I Kings 8:54-61 New King James Version (NKJV)
Solomon Blesses the Assembly
54 And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
55 Then he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying:
56 “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.
57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us,
58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers.
59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require,
60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.
61 Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”
All through the Bible we see that God keeps promises.
--If God didn't, He would not be God.
--God desires that we keep ours. To Him. To others.
Countless Scriptures prove that God keeps His word.
--In the dedication of Solomon's Temple, where God's Shekinah glory filled His House, let's notice it.
--"There has not failed one word of all His good promises, which He promised" Solomon declared (v 56).
Then, "Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments" (v 61). What a marvelous prayer.
--God's prophets gave His promises, most fulfilled already, in relation to our Messiah-Savior, the Lord.
We all make promises, all the time, in many ways.
--To buy a home, a car. Make a date. Sign a note.
--Years ago I fell in love, decided to be wed.
--Together we stood before the altar of God promising Him, and each other, to "love and cherish one another till death we do part." Maybe you did also.
--By His grace, and our joy, He's helped us keep it.
--God does that, for all who ask Him to bless.
Some have said to me, "God didn't keep His promise."
--An explanation, and understanding, is then needed.
--You see, God wants to keep promises - His .. ours.
Jesus said, "I send the Promise of My Father on.you," (Luke 24:49). He's going to do what He says.
--Look at Acts 2:39, "For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off..."
--A brief study of what God promises may be helpful.
I. MANY OF GOD'S PROMISES ARE FULLY UNCONDITIONAL.
--That is, they are for everyone, who desires them.
--A gift of God's free grace. Given to us all.
--Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).
--Anyone, any time, may come to Him. He welcomes us.
--Our part is to come, the Lord does the rest.
--To come humbly, in faith; believing and trusting.
That is unconditional. For anyone. Any time.
--No requirements of this or that - just "Come to Me."
--or John 3:16, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
--Unconditional for anyone. Anywhere. Trust Him.
--Or, "The Lord is good, a stronghold in.. trouble."
--This, from Nahum 1:7, is a promise to any troubled.
--Anyone may turn to Him, and get help, "in trouble."
The Bible is full of them - available, all paid for.
--How? By the gift of Jesus' sacrifice, cross, resurrection, and "ever living to intercede for us."
--"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise," we read in II Peter 3:9. Such promises are for all!
II. SOME OF GOD'S PROMISES ARE CONDITIONAL.
--What do we mean? If we do our part, God will His.
--That is, you and I must do, what may be required!
--God's grace and love are great, but not an endless, blank-check, gravy-train, if we do nothing or ignore the Lord. My friend, life is not like that!
--Unless ill or unable, we are expected in the home to do our part in the chores - and not all up to Mom.
--So does our boss at work! Loafers may be fired.
--Not many are rewarded for doing nothing!
Look at James 1:7, for without faith, obedience, and duty, "Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything of the Lord." Friend, we must do our part.
A man told me, "I'm saved. You know, once saved, always saved; so I can go out and live any way I please."
--He meant it. But he missed the mark a mile.
--He wouldn't tell his wife he could live as he very well pleased, would he? And be married, long?
--All relationships, friend, are as a two-way street.
Let's be reasonable. Many promises are conditional.
--They are based on our doing our part, to get them.
--For instance, as we "Delight yourself in the Lord" (seek to live in His will), "He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). You see it?
--Many have conditions to be met, for His rich best.
Another, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (that's our part), and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Our part; and God's.
In James 1:12 God promises a "crown of life" for all who are faithful, and overcome temptations and trials.
--You see the truism, "What we sow, we will reap."
You know the story of the good King Uzziah, reigned in Jerusalem "fifty-two years .. he did what was right in in the sight of the Lord" (II Chronicles 26).
--Go back to verse 5, "As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper."
Many memorize Proverbs 3:6, "In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
--The promise of God's direction is in "acknowledging Him." God "Who promised is faithful" (Heb. 10:23).
Let's go slow on putting any blame on God, friend.
--We have both unconditional and conditional promises, which can depend on our faith and walk with God.
III. SOME OF GOD'S PROMISES WERE TO SPECIFIC PEOPLE.
--That is, not for everyone; but certain individuals.
--There are a number of these also, in Scripture.
Take the Syrian General, named Naaman, with leprosy.
--Read it in II Kings, Chapter 5.
--Syrians raided Israel and brought back a slave girl as captive, and servant to Naaman's wife.
--A very godly young person, she told of a man of God, who might provide healing of Naaman's leprosy.
--So Naaman came to the prophet in Israel.
--The prophet told him, "Go wash in the Jordan, seven times .. and you shall be clean" (v 10,14).
--Naaman did. And was rid of his leprosy! Healed!
Now not everyone who washed in Jordan were healed you see - so this promise of God's prophet was specific.
Several times God promised Abraham and Sarah a child.
--"An heir of promise," of their very own.
--Many years passed, and time of child-bearing, but no son to them. It looked as if God's promise failed.
But God did not forget! When Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90, God gave the miracle of their own son-Isaac.
--God did something similar for the parents of John the Baptist; so he could introduce Jesus to many!
--My dear friend, God's wisdom is wiser than man's.
IV. GOD'S WILL, AND OURS, CAN AFFECT HIS PROMISES.
--"What do you mean, isn't God all-powerful?" you say.
--Indeed He is. But you and I have our own free-will.
--To do, or not do; to ignore or resist, God's will.
I illustrate. Surely it is God's will all be saved.
--We know that. We pray that. Claim God's promise.
--But the one we are praying for, has a will of their own; and delays the answer. Let's be patient.
--A farmer prays for rain; a team, for sun. Which?
--Or take a family, a church family, pray for healing.
--Fast, and pray, fervently; but it does not come.
--There are many factors involved, so that it is best to always ask - but close, "Not my will but Thine."
Often, pastors and loved ones pour out their hearts in praying for folk to be saved - or united with spouse, or estranged children - but perhaps we do not see it.
--No doubt about being God's will; but do they want it?
--Yet it takes us all "in tune" with God's Spirit.
-Are we all in right relation to the Lord's will?
V. IN TOUGH TIMES, GOD PROMISES TO BE WITH US.
--Nowhere are we promised all sunshine and roses.
--God gives them to us, sure. But we have troubles.
--As I read my Bible, I know of no one with none!
--Not even Jesus - Who is God, the 'Son! Sinless!
--I believe believers have less trouble.
--Jesus said "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Jesus also said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. Lo, I am with you always, even to the end..." (Matthew 28:20). Friend, He has not failed me yet!
--Nor will He you, when you know His "new birth."
--I've claimed Him, and His promise, of heaven.
--Of eternal life hereafter. His blessings, here.
--I'd like to recommend this Risen Savior to you.
--A Promise-Keeper indeed!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 874