Promises!

From The Simpsons
Lisa: You promised to take us to the lake.
Homer: I promise you kids lots of things, and that’s what makes me such a good father.
Lisa: Actually, keeping promises would make you a good father.
Homer: No, that would make me a great father.

God is a great Father. God makes lots of promises, and He keeps them all – 100.00% of the time. Try flipping open your Bible and seeing how many you find.

I did a test once to show how this and other Bible study techniques work. I had someone pick numbers at random without telling them the purpose. I used the first number to pick a book of the Bible and the second to pick the chapter. The first choice was 1 John 5. I had people search for what stood out to them, what commands they saw, and if there were any promises to claim. And there just happened to be some big time promises. Check these out:

  • 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • 1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Try looking for promises when you study your Bible — but be sure to read them in context.  For example, the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is not for any reader or even for Christians today.  It was part of a very particular promise made to the exiled Jews.  God kept that promise, of course, but it wasn’t aimed at us.

God is the most trustworthy being in the universe. He always keeps his promises. No one has ever regretted putting their trust in Jesus.

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4 thoughts on “Promises!”

  1. Neil, I love the promises of God! They are numerous and very uplifting, for sure. Too bad many DO get their morals from shows like the Simpsons…

    I do have to question your example regarding the promise in Jeremiah as to not being for Christians today, however. Jeremiah was prophesying regarding the church, aka “spiritual Israel”, aka “bride of Christ”. All throughout that book are references to “spiritual Israel. Note chapter 31 verses 31 through 33 better describe the “promise of a new Israel”:

    “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

    If God was talking about a physical nation (as many wrongly interpret the scriptures), then the Maccabean period, which came after Jeremiah (from 167 – 63 B.C.) and was known as a “time of peace and independence” would have fulfilled those promises.

    The bulk of “Christianity” today get the whole Israel nation thing wrong and use it to support the current nation of Israel as God ordained, when these beliefs cannot be supported anywhere in scripture.
    Here is a thorough study regarding that false belief, if you wish to see the biblical proof.

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    1. Hi Poolman,

      First, for clarity, I want to emphasize that I was referring specifically to Jeremiah 29:11, which is used quite often in the Christian world (I used to be guilty of misusing it myself).

      Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

      The link went to the whole chapter so people could see the context, such as:

      Jeremiah 29:1 (ESV) These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

      Or how about v. 10:

      Jeremiah 29:10 (ESV) For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

      We never quote those verses, and for good reason.

      The major problem with v. 11 is that people even use it with non-believers. The truth is that if they don’t repent & believe then God does know the plans He has for them, but it sure isn’t pretty.

      Countless Christians around the world and throughout the centuries did not experience this alleged universal promise.

      If people want to use a verse to comfort or encourage others then there are plenty to choose from.

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      1. Understood and agree. Thanks for the clarification. Plenty use OT scripture regarding Israel to justify their belief that God ordained the present nation of Israel and that we, as Christians, are supposed to support them regardless of their religious convictions (or lack thereof).

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