Broken Promises

Hebrews 6:13-18 – For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply you. And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham] obtained the promise. For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute.  Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. (HCSB)

Broken promises. Those two words can bring all kinds of images to the mind and hurts to the heart. Some people make mindless promises, just saying what they think you want at the moment with no plans to give you what you need for the future. Some people make promises knowing they have neither the authority nor the power to make those promises a reality. Ray Hitt said “Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep.” Some people make promises with the full intention of following through, but something unforeseen happens and everything changes. It doesn’t matter how much sincerity is involved, people simply cannot guarantee all of their promises because people have limited knowledge, limited power, and limited control. But, God is all knowing, all-powerful, and unchanging. As humans, we tend to equate how God works based on our interactions with other humans. Our mental image of Him is as a person, so we imagine He probably acts like people we know. When God made His promise to Abraham in verse 13, He promised to bless Abraham with multiple blessings, to bless and bless and bless and bless. Abraham received all that had been promised to him because God keeps His promises. When people make promises, they have to swear by a higher authority. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, He swore by Himself because there is no one higher. He is the ultimate power and authority. We can trust His word because God can’t break His word. He cannot lie, and circumstances will not change His word. Because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us that God is faithful, and will keep His covenant to a thousand generations to those who love Him and keep His commandments. In a world of broken promises, I know from experience that Proverbs 30:5 is truth — that God keeps every promise that He makes and that He is a shield for me. While I plan to make every effort to follow Ray Hitt’s advice, I can rest assured that God will have no problem keeping every promise He has made. His word will never fail me.


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