Genesis 21:1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. (NIV)
My Grandma Stuart had a saying about people who disappointed her: “He’s a great promiser, but a bad fulfiller.” She came from a small Scottish religious community who were known as Rechabites. Her direct family members were all teetotalers who abstained from drinking alcohol and smoking, which is funny, because of her grandfather, James Doyle, who made his money manufacturing clay pipes for tobacco users. She was a strong-willed person who had a lot of gumption and determination. I guess I get most of my stubbornness and religiosity from her side of the family.
Throughout the Bible, God constantly makes promises and never fails to fulfill them. In Sarah’s case, from the events described in Genesis 21, He sees to it that she bears a child even in her old age. The same blessing is also accomplished in Luke 1 when the elderly Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist. It’s all part of God’s way of completing the work of His salvation for the people on Earth. God is not only a great promiser; He’s also a great fulfiller.
Every day, we experience the promises of God in our individual lives and across the entire Earth. His promises are both personal and global, as well as being current and historical. In Jesus, we have the greatest promise of salvation that humanity has ever known; in Christ, we also see the greatest fulfiller of God’s holy words.
Points to ponder
When and where have I experienced God’s promises in my life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, through Your complete obedience to God and the fulfillment of all His promises, we have been given the sacred opportunity of forgiveness of our sins and being eternally restored to God. In response, we dedicate our lives to You and to Your continuing ministry of salvation throughout the world. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully serve and thankfully pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the Scottish pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at: www.erinpresbyterian.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s church bulletin covers called ‘The Promise.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click the following link: Promise.