Applying God’s Ancient Promises Today

God promised Abraham a nation and the Promised Land.  He delivered.

God assured Moses that Pharaoh would let his people goSo it happened.

The prophet Samuel, at God’s command, anointed a shepherd boy king of Israel.  David became Israel’s greatest king and the ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Does God promise that he will do things like that for us? 

Rainbow and bridge from morguefile

I ask myself this question every time I read through the Old Testament, (which I do once every year).  Yesterday I came to the end of Joshua where I read: ‘Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” (Joshua 23:14)

 What does this mean for God’s people today (like you and me)? 

First, those specific promises were part of God’s redemptive plan. The end game was not to create a nation or to inhabit land or to establish David’s royal line, but to bless the world through Abraham through the Savior descended from David, Jesus Christ.

Yet, we learn to trust God’s promises to us as we read of his work through his people in ancient days. God still inspires ideas, dreams, and passions for how we can join him in his work today.  Ancient biblical stories teach me that God always approves of faith, that he chooses his servants based on faith, humility and character, and that he is the power source for any worthy work.  Does God promise me personal success?  No.  Does he promise to provide everything I need for my service in his nameYes. 

God is faithful to his promises…but it might take a while.  God told Abraham he would be the father of nations, but when he died his son Isaac, the inheritor of the promise, was married to yet another barren woman.   And the land?  He owned only the cave in which he buried his wife.

Remember this when your dreams seem only partially fulfilled.  What you see today may be early evidence of God’s unimaginable future blessings.

We must participate in the fulfillment of God’s promises.  And it won’t be easy.  Abraham had to leave his home. The Hebrews spent hundreds of years in slavery.  Moses had to face off with Pharaoh through ten tedious plagues.  The people of Israel marched around a desert for forty years.  Joshua had to fight for the Promise Land.  David ran from King Saul for years after he was anointed king.  God won’t do it for you; he’ll do it through you.

God’s promises do not always translate into success as the world defines it.  Jesus was not a “success.”  He was a nobody from Nazareth who gained a following for three years and was then executed on a humiliating cross.

Yet, he is the fulfillment of every one of God’s promises.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.  And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”  2 Cor. 1:21

How do you interpret and apply God’s ancient promises to your life today?  Do you feel he’s given you a specific dream or desire?  If so, how has he been faithful as you work to realize it?

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8 Responses to Applying God’s Ancient Promises Today

  1. Robin Claire says:

    Hi Judy,
    I wrote a post about a word study I did recently on the word – Truth. Here is the post if you’d like to read it.
    http://robinclaire.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/the-exact-definition-of-biblical-truth/
    robin

  2. melodylowes says:

    Very well-written, Judy. I often have thought about Abraham and how he believed God, and was credited as righteous – and died never seeing the promise completely fulfilled. It reminds me that my perspective is very very small indeed – and that God knows what He is doing!

  3. Naphtali says:

    Excellent post Judy. Every day I read Psalm 91. With everything that is happening my focus turned to his words, “I will be with you in trouble.” Often we believe trouble is elsewhere; but we all have them. God wants us to know he is right there with us going through it. His presence is everything.

  4. Caddo-Jael says:

    Joshua 23:14–I read that again recently, and love the “not one has failed” part!! God bless you today, Judy–super-abundantly. Love, sis Caddo

  5. Larry Who says:

    At age 75, Abraham was promised a land and to be blessed. When he was approximately 80, he split his Promised Land with Lot. Thus, Abraham ended up with the short end of the shaft while Lot had the lush plain of Jordan. Isaac arrived when Abraham was a 100 and at about 112, Abraham suffered through his greatest test on Mt. Moriah with the offering of Isaac as a sacrifice. Yet, scripture states Abraham did not waiver in faith and that his faith grew stronger over time (Romans 4:20)

    I’m not Abraham by a long shot, but I do understand we have to hold on to our promises and never let go, even though the clock keeps running and running. I’ve held onto a couple of promises for 28 years and still counting, but who knows? They could be fulfilled yet today.

    (I just studied Abraham so I knew the stuff without much thought on my part. We must be on the same prophetic wave length, huh?

    • Judy says:

      I say hang on, Larry! I too have been believing God in advance of a few promise fulfillments for years and years. I choose to keep believing, for I know he is perfectly faithful. Abraham’s story is such an encouragement to do that, isn’t it? In faith, Judy

  6. Cara says:

    “God won’t do it for you; he’ll do it through you.”
    Love this, Judy. Thank you.

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