KEEPER OF PROMISES

Have you ever longed for something, prayed about it, and then get a promise that what you have been longing and praying for is coming your way? Then you finally get your promise and settle into the reality that it is yours. Until the day when what was promised to you is suddenly summoned by the promise maker. Suddenly, you feel deflated and begin doubting whether the one who made the promise can be trusted to keep his promise. You start to wonder if all he ever wanted from you was to tease you. Have you ever been there? Shouldn’t a promise keeper always keep the promise he makes?

 When I read the story of Sarah, the wife of Abraham, these questions flash through my mind and I wonder whether Sarah wrestled with them or similar questions. Sarah had longed for a child for several years. The bible does not tell us how long Abraham and Sarah were married when they received the promise from God that they would have a child. It is known that in the culture of her time, women married very young; as young as thirteen. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that Sarah had been married for at least 45 years. It is recorded that Abraham was 75 when God gave him the promise of their son Isaac. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90. So when the promise was given to them, Sarah was about 65 years old. If she had married at 20 years (it more than likely was earlier than that), then by the time she and Abraham received the promise from God they had been married for at least 45 years. The point I am making is that Sarah had been married for a long time, she had longed for a child for a long time; but none came. Then one day the promise from God came.

15 Then God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. 16 And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.”         Gen.17:15-16

There are certain seasons in my life where I have cried out to God for something I desired and heard nothing. As I continued to cry out and wait, I got discouraged and weary. And yet I have never waited 45 years, like Sarah did, for anything. Can you imagine what it must have been like for her, living in a culture where being childless was frowned upon? Longing and waiting for about 45 years and still no child. One of the most challenging things believers are admonished over and over in the bible to do is to wait. Yet, it is in the waiting seasons that God teaches us how to trust in Him and how to have faith in Him. There are lessons in the waiting that are needed to help bring maturity in one’s walk with Jesus.  Sarah’s years of waiting pays off. Abraham shares the good news with Sarah and she waits to conceive. One year passes, then two, then a few more, and before she knows it, twenty four years pass by. Then one day God sends a messenger to Abraham and Sarah with the same promise of twenty four years ago. Only this time God’s messenger specifies when it will occur,

“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked. “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied. 10 Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”   Gen.18:9-12

It was obvious by her reaction that Sarah had given up on God’s promise of 24 years past; but God had not. Every promise God makes to you is true and it will come to pass; every single one of them. Remember that God’s timing is never off. He shows up at the exact and right time. God never looks at the natural circumstances to determine if His promises can happen. He is not bond to or limited by anything; He’s God. God knew the ages of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah’s age did not limit the ability of God’s promise coming to pass. God knows everything going on in your life – age, economic status, financial position and on and on. The fulfillment of His promise to you is not at all limited by any of your situations or circumstances.

Just as promised, Sarah conceives and births Isaac. Fast forward a number of years later; Isaac is a youth and lives with his parents. One day God tells Abraham to take Isaac and sacrifice him. The very promise given to Sarah (and Abraham) is called back. Who called the promised Isaac back? The same Promise Maker who gave the promise – God. Can you imagine what went through Abraham’s and Sarah’s minds? Imagine you get a gift from a friend or loved one; say a new car. It is what you have wanted, desired, and prayed for over a number of years. Then fourteen or so years later the one who gave the car to you comes and tells you they need it back. How would you feel? What would be your reaction? What do you do when God asks of you something you longed for and received from Him months, years ago? You live out Ps.9 verse 10 and Jeremiah 17 verse 7. You trust God. You put your faith in Him. That is exactly what Abraham did.

10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search    for you.  Ps.9:10

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope an confidence.  Jer.17:7

Whatever, whoever, God has promised you, God will deliver to you. He does it, not because He has to, He delivers because He loves you and wants to meet your needs. Even when He asks for it back? Yes, even when He asks for it back. God is not just a promise (or covenant) maker, He is also the promise (covenant) keeper. Every single promise He makes, He keeps. Abraham understood this and he trusted in his promise keeper. He knew that if God took one promise (Isaac) He would provide another promise. I believe Abraham did something that was so profound and important; he never got so attached to God’s promises that He forgot the Promise Keeper Himself – God. Whatever, whoever, God has promised and given to you should never take the place of God’s love in your life. Paul stated this so beautifully in his letter to the church of Rome,

 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Rom.8:38-39

Yes, not even a promise longed for and prayed for should ever separate us from God’s love. Trust God to fulfill His promises to you as you live for and serve your Promise Keeper.

2 thoughts on “KEEPER OF PROMISES”

  1. This was so on time for what I am dealing with. It’s very hard to wait and not take matters into your own hands. I have to really pray hard to leave it in God’s hand. My faith and trust in God is really being tested. Such a timely word for me. Thank you Ruthie.

  2. How timely is this teaching! God is a promise maker, keeper but the promise should not seperate me from Him. The last part, I have been guilty of not remembering once has cone to pass. But I thank God for reminding me what the bottom line is, He is first, no matter what.

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