Graceful Perseverance: God's 7 Promises (2 of 3) - 01/15/23
Welcome to this week’s blog. This week is the second week I am doing a deep dive into God’s 7 promises in the Bible. But of course, these are only a very small select few of God’s promises to His children.
So, with a little research into what exactly are God’s biblical promises, both in the Old and New Testaments, I discovered, not at all to my own amazement, there are many more than seven promises from God. More like countless promises in scripture. Christians and those alike, can trust and believe He has, and will continue to keep His word to us.
Unlike man, who makes promises to family and friends every day, and then miserably fails to keep his word; God has made promises of what He will do for us, and will keep them all the days of our lives. God’s promises have never failed. Scripture proves this. His word, and the fulfillment of His word is what makes Him a trusting God.
As a small sample, we have the following promises from God:
God reminds us daily,
1. I am your strength.
2. I will never leave you.
3. I have plans for you to prosper.
4. I hear your prayers.
5. I will fight for you.
6. I will give you peace.
7. I always love you.
Because the above seven promises are broad in nature, and surely not an all-encompassing list of promises scriptures shows us in the Bible, I felt duty-bound to write a series of blogs on God’s promises. Why multiple blogs? Because when we think about God’s nature, nothing is too large, to great or impossible for Him. This means that there are many, many more promises spoken by God in the Bible, aside from the seven listed above. Over the course of the next several weeks, my blogs will be elaborating on “God’s 7 Promises.”
Each week I will provide biblical stories, parables, and scripture that undoubtedly prove that not only did God reassure man of His promises, but to trust in His word. He promises He will be our strength, and never leave us. He has plans to prosper us. He hears our prayers. He will always fight for us. He will give us peace, and most importantly His love endures forever.
Let’s get started. This week's blog covers Joshua 21:41-45, 1st Kings 8:1-20, 1st Kings 8:51-56 and Nehemiah 5:1-13 in the New King James (NKJ) Bible.
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Joshua 21:41-45 – The story of Israel’s conquest of the promised land
41 All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty-eight cities with their common-lands.
42 Every one of these cities had its common-land surrounding it; thus, were all these cities.
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.
44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.
45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
In this biblical story, Joshua is writing about Israel’s conquest of the promised land (aka Canaan). Canaan occupied the same geographical territory as our modern-day Israel. Joshua was an eyewitness to the events that unfolded, and the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Levites.
Tying the verse in this story back to God’s seven promises, God did prove faithful in fulfilling every promise He had given to Israel. Fulfillment of some promises took several years (even as it does for us today).
So, there is no denying, every one of God’s promises were fulfilled. God’s promises are always fulfilled according to His plan, not ours, but we do have faith that His word is unwavering. The more we learn of the promises God has fulfilled, and continues to fulfill, the easier it is to hope for His promises that are yet to come.
The problem is, many of us are impatient, wanting God to act in a certain way, which is NOW. We then develop this false sense of trust or fall away (abandon) from God because we don’t believe He will follow through and answer our prayers. Instead we should remain steadfast in our faith, and do what we know He wants us to do - put all of our trust in Him every day of our lives.
1st Kings 8:1-20 – Solomon’s gathering of the Israelites
1 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David, which is Zion.
2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.
4 Then they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up.
5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude.
6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim.
7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles.
8 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day.
9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord,
11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
12 Then Solomon spoke: "The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
13 I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever."
14 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing.
15 And he said: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and with His hand has fulfilled it, saying,
16 'Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel.'
17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
18 But the Lord said to my father David, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart.
19 Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.'
20 So, the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised; and I have built a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
In this biblical story, Solomon gathered the people, not to just dedicate a temple, but to rededicate themselves to God’s service. Solomon could well be speaking these same words to us today: May your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commandments.
The theme of this story is to show us the contrast of the lives of those who live for God, and trust and receive His promises, from those who refuse to do so. We see this through the history of the kings of Israel and Judah in this scripture.
Solomon’s wisdom, power and achievements brought honor to the Israelite nation, but more importantly to God. All the kings of Israel and Judah were told to obey God, and to govern according to His laws, not mans. But their predisposition was to abandon God’s commands and laws, and to worship other gods. This is what led them to change their religion and government in order to meet their own personal desires. Sounds very much like what our religious and government leaders are doing today. History is repeating itself. And as the outcome was then, their downfall, so too will it be our downfall today if we abandon God’s commands and laws.
1st Kings 8:56-61 – God’s promise to give rest to His people, and return them to their homeland
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."
Just as Solomon praised the Lord and prayed for the people of Israel, his prayers should be an adornment for us today in our prayers. Solomon had five forthright prayer requests to God. 1-God’s presence; 2-for the desire to always want to do God’s will in everything; 3-for help with each day’s needs; 4-for the desire and ability to obey God’s decrees and commands; 5-for the spread of God’s kingdom to the entire world. Solomon’s prayer requests were important in Solomon’s day, but just as important and applicable in our lives today.
Solomon asked God to be merciful to His people, the Israelites, when they cried out to Him. Solomon asked God to forgive them, and to return them to their homeland. God promised in verse 56 to give rest to the Israelites, and return them to the homeland. Not one word has failed of all the good promises God gave through His servant Moses.
Nehemiah 5:1-13 – The third return to Jerusalem after captivity, and the rebuilding of the walls, and the people’s faith renewed
1 And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren.
2 For there were those who said, "We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore, let us get grain, that we may eat and live."
3 There were also some who said, "We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine."
4 There were also those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our lands and vineyards.
5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards."
6 And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words.
7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, "Each of you is exacting usury from his brother." So, I called a great assembly against them.
8 And I said to them, "According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?" Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.
9 Then I said, "What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?
10 I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury!
11 Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them."
12 So they said, "We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say." Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.
13 Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, "So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said, "Amen!" and praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise.
This story is the referring to the returned exiles who suffered at the hands of some their rich citizens. The rich citizens would lend large sums of money to the less fortunate; when the debtors missed a payment, their lender would then take over their fields, and sell their children into slavery, a common practice during that time. Nehemiah was angry with these Jews who were taking advantage of their own people in order to enrich themselves. These practices violated God’s law set forth in Exodus 22:25. If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. – Exodus 22:25 (NKJ).
Nehemiah understood God’s concern for the poor, which is revealed in every book of the Bible. Nehemiah insisted on fairness to the poor, and the oppressed, which was central to following God, not the laws of the wealthy citizens.
The Book of Moses clearly spells out the Israelites’ responsibility to care for their poor. The way we help those in need must mirror God’s love and concern for the poor.
In verse 13, Nehemiah’s words are a “symbolic” curse. Nehemiah shook out the fold of his garment and pronounced that anyone who did NOT keep his promise would likewise be “shaken out and emptied,” losing all that he had.
"So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied."
Nehemiah was helping the poor, as he mirrored God’s love and concern for the poor. Nehemiah also set forth God’s law in Exodus 22:25.
As we continue to see in each of these stories each week, what God promised then, He continues to promise us today. He hears our prayers; He gives us peace; He is our strength; He will fight for us; and He will never leave us. Therefore, we must trust Him to do what He says He’s going to do for each of us.
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / New King James (NKJ) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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