God always keeps his promises

God always keeps his promises

The books of 1 and 2 Kings are lengthy books that chronicle the decline of Israel and Judah from the death of David through the exile. A great many kings come and go in those few hundred years. Kingdoms split, tyrants ruled, famines and wars happened, and generations of people were born and died. You could be forgiven for thinking that these books are a tragedy with little that is positive. Most of the main players are ungodly. It is a dark story with only a few bright spots to it.

Yet there is one big, encouraging message that keeps on coming through in the books of Kings. God always keeps his promises. Always. When a prophet speaks up, even if that prophet is later killed or runs for his life, the words of God he spoke always come about. Sometimes that is in big things like the division of the kingdom which was foretold by Ahijah in 1 Kings 11. Sometimes it is in smaller things, like the treatment of Jeroboam’s altar by a future king (prophesied in 1 Kings 13:2, fulfilled by Josiah in 2 Kings 23:15). The word of God sometimes took generations to fulfil, and sometimes it happened very quickly. But in every case, God kept his promises.

This means that, in the end, 1 and 2 Kings are not a tragedy. Yes, the people end up in exile, and they have rejected God in so many ways. There are many tragic elements. Yet there is hope. God promised them that the exile would not be the end. It must have seemed like the end, with the temple destroyed and the people out of their land. Yet God had always kept his promises thus far, and he always will.

I cannot always keep my promises. I don’t mean to break my word, and by God’s grace I don’t think it happens very often. But the fact is that there is so much that I cannot control. I intend to do something, but I might get sick and be unable to do it. I plan to be somewhere on time, but the traffic could be bad or there might be a delay on public transport. Limited people like me can never be absolutely sure that what we plan to happen in the future will come about.

God is not like this. God not only knows the future; He controls it. So when God promises something will happen, it will happen. Every time. On a schedule God sets. That’s true even if it looks really unlikely from where we stand right now.

I find this very encouraging. It means that on the days that I am discouraged, I know that God is still building his church. When I feel the weight of my sin, I know that Jesus’ death remains enough to pay for all I have done. When I despair for the future, I know that all believers have a place with God forever, a place better than I could ever imagine.

God keeps his promises. Every time.