us is that sometimes we can make statements or promises to individuals be it a friend, it appears maybe it's just husband or wife or children or whatever, again a broad application here. But something else comes along and we change our mind, we just change our mind and as a result we don't deliver the goods because we changed our mind. We said we would but for whatever reason we changed and we choose not to do so.
Now the third area is that we have people out there in this world and we all live in this world so we get hit with this; we have people who promise us the moon and they literally deceive us. They deceive us. They promise us good things. You can go to a car salesman and get that. I'm going to give you the best deal going and you've just been had. You don't know you've been had because he deceived you. Lying became almost a way of building into the whole gambit of used car salesman; that's why they're very lowly rated on the respect level by the average person. We have to deal with them but we don't like them. Why? We know they're taking advantage of us, we just don't know how and the answer is you've got to learn to discover how they operate. You've got to learn how they play their dirty game. That's why God says, be wise as the serpent but harmless as the dove. You don't want to get dirty like they do but you want to be able to expose them for what they are. God exposes deception in His word. That's why His word is so precious to us because it exposes this area where individuals in the world that we have to interface with; they promise us things and then they don't deliver because there was deceit involved, deception.
The last category is that many times individuals will make a promise about certain things and say: "I'll do such and such, I promise, I'll do this and that, I promise." One of my personal pet peeves is I don't like seeing a movie where maybe a tragedy has happened and this person is traumatized and you see this person just kind of agonizing and this other person comes along and they want to bring comfort to the person whose traumatized. Understandable, we all would but then they turn around and say, well I'll make sure that this happens and so forth, I promise. I say to myself, you don't have the power to do that. You can't guarantee that. How in the world can you say that you're going to promise? Now you might be lucky and you might be able to accomplish it but you know to promise something that you can't deliver; you don't want to promise things like that because if the person then is really traumatized and they're relying on you and you don't deliver, what happens? But you said and it really just adds grief to their misery to the whole situation. So this is a very important area to look at. As human beings we've all experienced it. Do you know one of the major problems today in modern day marriage; why marriages are falling apart left and right? It's been discovered, broken promises. You promise to love each other forever. Forever didn't last too long. It's like the song saying; people don't hold true to their promises.
Where would you and I be if God did not hold true to His promises? If we could not stand on His promises when He speaks to us. What is it that He's trying to accomplish in our lives so that we will be like Him; that we will be trustworthy, that we will be faithful and true to everything we say, speak and do? In this world I'm afraid we're not, we're all guilty because we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
But God has shown us something in His word that you and I need to review this day so that we can be encouraged in a world that is destroying itself before our very eyes and you and I need to know and understand that there are answers to the questions and problems of life but they only come clear when you understand the promises of God and what God has promised. Thank God He does not operate like human beings do and we're going to see how that operates in a little bit. Let's first of all go to II Peter, chapter 1 if you will, verses 3 and 4. I'm going to hit certain highlight scriptures and for the sake of time move along very rapidly. Some we will look and investigate. Others I will just reference for your notes and then you do your own homework and look them up at your own convenience. Listen to how II Peter, chapter l, verses 3 and 4 is phrased.
II Peter 1: 3 As His divine power has given unto us all things (you see God's power has made it possible has made it possible for all things to exist as we experience life) that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue,
Verse 4: by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, (do we know what those promised are? Are we standing on those promises? It's very important that we understand from God's viewpoint what He has in mind, these promises tied together on a very important area, notice) that through these (these what? These great and precious promises and what He is talking about is that you are then to become enlightened) you may be partakers of the divine nature, (just like we have human nature with its foibles and all its flaws, God purposes something wonderful to take place so that we can be transformed and be partakers of the divine nature that He and Christ have and to do what? To get rid of these areas where we fall down in making promises, because God doesn't fall down on the job when He makes a promise and you and I want to be like God and like Jesus Christ. That's the ultimate goal. Take note if you would please, it says) having escaped (See, we're to escape, get away from, get out of the trap of) the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Lust is a term for inordinate desire. It is a violation of the 10th commandment of coveting and as I gave you a sermon some time back, coveting is a socially acceptable sin today. It's the way the world operates. They'll throw you in jail for murder, well maybe not all the time; it's a crazy world we're living in but then on the other side of the coin we see that's a more serious crime but as far as people coveting and lusting after other peoples possessions or things or jobs or status or what have you, hey, that's perfectly acceptable in this world, that's what's going down.
Well God wants us to understand that He does not operate like man, that's why is says in Isaiah 55 "that your thoughts are not My thoughts, your ways are not My ways." God wants us to understand that and help us to grasp what He is trying to accomplish when He talks about these precious promises that you and I must stand on because our whole future depends on standing on these promises. If we don't stand on these promises, I can only say everything else is shaky ground. It will be just like sand, like building your house; that parable on sand, everything would be falling apart but you'll be rock solid if you're standing like the Christian classic. Remember the old Christian classic that's called "Standing on the Promises?" It says when the hallowing storms of doubt and fear assail, you're standing on the promises of God. Very important to keep these promises in our minds because it guides us. In the book of James chapter 1, verse 12 moving very quickly here it says:
James 1:12 Blessed is the man (as well as the woman) who endures temptation; (we all have to endure temptation, we get hit mentally, emotionally, physically, all kinds of ways; temptations are in this world and what does God say about it? He says through James here) for when he has been proved, (in other words you passed the test, you meet the temptation head on and you conquer, it says) he will receive the crown of life (the man and the woman of God who follows that instruction is told you will have a crown of life) which the Lord has promised (emphasis mine, He's promised that. Now that's a very important aspect to keep in mind) to those who love Him.
Now we know we live in a world where there are a lot of people who are anti-God, anti-theistic and they don't want any part of God in their life. They think they can be good without God. God says there's no way. No way they're ever going to be good apart from God.
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised (and when did He promise?) to those who love Him?
Again, God is very, very kind and merciful and wanting to do what? Grab us something that you and I don't have as men and women in this life; something we all desire but something that can never be given any other way or received in any other way except from God Himself.
What is it? It's found in I John 2, verse 25. Let's go there for a moment and read this one.
I John 2:25 And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.
Paul talks about this in the book of Romans. He says that we are to seek glory, honor and immortality, eternal life. This is what we hunger for because we know that in this physical life it's only a very short period of time. It says James talks about it, it's just like a vapor, it's here, you start out here as a little child and suddenly boom, boom, boom, boom, you're an adult and you say where did it all go? What happened to it? It just evaporated one day at a time. That's how fast 24 hours rolls around. One day at a time. So you and I are told that we have to have ourselves grounded and standing on something far better than every day physical existence because it's too temporary. Everything in this life is just marginalized by the temporal state of affairs.
But now, let's take a look at the four reasons, four reasons God's promises are so wonderful and why they are called great and precious promises because of how God is revealed in this whole equation of when He speaks and when He makes a promise, and boy, that's the way we want to pattern our lives too, to the very best of our ability.
Number 1: The first reason that we need to look at is this: His grace, His unmerited pardon toward all of us as human beings; His loving grace toward us and His goodness will not allow Him to forget. His wonderful grace and goodness will not allow Him to forget because if He forgets, what happens? You and I fall through the cracks. We're history! We're gone and God will not lose anyone who loves Him. You and I are commanded to love Him, to seek glory, honor and immortality, eternal life because that is what our gracious heavenly Father has desired to give us. He has provided through Christ the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I could daily walk with God in an understanding that He is not forgetting who and what you are. He knows your circumstances. He knows whether you're with Him on the same page or whether you're straying and drifting away and because of His love, many times, He does and allows things to happen to try to bring us back home where we need to be because we're drifting.
We live in a world today of drifting, but people forget with their promises. How many times have you been told in your life when a promise was made to you, whatever the promise might be, you fill in the missing blank and somebody came back to you and you came to them and said, "oh about that so and so, that thing that you promised and they looked at you and oh, I forgot." Now maybe they forgot and o.k. they forgot. But what does that do to you? Here you're all excited and looking forward for this fulfillment of this promise and they tell you they forgot and does that person now who has received that, does that person like what he or she has heard? I don't think so. When you're all excited about a promise and somebody yanks the promise out from underneath you, you feel like, well I don't buy that, I don't buy that at all. You just didn't care, you promised me and yet you turned around and you yanked that out and said, I forgot. That's a weak duck excuse as we say. It doesn't go anywhere and a lot of people don't receive that well. They just say, well o.k. so you forgot, so I know where I am on your scale of importance. That's how they look at things like that. Haven't you ever felt that way? I have.
Somebody says something and then they just give me this lame duck excuse and I'm all excited, you know something's going to happen. Promise is a wonderful thing, somebody going to do something nice for you and they say I promise, you know, I'll be there at such and such a time and boom, they're not there. It's a very important thing to consider. What it is saying if we're not careful; we transmit to people if we don't follow through in our promises and this is why God is trying to drive this point home to us; why we must be very careful and very sensitive in these areas; when we say we will do certain things and we must make every effort to make sure we do it. There are extenuating circumstances that do come up and impact, but nobody wants lame duck excuses because it tells us, well you didn't really care all that much, and you see God cares. He cares a whole lot. He cares more then we'll ever know. That's why He won't forget because He knows what's at stake if He does forget. You and I sometimes forget what's at stake when we're dealing with other people and we flip out promises here, promises there and then all of a sudden we don't deliver the goods and we think, oh well, everything's fine and good. It's not fine and good. There's a rift here. Somebody now says well that's how they promise, oh o.k. I'll take note of that and this is how people operate in this human realm called the flesh.
God keeps His promises because He has ordained and willed that He will not forget. He can't forget because again, the consequences to mankind and His plan and purpose would be too catastrophic. God will not allow His plan to come to naught. What He has purposed He will bring to pass in the life of men and women made in His image. You and I can be very grateful for that.
Deuteronomy 4:31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God, (He's a merciful God and He truly is) He will not forsake you nor destroy you, (emphasis mine) nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
So you see this thing goes way back, it goes back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the whole routine and how God was building and all these people He's worked with.
In Psalm 27, David said in verse 13, He made this very encouraging statement:
Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart (in other words I'd have given up and quit, the elements were just too overwhelming and I would have quit, he says) unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
In other words if I didn't know that God was there to bless me. If I didn't know that I'd have given up, but if I knew God was there and that He would be there, I can make it with God's help.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus tells the Church of God and those early disciples who became the apostles; as they go out, what did He tell them? The weight of the whole world and low I am what? With you always, even till the end of the age. I'm there with you. You can count on that. I won't forget you, in other words is what He's saying and boy that's a wonderful and encouraging fact to keep that in mind.
Now the second reason that is so important concerning God and why His promises you can stand on them is because His truth, now God (remember John 17:17, Thy word is truth). God sets the standard of what is and what isn't, what is right and what is wrong. No other entity has that right. Human beings can go about setting their own standard of righteousness, but God says it's like filthy rags. It means nothing. God speaks the truth in all that He does. He lives the truth. He is bound by His truth and all the angelic realm and all creation moves because of the truth of God. Remember what made Lucifer Satan the devil? He no longer choose to abide in the truth. He stepped outside of the parameters of God's guidelines and he said I will establish my own truth and God says, you don't have truth, you are the father of lies.
That's all he can generate, his lies and deception because he hasn't got a faithful promise in him. He is a deceptive, deceitful being and God nails him for what he is and exposes him in the scripture. But God's truth is so important, coupled with His fidelity, and what His fidelity basically means is His steadfastness of mind; His fidelity to stay true to that course even under duress. The word constancy (like we say constant) constancy is a term that means you're steadfast even under duress. I would submit it's like many of our very fine men over there in Iraq who have served and are serving and what do they do? They have to be steadfast in their mission even though they are under great duress. They cannot forget the mission. They have got to complete that mission in order to be successful. Well that's just on a physical level. God is so much more than that and He has committed to His mission and that is to do what? To bring many sons and daughters into glory into the Kingdom of God because that's our whole purpose for being created. There's no reason for us to be here except that God wanted us in His family forever. To do that requires eternal life be added to the equation that you and I don't have and so God has purposed a way to bring that to pass through Jesus Christ. That's why He is our wonderful High Priest, our Savior and our soon coming King and because of God's faithfulness and steadfastness, we are told in scriptures that we can count on the promises of God because those promises are immutable. They are rock solid and God doesn't change. He doesn't forget and He doesn't change and so we're told in Malachi 3 in verse 6:
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
You're not history and wiped out because I won't let it happen. If God let it happen, it would happen, but He watches over His people Israel and so God has given us very clear instruction there and also in Hebrews 13, in verse 8, a very familiar scripture I think most of us are aware of it says:
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, (past generation) today (our generation) and in the future. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Forever He is going to be the same, the same standard because He is unchangeable. It's very important that we keep that in mind.
So God is telling us in essence what I've promised you, I'm not going to yank it out at the last minute. Can you imagine if we endure temptation, went through all these things and then at the last minute here comes God and He looks at us all and He says guess what? I think I've changed My mind, I don't want you in the Kingdom of God. Now what would that do for us? Would you feel like you were betrayed? Would you feel like the bottom had just been yanked out from underneath you? How much more devastating would that have been, because that would be dealing with eternal consequences, not talking about just a physical promise made by human beings, among human beings where we falter. This would be the great God Himself and He changes His mind on us after He's told us to do all this? Unthinkable and that's why God won't let it happen because of His goodness and because of that very factor that again His truth and His fidelity will keep that going where it needs to go.
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises (emphasis mine, to confirm those promises. What were those promises?) they were made to the fathers.
You see we have to know about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and what was spoken to them and how did that all come to pass and how many people today are in the dark simply because they don't know about the Old Testament and what happened in ancient times to Israel. How God worked with them. They think the Old Testament's done away. They're under these misconceptions that really impact and hurt them spiritually from having understanding. Notice if you will in Hebrews 6, beginning in verse 13 through 18.
Hebrews 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, (there he is, the father of the faithful) because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, (in other words God bound Himself through this oath in His relationship saying to Abraham)
Verse 14: Surely blessing I will bless you, (and boy has He blessed us, He has done exactly that) and multiplying I will multiply you.
Verse 15: And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (That's referencing to Abraham)
Verse 16: For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. (That's how we do in this world).
Verse 17: Thus God, determining to show more abundantly (in other words God went above and beyond what human beings do and do you solemnly swear, do you take an oath here and things of this nature, God went above and beyond that, He's going to leave way over what human beings do and I'm going to:) make the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, (in other words this promise is unshakeable, it is locked in absolute soundness by God's very own being and presence) confirmed it by an oath.
Verse 18: That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation (you see you and I need to be encouraged and this is what it's designed to do, to encourage us) who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (We run to God; for what purpose? We run to God to lay hold of the hope that is set before us. You and I need hope, we have to live with hope and if you take hope away from an individual, they die.)
How many times I think of things in man's world again when people have been promised certain things and can you imagine in the military, if individuals; you read the history stories of World War II how General Douglas McArthur in the Pacific was promised he was going to get this type of support from the United States during the war years and they never gave it to him. It was all going over to Europe to fight the Hitler war and later on it finally came over and we then began to get supplies there, but here again, we see these things. If you're counting on something and it doesn't come, it destroys morale and God does not want the moral of His sons and daughters destroyed. He wants us to have consolation and hope in a world that offers you none. You won't get it in the world, you can ask people out there. Nobody's going to give you anything to hope for. It's dog eat dog out there. It's God who loves us and has commanded us to love one another because we're all in the same boat and we all want the same thing. You want happiness. You want the good blessing of life. You want eternal life in the Kingdom of God. But every one of us has had to go through what? Enduring, trials and temptations and difficulties. It's part of this world. But we are promised a crown of life if we endure to the end.
Third reason why we can stand on the promises of God as revealed in the scripture. The third reason is His justice, because He is the lawmaker. His justice and holiness will not allow Him to deceive us. The scripture in Revelation 12:9 says Satan the devil, that serpent that deceives the whole world; that is his goal, deception, to lead the masses in a direction that will totally or pull the props out from underneath them. The scripture even talks about individuals that he utilizes, how it says while they promise you liberty, they themselves are the servants of filth and corruption. They tell you one thing but they're behind the scenes doing dirt and evil and unscrupulous things but God sees it all because all is going to be made manifest. All must be accounted for because He is a God of justice in His holiness and His justice will not allow Him to deceive us. God tells us in:
Titus I:2 In hope of eternal life (you better believe it, that's what you and I all want. Every human being who is truthful deep down in inside his or her heart wants to live forever. A person who says, I don't want to live forever, they've got a short screw somewhere. Something's not firing right because human beings want to live forever and you might have problems and difficulties, but still, human beings want to live forever because life is precious. That's why the proverb says: A live dog is better then a dead one because life is precious and God is the great life giver. He gives life to all of us.)
Which God, who cannot lie (wonderful scripture to mark if you've never marked it in your bible) promised before time began (before human life and time as we know it)
God has determined He is never going to lie to his sons and daughters. Isn't that wonderful?
Have you ever been lied to in your life? You've had promises broken. Have you had things happen? People change their mind in their promises. Have you ever been lied to in a promise? Oh yes, yes we've all had that experience to one degree or another and it is hurtful, is it not? It would be terrible again to find out that when it's all said and done; what ended up, what did God do? He lied to us. No, He cannot lie because He dwells in the beauty of holiness. He has ordained that this is how He is going to function and operate and He wants all His sons and daughters to operate this way because only then, everyone will be able to share into the blessing and the joy of life as God ordained and you will not be crashing into one another, hurting one another. That's why the law of God is defined as love toward God and love toward your fellow human beings. You've got to learn those lessons in life and it's a lifelong process but we have to pattern ourselves after Jesus Christ. So that becomes very, very important to us.
Remember how Job, when Job was going through his terrifying trials and we tend to sometimes dwell too much on the suffering and we miss the fact that Job had a lot of faith in God. His faith was being tested and he came through in flying colors with his faith. He repented where he was wrong and his faith was rock solid on God, he just didn't understand what was at work and that's why many of the aspects in his chapters are so revealing.
Job 8:3 (Listen to what Job says about God.) Does God subvert judgment? (No He can't and so don't even say that God did this or God did that and that would be subverting judgment, He doesn't do that.) Or does the Almighty pervert justice? (No. He's not like human beings who pervert justice. Human beings can buy their way out of situations. You've got enough money, get the right lawyer, you can get yourself out. You play the system. You can't do that with God. God is true and will not allow Himself to be perverting justice.
Psalm 89:34 My covenant I will not break, (He talks about that and how He sworn in His holiness but He won't break that covenant because that's the way He is.)
So there you have number 3.
Now number 4, this is the one that just really wraps it all up beautifully. This is why you can so wonderfully stand on the promises of God. God has the power to make His promises come to reality. He has the power. For some of the young children, remember how cartoon characters years ago on T.V. there used to be a guy called He Man? He had his sword and he said I've got the power and he transforms and he's this marvelous guy who can go against evil. That's the kind of situation human minds think about; you know power. Power is intoxicating and human beings cheat and steal and they lie and they deceive to get power. God does not; God has all power. He has the power to use His power in a righteous manner that He has ordained and that's exactly what He has promised to do. He will never break His promises with us because people use power in the wrong way. God does not use power in the wrong way.
Here's a cute little thing that I'll share with you. This comes from Coupe, a French writer in the 1800's. He was asked, it was reported, and I'll give it to you this way. He was asked by a woman; he says to vote for her husband. She said if you don't vote for him sir he will die if he's not elected. Well, he promised that he would do so and Coupe did. He voted for her husband. Well, he didn't win that election and there was another election and the wife came back again trying to solicit the vote of Coupe and came to him saying: "Sir would you please vote for my husband; he wants this other office." Coupe is reported as saying: "I'm sorry ma'm I cannot do so." She asked why. He said I kept my promise to him but he did not keep his promise to me. She said he would die if he wasn't elected and he wasn't elected so he didn't keep his promise. It's a cute little play on words but again shows, God can do what He says He will do. Human beings can't. They can't always perform. Sometimes they might but all of us are pretty shoddy on that record. We all need a lot of help from God to be better at what we promise and say we're going to do.
Let me give you a couple few scriptures that really drive home this point.
Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the Lord?
It's almost blasphemous to say yeah, but yet human beings act like something's too hard for God. Then they'll moan and they'll groan and all of a sudden God does something and they'll say oh, I can't believe it! Yeah, that's the problem. You see He did it and you see you can't believe it because you weren't expecting it. It was called the lack of faith. Faith is what is going to be in question when the Son of Man comes. When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth? So this is an area we need to shore up on and standing on the promises of God. Our faith and our confidence is in the word of God and what He's promised. So what we find He says: " Is there anything too hard?" Now why did He say that back there in Genesis? Well He was talking to Sarah. Now Sarah was in menopause. She was in her latter years of life. She'd been without a child. She thought she wasn't going to have a child. She's up in years now and so what ends up happening? Here comes, low and behold, the Messiah who we called the Lord of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ and two angels with Him and they talk with Abraham and tell Abraham, Sarah's going to have a child. She goes in the back of her tent laughing. She's giggling, and the Lord said: "Why does Sarah laugh?" "Oh no, I wasn't laughing." "Yeah, but you were laughing." Now notice the love and the compassion. The Master did not come down on her and say, don't you lie to Me woman, you did laugh! He didn't say that. Very tenderly, lovingly knew what she was thinking. I'm up in years, how am I going to have a baby? How am I going to have a baby at this stage of the game? God says: " Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" If I'm the one who can create you I can give you a baby and sure enough, when the time came and He returned, they had a son called Isaac. How very, very wonderful! Abraham, Isaac and of course you had Ishmael was in there too. Don't forget Ishmael. He came in there as well, but it was Isaac who is the one who is the important one.
Now Jeremiah also has a very important scripture.
Jeremiah 32:27 (This is one scripture that I really appreciate myself when I look at things and think about things, it says) Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?
Is there anything you can lay at the feet of God and say, you can't do this God? He has all power, He can do it all and we are told in Joshua:
Joshua 23:5 And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land (and why were they going to possess it?) As the Lord your God has promised you.
That's why. That's why Israel was blessed to it.
Joshua 23:10 (Another scripture that powerfully emphasizes this point where God tells Joshua in his relationship to the Israelites and he says) One man of you shall chase a thousand (think about that, one man shall chase a thousand) for the Lord God is He who fights for you, as He has promised you.
In other words, you're not out there in that battle by yourself, God is right there in the middle of that battle and He's determining things that are going on at that time.
I would imagine God was with a man named Alvin York. A lot of people would have laughed at him and called him a hillbilly from Tennessee. But he was a country boy who grew up knowing how to shoot a rifle and he ended up going into the military and he served his country and became a Medal of Honor winner. Single handedly he captured with a bolt-action rifle more Germans in World War I than any other soldier on record. He just merely lined himself up with the trench and he started popping them off one at a time and they all were all dropping dead and everybody threw their hands up. They panicked. Now how does one man with a bolt-action rifle put fear into the heart of the wholeGerman trench full of armed soldiers? Somebody was with him. Somebody granted him favor. They all threw their hands up, followed and that was it. The sad part of it is, you see God doesn't forget us, but man does. Later on in his life the sad story of Sgt. Alvin York was the fact that he became in need and his government wasn't there for him and he had all these medals and he said: "I can't eat medals" and they weren't there to help him when he needed it. But that's man's world. Use him, abuse him and throw him away. But that's not God's way! God wants to work in and through us to bring us to glory, honor and immortality, eternal life.
Romans 4:21 (Paul references again) And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
He talks about Abraham. This is what was going on in Abraham's mind. He said may. If God said this, God's going to do it. He's going to do it and that's what you and I have to constantly remind ourselves.
Now let me go through in conclusion very quickly now some scriptures and we'll wrap this up. We saw how God promises things according to the scripture and history proves He has fulfilled those promises. History backs it up.
Joshua 23:14 (The closing part of that verse is what I want to emphasize. Joshua goes on. He's now getting ready to wrap it up in his service. He says I'm here now. I'm going to go the way of all flesh. You guys are going to have to go on but here's what you need to remember. He says:) All have come to pass (everything that God has said) and not one word of them has failed. (Everything has come to pass just exactly as He has spoken it to you. God didn't miss a trick. He didn't let anything fall through the cracks.)
I Kings 5:12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him (Because he asked for it. He said: "Lord give me wisdom so I can guide your people. I don't know how to run these people's lives, what to tell them." God says you asked for the right thing Solomon. You had your heart in the right place so I'm going to give you what you didn't ask for and I'm going to give you the wisdom you did. The rest of course is in the book of Kings where it's all discussed how he came to power and so forth.
II Chronicles 21:7 Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised (He promised David, you see David died, and what happens to the lineage of David? It's got to be around here somewhere. Well you know where we believe it to be. It's surviving in the land of England today in the house of Ephraim on that throne of Queen Elizabeth. It will one day again go back to Jerusalem, Palestine with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords when He takes reign) to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
But in the final conclusion what is it that you and I glean from all of this? What is it we learn? This dear brethren.
You and I in light of all this that we see about God has said and that what He has performed and history backs it up and proves it, nothing has failed, what has God [unrecognizable] if He promised that, what has He promised you and I? He's promised us glory, honor, immortality and the Kingdom of God, if we will hold faithful and true to Him and do His commandments and those things pleasing in His sight and what has He told us in there in Hebrews, you and I what we must do, we have to occupy till He comes. How do we occupy by doing this?
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession (what we profess and confess to believe in) of our hope without wavering, (don't allow ourselves to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine) for He who promised is faithful.
Yes, He is faithful and He has promised and you and I are told that we can stand on the promises of God because He is, and that is what God wants you and I to keep ever much to the forefront of our minds, because you see we live in a world today where promises are broken left and right and the basic building block of the family is now in jeopardy. It's the basic building block of all society, and marriages are that basic building block and what has happened to it? People are breaking their promises, their vows to each other left and right and so we're watching slow but sure a society forsaking God and reaping the whirlwind as a result. You and I are commanded to come out of this world and not to get caught up in that terrifying whirlwind of destruction but to hold fast and to stand on those promises of the living God that cannot fail and can place you by His grace and mercy in the Kingdom of God. God speed that day for each and every one of us!