Many promises are made with good intentions, but good intentions without the faithfulness and power to back them up are useless. We have become jaded by man’s inability to keep his word, so common are broken promises. Our hope lies not in the promises of men, but in the uncommon faithfulness of God to keep His word.
In Genesis 15 God made a promise to an old man with a barren wife.
“‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be’.” v. 5
“Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” v. 13-14
The stage is set. The promise has been made.
Fast forward to Moses, who is currently in a bit of a tizzy. “Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” (Exodus 5:22-23)
We can all tend to get a bit frantic when it looks like God isn’t doing what we thought He would do, what we were sure He said He would do. I’ve been there, and I know the sense of hopelessness it brings. I know how tired we get of waiting and how frightened and overwhelmed we can be in that dark period of time when it appears that God, while faithful to others, is not going to come through for us. It can turn our waiting into unbelief. We find ourselves waiting to see if God will really do what He promised, if He will do something about our circumstance, if He is really there for us. It will make the waiting so much easier if we can stop waiting for if, and start waiting for now.
“Now you will see what I will do…”. (6:1) For every promise He makes, there is a “now” moment.
And so begins the very dark days of Pharaoh, the enemy of God who refused to let His people go, until finally…
“The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country… The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.” (Exodus 12:33-37)
God’s promise to an old man with a barren wife. Four hundred and thirty years after He made the promise, God made good on His word. He never forgets.
How long have you been waiting? More importantly, are you waiting for if, or are you waiting for now? With God’s promises, it is never a matter of if, it is always a matter of when.
“…What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:11
8 thoughts on “Uncommon faithfulness”
Thanks Brad. Every now and then, when I find myself in that place of “if”, I hear God ask me, “Have I ever failed you? Have I ever not been true to My word?”.
My answer is always the same. “No. Not ever.”
In my experience, He always keeps His promises! Sometimes we miss hear what He is saying, but when we hear Him right…
So true Linda. For many of us, it’s the “when” the can put us in a tizzy. Thankfully, our wait is generally less than 430 years! Thanks for reading!
Karla, I don’t ever (or at least not often) ask the “if” question, especially if I know God has promised something or what I have prayed for is in His will. But I do still struggle wanting to know “when.” If He would just clue me in on that part, that would be nice. 430 years is a long time to wait. 😉 Thanks for the reminder of God’s faithfulness. Peace, Linda
Whew! You just saved me a lot of explanation!
okay..okay..okay..“Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” v. 13-14
THAT promise..I get it now…missed it before.
I want more….I want discussion on this one . 1) the jumping ahead to Moses had what to do with the promise to Abraham,again? I am unclear on that. 2) When the Jews were leaving they asked for silver and gold, and : The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. ….um, so can we pray that God changes the hearts of men? Does he so choose to intervene in the ‘free will’ part of mens’ decisions if it pleases Him to do so?..And what about that plundering? If the Egyptians were favorably disposed towards the people, then why did the Jews plunder? 3) 430 years after God promised Abraham a son? or promised that He would make his decendants so numerous he could not count them?….(600,000 men +) was this the fulfillment of His promise? I contend that we are still fulfilling that ‘descendant thing’..as we all become adopted into that family tree.
I am not asking because I have any doubt that God fulfills His promises. I am just having trouble following this particular line of reasoning. I don’t understand it because I always have trouble holding a line of thought in the Old Testament. I get confused a lot with the timelines and promises made and promises fulfilled.
I do think I understand the intent you were making …and it struck a chord with me. I know that when I pray for something that I believe is in God’s will already anyway, that it will be done. I don’t have to see it to know it will be. I know because He has promised it. His word is good enough for me!
Thanks again for another ‘wake-up’ moment…sorry if I am still a bit drowsy…I love you so much for this.
Beautiful post. 2 Tim 2:13.