The Promise Keeper
I. God is able to keep His promises
v. 3 God's ________________________ is not contingent on man's ____________.
Man cannot nullify God's will, but God can nullify man's will. Ps. 33:1-12
God's will is __________________ ________ our will.
II. God is determined to keep His promises
v. 4 We must acknowledge God as ________________ and ________ however dire the consequences to our reputation.
'"Let God be true, but every man a liar" is an arresting way of placing in the forefront the indefectible faithfulness of God to his Word. It illustrates the conception which governs this epistle, that God is not determined in his purposes or in his promises by what is extraneous to himself or to his will.' - John Murray, The New International Commentary
III. God promises ________ and ______, and delivers both.
Examples of God's faithful promise-keeping despite man's unbelief or disobedience:
- David's adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah. Through her, Solomon was born, who brought Israel to its greatest ancient glory, and who wrote two books of the Bible and most of a third book. He also was a direct ancestor of Joseph, Jesus' stepfather. Also the gift of Psalm 51. II Sam. 11:1-12:25
- The fall. Adam's disobedience in the garden did not ruin God's plan, but rather gave opportunity for the first promise of the Messiah. God created the world already knowing that man would sin, and He already had a plan to deal with it. I Pet. 1:18-21, II Tim. 1:9, Rev. 17:9, Matt. 13:35 (Ps. 78:2), Matt. 25:34, Eph. 1:4
- Isaac's birth. Abraham and Sarah both secretly laughed at God's promise to give them a son in their extreme old age. God called them on it, brought it about anyway, and commanded them to name him Isaac, which means "He Laughs." Genesis 17:17, 18:12, 21:1-6
- Joseph's captivity. The Joseph's brothers were so jealous of him for his special treatment and prophetic dreams of leadership, that they sold him into slavery and told their father he had been killed. Later, in Egypt, the wife of Joseph's master lied about him and got him thrown in prison unjustly. But through both circumstances, God put Joseph in charge of saving the whole Middle East, including the family of Jacob, from starvation. Gen. 50:19-20
- The ten plagues. A later Pharaoh repeatedly hardened his heart and went back on his promise to let the children of Israel go. But that provided the opportunity for God to show His power in the ten plagues, and finally for the Passover rite itself, which was the means by which Israel escaped the angel of death. Ex. 7-12
- Wilderness wandering. The children of Israel rebelled against God in the Sinai wilderness. They had to wander there forty years but God brought their children into the Promised Land at the end of that time. Numbers-Joshua21.
- Conquest of the Promised Land. During the time of conquest under Joshua, Israel was sometimes disobedient, and seldom completely obedient, to God. But God used them to accomplish His purpose of cleansing the land of the Canaanites, and He fulfilled every one of His promises to their fathers. Josh. 7 (Achan), 21:43-45; Judges 1:21-2:23
- Caiaphas and the mob. Unbelieving men made prophetic utterances under the circumstances of Christ's crucifixion.
- Caiaphas - John 11:47-52
- The crowd in Pilate's court - Matt. 27:24-25. Even at his very worst, man's will is subject to God's.
- The Crucifixion. Provided the opportunity for the display of resurrection power and for glorification.
28 April 2002
David J. Finnamore