When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and Esau was coming with armed men, Jacob earnestly sought God's protection, and the ground of his appeal was this: "But you said, I will surely do you good." What force is in that plea! He was holding God to His word—"You said."
The attribute of God's faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon; but the promise, which contains the attribute and something more, is mightier still—"You said, I will surely do you good." Would He say it and then not do it? "Let God be true though everyone were a liar."1 Will He not be true? Will He not keep His word? Will not every word that comes out of His lips stand fast and be fulfilled?
Solomon, at the opening of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God to remember the word that He had spoken to his father David and to bless that place.
When a man gives a promissory note, his honor is engaged; he signs his name, and he must honor it when the due time comes or else he loses credit. It shall never be said that God dishonors His bills. The credit of the Most High was never impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to the second: He is never before His time, but He is never behind it. Search God's Word through, and compare it with the experience of God's people, and you will find the two tally from beginning to end. Many an ancient patriarch has said with Joshua, "Not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass."2
If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an "if"; you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfill the promise or He would not have given it. God does not give His words merely to keep us quiet and to keep us hopeful for a while with the intention of putting us off in the end; but when He speaks, it is because He means to do as He has said.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.