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