Exodus 20, Luke 23, Job 38, & 2 Corinthians 8

Can you keep a promise? Is it always in your power to do what you say you will do? Are you willing to suffer hurt so that others benefit because you kept your word? I’m sure some of the time we make promises that we don’t really think we will have to keep; such as, “Let’s do lunch sometime soon.” Or maybe we say things to our kids just to quiet them (even though we know this strategy doesn’t work), “If you are a good girl/boy, I will buy you something.” Then there are the covenants we make to each other, “Till death do us part.”
I’m not qualified to write a theological analysis on the topic, The Covenant Keeping God, Yet, I think we could learn how to keep promises and covenants by studying the many examples in Scripture which give a clear picture of why, when, with whom, and at what cost promises should be made. There was the covenant with Noah after the flood to never destroy “all flesh” again with water. God made a covenant with childless Abraham to make his descendants numerous and to give them land forever. King David’s last words declared the everlasting covenant God made with him to have his descendants rule forever. That covenant was fulfilled in the supreme covenant of Jesus Christ who, through His sacrifice on the Cross, promised salvation to all of us today.
In each of these promises by God, it is clear that man can do nil to fulfill the promise. We can try to be good, little girls and boys, but like the whimpering tot in the shopping cart, we can only hope for mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness.
On the flip side of that coin, when we are the ones making the promises, are we in a position to follow through with our intent? Are the conditions we set attainable by the one we promised? Do we set out with big hearts to bless someone only to realize that in order to do so we must give up one thing or maybe the one thing we didn’t count on letting go?
In our gray world, the idea that anyone who promises can write in ‘deal breakers,’ is a little ingenuous, I think. Even though God conditioned some of His promises on obedience or even love, He knew from the get-go that mankind would not be able to follow the rules or stay wholly devoted. That is why the supreme covenant was ultimately costly and painful to the Promise-Keeper.
So if we are to be men and women of our word by keeping promises, might we, too, have to acknowledge that others may not be able to earn the promised desire? Will we resent being reminded of our promise?
The end result of a promise kept isn’t about me; as the giver, will I be able to rejoice with the merry heart of the one promised?

2 Comments

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

2 responses to “Exodus 20, Luke 23, Job 38, & 2 Corinthians 8

  1. Kathy

    So much to think about and beautifully written. I am going to have to keep coming back to this to think about all it means.

  2. Thanks, Kathy. There are so many timely words written on this blog. I love reading the new writers thoughts, don’t you? And of course, it is always a pleasure to peek into your heart through your writings. : )

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