Promises

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Promises

Genesis 21:1-7

The Birth of Isaac 1

The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hebrews 3:1-6

Moses a Servant, Christ a Son

Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all God’s house.” Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

Faith is all about promises and how we keep them. The Bible refers to most of these promises as covenants, the sacred promises made particularly between God and people. Somehow, these covenants which create relationships, seem to always get started by God and reciprocated (to a lesser degree) by us. It is how we get adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven. God goes searching for lost people and finds us, and invites us home with Him.

Most of God’s promises are miraculous, whether they are big or small, loud or silent. It is almost as if God were too easily bored to just do things the simple way. He chose Abram and Sarai to be the parents of His chosen people, and instead of catching them at the ripe age of 18 or 20, God waited until they were 60 and 80 and then didn’t give them a child until 20 years later. By that point they were well beyond ripe. The fruit had fallen off the tree. Nevertheless, God kept His promise.

God chose Moses from birth, but led Him too on a 60 year wild goose chase from the palace of Pharaoh to the desert wilderness and back and forth over and over again. Moses, who is still celebrated as the Giver of the Law (or delivery man of it at least) never got to set foot in the Promised Land, but he led the people there. After going around the desert in circles for 40 years. There were definitely quicker routes.

Then there was Jesus, the Son of God Himself. He could have set things right with a word. Instead He chose to become the Word made flesh. He lived and served with us, suffered and died for us. That might seem counterproductive, but the author of Hebrews calls Him first here an apostle, one who is sent. We normally think of the first disciples as being the apostles, but I think Jesus was the original “sent” one. He trusted God’s promises and responded with His own faithfulness. Those who followed after Him saw His faithfulness and responded by trusting His promises and being faithful themselves.

What promises has God given you? Are they miraculous promises?

How are you responding to those promises?


  1. (Heb 11:11)
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