People often make promises that they fail to keep—and if you are like most people, you are tired of empty promises. There are few among us who haven’t experienced these from one person or another.
During political campaigns, we are bombarded with attack ads from candidates, often highlighting promises on which their opponents failed to deliver. Other leaders and individuals also make empty promises. You may be promised a promotion, a raise in pay and benefits, better hours, your own parking spot, and more. How often do those promises go unkept?
Many who make promises are sincere in their desire to keep them. But, whether in government, business, or any other enterprise, almost all human beings have failed to deliver on promises at one time or another. There is plenty of blame for failing to keep promises—something unexpected happens, an unforeseen obstacle is encountered, a delivery is not made on time, there is an accident, the power fails, or other things happen that are out of our control, making it difficult or impossible to keep the promise we made.
So, who can be relied upon to keep their promises? In my experience, all humans fail the test. Only the Almighty God always keeps His promises without fail.
Nearly everyone, at least in Western nations, has heard of the biblical concept of the “Promised Land.” God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who was renamed “Israel”), along with their descendants, a land in the area of Canaan, also generally called Palestine, the Levant, and other names at different times in history.
In the biblical account, after the death of Moses, Joshua led the children of Israel in the conquest of this Promised Land. When Joshua was old and the conquest of the land was largely accomplished—though not completely—the Lord told Joshua to divide the Promised Land among the tribes of Israel by lot (Joshua 13:1–7). At the conclusion of this allotment, we read this profound statement: “Not a word failed of any good things which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Joshua 21:45). God kept His promise in every detail.
In Joshua’s farewell address to Israel, he reiterated that “not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14). Promises made, promises kept.
God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and His word is truth (John 17:17). In fact, every word spoken by God is true (Psalm 119:160). When God makes a promise, He is telling the truth and He will keep the promises He makes, unlike humankind.
1 Kings 8 holds the account of the dedication of the temple built during King Solomon’s reign. Extensive preparations and collection of precious materials for building the temple were made by Solomon’s father, King David the son of Jesse, during his lifetime. As is done with the dedications of buildings today, Solomon delivered a dedicatory speech. His speech included this statement: “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56). Promise made—and promise kept.
These are just two examples of the many promises God has made to His servants down through time. The Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, also made promises for His followers. Jesus Christ will keep those promises as He completes God’s plan.