How faithful are you to the promises you make? The sad reality is that so often we fail. We make promises and mean them … and mostly want to see them realized but there are times when we either forget the promise or can’t get to seeing it through to the end.
I recall three of us clergy having a meal to discuss Church business. None of us had cash, so when the bill came I offered to pay with my card and one of the others said he would pay half. Then he said to me, “you pay the bill and I’ll refund you half.” Then he added … “Just don’t tell my wife about this.”
He made the promise whilst fearing his wife’s reaction to him spending money. However, I still thought he was genuine and almost 10 years have passed without the payment. Was the promise made knowing full well he would not fulfil his commitment or did he forget because he feared his wife? I relate this story because often we make promises with good intentions yet fail to see them realized because of other factors that creep into the equation.
Returning to Paul’s sermon, we find him saying:
Ac 13:23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.
1) God always fulfils His promises. One of my favorite verses is:
1 Th 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
You will know this was God’s Scripture to me when praying about going to study for fulltime ministry. He has been faithful throughout my ministry! Another is:
Jos 23:14 You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed.
We may depend upon God and what He says in His Word. What He says He means and what He means He does! Always … every time! Now read:
1 Chron 17:10a … “‘I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”
Let’s peruse this passage quickly …
(1) The word “offspring” in verse 11 is presented in the singular and confirmed by the words “one of your sons”. Although when reading the history of David and Solomon it could easily result in one thinking of Solomon, but the passage tends towards someone other than Solomon.
(2) There is a personal, lovingly family relationship … will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. One could think this referred to Solomon because God withdrew His love from Saul … but it points to a deeper relationship because we know how Solomon lost focus and turned to false gods as he was influenced by his pagan wives.
(3) The word “establish” as well as the word “forever” helps us understand that it was not one of David’s earthly sons, born by one of his wives … not even Solomon whom God installed on the throne. Whilst the descendants of David ruled as kings for more than four centuries, the Throne God speaks of here does not lie in humanness. Remember God’s Messianic Promise in Genesis 3:15? The Promise is all about God’s True King and God’s Real Throne that would exist forever … eternally! In other words … this passage is prophetic and looks past the temporal to the eternal … past the human kings descending from David to the messianic King that would come through David’s blood line. This One would be the One under whom the people of God shall live, ruled by an Eternal King. 2) Who is this Messianic King God says will reign forever? Remember, God always fulfils His promise. Paul was saying this in his sermon. Consider the Messianic Bloodline through Joseph … (if you have time read Matthew 1:1-17).
Mt 1:1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob … 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife … 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel … 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
In Luke we have a similar genealogy, but from Mary’s Davidic bloodline.
Lk 3:23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat … 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
(If you have time read Luke 3:23-38). This Jesus is the one Isaiah spoke of:
Isa 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
Jesus’ blood line flows through Jesse (Matthew 1:6 & Luke 3:31), David’s father to both Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather and Mary Jesus’ biological mother. Because God keeps His promise, we today can enjoy the salvation He promised in Genesis 3:15! God has given many other promises in His Word. Promises for blessings when we are faithful and obedient, discipline for when we are disobedient and wrath for all who refuse His grace in the Lord Jesus Christ! You might ask … “Where will I find these promise?” I will respond … “In the Bible!” You see, it is one thing for me to show you the promises and warnings God has given me in the Bible, it’s a totally different matter when you go and search the Scriptures and allow God to reveal those promises and blessings to you personally! If you are a Christian, it is encumbered on you to personal search the Scriptures by reading the Bible cover to cover, year by year to know, understand and respond to God’s promises and warnings He has just for you. Find or create a Daily Reading Plan where you read a few chapters of the Bible each day. It might take time out of your day … but it will add great value to your soul now and for eternity!
Father, thank You that You fulfil all Your promises in Jesus for your people. Amen.