Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Blessed is the man (woman) that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
“Thus will I live and walk from day to day,
Contented, trustful, satisfied, and still;
What life so shielded, or what life so free,
As that within the center of Thy will!”
Today’s Study Text:
“And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, ‘Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statues, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: and I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. So Solomon built the house, and finished it…and in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he (Solomon) seven years in building it.”
1 Kings 6: 11-14, 38
“God’s Three “P’s - Promise” – Part 1
“Faith in the promises works obedience to the precepts.”
How have I seen God’s promises at work in my own life?
What can I learn from Solomon’s life as the result of keeping God’s precepts?
How were God’s promises fulfilled in the life of Solomon?
“God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite."
“Certainly there are promises in the Old Testament which relate to material things. But if God was faithful and merciful to Israel, whom He chose not because of their righteousness but only because of His love for them, how much more reason today to rest on the faithfulness of Him who gave His beloved Son for us! In that faithfulness is assured our right to God’s promises.”
Philip E. Howard, Jr.
As I’ve studied the life of Solomon, there are three distinct words that keep coming back to me, which assist us in defining the life of this very special individual, and it helps you and me define our lives, too. I call these three words, “God’s Three P’s.” And today we are going to study about the first “P” -- God’s Promises.
Solomon’s life was a promise fulfilled. Born as the beloved child of David and Bathsheba. God came to King David and promised him that it was this special child, who would be empowered to build a “house of worship to God.” But God’s promise and His fulfillment of the promise didn’t just stop when Solomon was born or when he took over the throne upon the death of his father. Additionally, we find that God’s promise also included keeping every word He gave to David, as well as to Solomon, which included the admonition that Solomon should, “walk in God’s statues and execute (observe) My judgments” (Paraphrase 1 Kings 6: 12), as a condition of the fulfillment of what God said He would do.
Sometimes, it is easy to get the idea that God’s promises are like a blank check. I’ve even seen this reference made by some individuals. But with more study, we uncover the fact that there’s something bigger for us to understand about God’s promises.
While the promises of God can be frequently connected to God giving us some form of material blessing, there’s another, what I call, “grander” reason, to take a second look at why God’s promises mean so much more than just the acquiring of money or possessions upon obedience to God’s commands.
In the quotation which begins this section of today’s devotional, Philip E. Howard, Jr., calls attention to the fact that throughout the Old Testament, we can unearth repeated times when God’s promises were tied directly to material blessings. Take a moment and read Deuteronomy 28. It is one of Moses’ last “sermons” to the children of Israel before he died. This chapter is often referred to as “The Blessings and Cursings.” In it Moses shares the fact that God promises He will do certain wonderful things for His’ children if they obey (listen to) His word. And if they declined to follow God’s way, Moses alerted them to the fact that there would be consequences for disobedience, too.
This is one example of the fact that God states He is a God who does keeps His word. He does what He says He will do. And it is why, when God came to both David and Solomon and said, “I promise,” they believed God was worthy of their trust. They believed God would keep His word. Promises kept loomed large in the mind of young Solomon for we find in the book of Proverbs, that Solomon called attention to the fact that keeping our word is something we should do, also.
Yes, Solomon’s life was one where he literally, with his own eyes and in his own life saw God keep His word. After seven years, when the “House of God” was completed, Solomon could say within himself, “God has kept His promise.”
However, as we apply the lessons we find in the life of Solomon to our own lives today, how it is that we not only recognize, but trust that God’s promises are as reliable in the 21st century in our day-to-day lives, as they were when Solomon was building a house of worship, to God thousands of years ago.
This is where the Apostle Paul helps us when he wrote to his Christian friends in the city of Corinth. In II Corinthians 1: 20, Paul shared these words which bring untold confidence to my heart today:
“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.”
I’d like to share the paraphrase of this passage from The Message Bible:
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus!” In other words, from the moment in Genesis 3: 15 when God made a promise to Adam and Eve that He had a plan to bring harmony into the universe after sin polluted our perfect world, to the dark night in the Bethlehem countryside, when, “a multitude of the heavenly host praised God, and said, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” we are able to witness that God kept His promise, not just in “old times,” but down through history to this very day. Fulfilled in the life of Jesus, we get an answer to the questions we may have when all is darkness and we ask: “Is our God trustworthy? Does He keep His word? Does He keep His promises?”
Thankfully, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” It was something Moses learned from Mt. Pisgah’s lofty height. It was something Abraham and Sarah found out to be true at the birth of their son, Isaac. And the ultimate promise was kept when God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth.
Today, if all that surrounds you looks dark and foreboding, never forget, our God keeps His word. His promises are true. As David Nicholas shares, “God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine.”
“Hope is the unshakeable certainty in the realization of the promises of God in Jesus Christ, based on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.”
Sri Lankan Theologian
All things are possible (Luke 18: 27)
“I’m too tired”
I will give you rest (Matthew 11: 28-30)
“Nobody really loves me”
I love you (John 3: 16; John 13: 34)
“I can’t go on”
My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12: 9; Psalm 91: 15)
“I can’t figure things out”
I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
“I can’t do it”
You can do all things (Philippians 4: 13)
“I’m not able”
I am able (II Corinthians 9: 8)
“It’s not worth it”
It will be worth it (Romans 8: 28)
“I can’t forgive myself”
I forgive you (1 John 1: 99; Romans 8: 1)
“I can’t manage”
I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4: 19)
I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1: 7)
“I’m always worried and frustrated”
Cast all your cares on Me (I Peter 5: 7)
“I don’t have enough faith”
I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12: 3)
“I’m not smart enough”
I give you wisdom (1 Corinthians 1: 30)
“I feel all alone”
I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13: 5)
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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