Good God Promises
After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. – Joshua 1:1-5 (NLT)
One of the things many of us have in common is the difficulty realizing God’s promises in and for our lives. Many of the promises we read in the Bible, when read in context, can be seen as for a specific person or for God’s people. What we forget is that God says He’s unchanging. What we forget is that we’re God’s people too. No, we’re not the children of Israel, but the Bible says we’ve been adoption as sons of God. Isn’t that amazing. Just read what the Apostle Paul has to say in the passage below.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. – Ephesians 1:3-10 (ESV)
Holy cow does God love us! All those blessing we read about in the Old Testament? Those are for us too! If for no other reason, those promises were a part of the plan of predestination for us. No, we won’t be restored to the promised land after spending 70 years of captivity in Babylon. But I bet many of us find ourselves in captivity to something every once in a while. Maybe it’s a bad job, or a bad habit. God says He can set us free. But even if you can’t buy that, this is undeniably true; all those promises had to be fulfilled in order for Christ to come to this world. And who did He come for? He came for us. God blessed Moses, and Abraham, and Israel, and Joshua, and Ruth, and David, and Solomon, and Elisha, and Adam, and all the prophets and leaders of His people for you. So that right now you could receive His blessing and be thankful. That’s so amazing I don’t even know how to describe it. All of history has come about so that we could be named sons and daughters of God. You and I are loved. Praise God!
But the world doesn’t want us to believe that. The world wants us to believe everything comes by a sort of chance; that everything comes, in a way, from how we respond to the results of chance. The world wants us to believe that life is often a matter of just a flip of a coin. Sometimes it comes up our way, sometimes not. But if we think about it from a scientific perspective, a flip of a coin is not up to chance. It’s the result of the laws of physics and circumstances. If you’re flipping a coin it’s the result of many, many decisions throughout history that brought you to the place where a coin lay in your hand and you were about to flip it. Then you give it a toss. Every action as an equal and opposite reaction right? So the coin tumbles, gravity takes hold, theres a bounce, and another, and there it is, heads; all the result of the physical exertions on the coin. The results are totally predictable, given we have the ability to measure the affecting forces. And so it is with you and all of us. Chance has nothing to do with why you’re here. You’re here because there was a cause; you’re now the effect. That may be comforting or distressing to you. But the truth remains. And His promises remain. And in the end, His promises are good, because He is good and ultimately He wants good for you, His child. By good I don’t mean a lot of money and a nice house and car. If we could see what God has in store for us after this life, I’m not even sure we would count those things as good.
My prayer is that we learn to see what really matters. That we live eternally minded. Because when our minds are set on eternity we begin to realize what really matters. The things that last forever. Cars and houses and possessions do not last forever, but people do. Where do we want to spend eternity? Where do we want our sons and daughters to spend eternity? The Heavenly Father wants His children at home with Him. Will we, can we, live for that; will we, can we, live for His promise?