A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept
Do you remember pinkie swearing? How about “cross your heart and hope to die”? What? Just now writing and reading that promise jingle that was used when I was a kid, I realize that’s kind of disturbing! In reflecting upon last week’s Advent sermon, I was struck by the fact that Christmas is a wonderful time of promise! Even though the Messianic prophecies are explicitly stated in the Christmas narratives (Mt 1:22-23; 2:5-6, 15, 17, 23, Luke 2:29-32), it is easy to gloss over those parts. Instead we can find ourselves drawn into examining the details of the wonder of the birth of Jesus under a microscope. The childhood sentiments and excitement of the nativity can tempt us to simply experience the joy, wonder, and cuteness of Jesus’ birth through the experience of the warm fuzzies.
But if we dare to zoom out of the nativity chapters at Christmastime and take a panoramic view of Scripture, we will see that Christmas is all about promises fulfilled. What promises? The promises of Covenant and Kingdom. This blog was started this Fall to provide further opportunity to chew on the great biblical themes of Covenant and Kingdom as we explored them Sunday mornings in a sermon series at the Riverbend Church of God. (We completed our goal of tracing those themes through some of the giant stories and individuals found in the Old Testament. After New Years, we will continue the series and dive into the New Testament to examine Covenant and Kingdom as developed there.)
Let’s review some of those promises:
*speaking to the serpent, the Lord said of Adam’s offspring: “he will crush your head.” (Gen.3:15)
*The Lord’s Covenant Promise to Abram: “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen.12:3)
*Moses declares to the people a Kingdom Promise from God: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me.” (Deut. 18:15)
*God’s Covenant and Kingdom Promise to David: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” (2 Sam. 7:16)
And I won’t even bother detailing the usual Christmas promises. (You can take the time to look up the referenced Scriptures in the first paragraph above.)
God is the ultimate Promise Keeper. If God has been trustworthy and fulfilled his promises to date, what will our response be moving forward? Can we live this Advent season with confidence in our lives, having been reminded that Christmas is a celebration of God’s faithfulness and goodness? He is as good as His Word. With God, a promise made is a promise kept.