Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Promises. We all make them. Sometimes it is a promise to clean up something at home, or to load a particularly nasty piece of freight. Some promises are more related to our faith life, and can entail either better church attendance, or more scripture reading. Yes, a New Year’s resolution is also a promise.
However, there is a problem. How are we at fulfilling those promises? Not very good, if we are honest with ourselves. To make matters worse, we are usually pretty resentful when somebody makes a promise and fails to fulfill it. Honestly, I actually left a decent job because of a supervisor who repeatedly made certain promises about a promotion and never actually fulfilled that promise. Let’s face it, promises are not necessarily what they claim.
Interestingly, the Bible is filled with promises. How many promises? I really don’t know, I have not made an attempt to count them, and I have no intention of doing so. Some of those promises are false and some are genuine. WHAT? False promises in the Bible?
In truth, the very first recorded promise in the Bible is a false promise. It is from the serpent. In Genesis 3, we read how the serpent deceived Eve into eating the fruit. He made the promise that Adam and Eve would be like God, knowing good and evil. In one respect, perhaps the serpent was telling the truth, but on the other hand, it was still a false promise. The serpent did not make mention to them of what the consequences of knowing good and evil would be. Adam and Eve learned very quickly that the promise of knowing good and evil also meant knowing fear and death.
God took the initiative and made the second recorded promise of the Bible. In the fifteenth verse of chapter three, we read “he shall bruise your head,and you shall bruise his heel.” This is the beginning of the messianic prophecies, God’s promise of a savior.
Laban, the uncle of Jacob was good at making false promises. He even went so far as to switch wives on Jacob, who had worked many years for the hand of Rachel, only to have Leah pawned off onto him instead. This would force Jacob to work more years for Laban so he could also have Rachel. This is not to say that Jacob didn’t have his own bag of woes, he did, but Laban was good at promising one thing and not delivering.
Many such instances like this exist in scripture. However, the one true promise remains. It was the promise of a savior, and it was fulfilled. It was fulfilled in a little village off the main roads, a place called Bethlehem. It was here that the Christ, the son of God, was born. It was also fulfilled in a major city, when Christ Jesus was nailed to a cross and executed for our sins.
If it stopped there, if that was the end, it would be meaningless. There were still more promises to fulfill. Three days after the crucifixion, another promise was fulfilled. Jesus rose from the grave. Despite every attempt to do so, this has never been disproven (if it could be, it would have been within hours of the first reports of the resurrection).
There is yet still one more promise to fulfill, and it will be fulfilled. That promise is simple. Christ Jesus will come again. At his coming, all the dead shall be raised, and we shall all be judged. Those of us who trust in Christ as Lord and believe in his gift of salvation shall find ourselves in his kingdom. Those of us who don’t, well, Hell is our eternal destination, and it won’t be pretty.
Wait! What about the picture?
Yes, it is an empty coffee cup. Interestingly is how it is balanced on its bottom edge. There is nothing holding it up. It is very well balanced, but it is most assuredly empty. Just like the tomb of Jesus, which is empty with nothing blocking it. God has fulfilled his promise of a savior who would rise again and leave an empty tomb. Soon he will fulfill that final promise, and Christ will return.
Coffee cups can be empty, even with a full pot of coffee nearby (yes, that is in the background). Yes, people make empty promises, and so do demons. However, God’s promises will always be fulfilled. God isn’t in the habit of making empty promises. Supervisors sometimes will, God never will. God will leave an empty tomb, but that tomb is a promise that he will raise us up on the last day.
If you plan to a promise, be it to yourself or others, be certain of your words and fulfill it. Otherwise you will lose the trust of those whom you make such promises to. It might even cost you a valuable co-worker or employee. However, also trust in the promises of God, who raised Christ Jesus from the dead, as promised from the beginning. God’s promises never fail, even when the promises of men do.