The Consistency of God in His Promises (Series 1, Lesson 1)
This is lesson 1 in a series of lessons on the promises of God and what they mean to us in a contemporary world. These lessons are designed to be easily used for personal Bible Study or as a guide for group Bible Studies. Each of the lessons will include a set of discussion questions at the end of the lesson, which can be used either privately for introspection or in a group setting as provocative discussion builders. This lesson focuses on the promises of God and his unfailing, immutable steadfastness as He administers His promises. Before we can stand on His promises (or the promises of anyone), we must first trust the reputation of the promiser (the one doing the promising). You see, promises are useless if the promiser is not able to maintain his word.
When one changes his promises from time to time, the promises are also less powerful (actually useless) than if we know that the terms of a promise are the same from time to time. With God, we know that we have an unchangable, all-powerful God Who has all the power in the universe to back up his every promise. Our most accurate source for information about God is the Bible, which repeatedly indicates that He has always existed, and that He created the heavens, the earth, and the entire universe. (Gen. 1:1-2:3, Job 38-39, John 1:1-5, Rev.
1:8). Wise King Solomon wrote about God, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it” (Ecc. 3:14a). One of David’s Psalms tells us: “But the Lord shall endure forever” (Ps. 9:7a). Another tells us: “But thou, O Lord, shalt endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.” (Ps. 102:12). Later in the same psalm, we read: “Of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
” (PS. 102: 25-27). Recorded in the book of Numbers, Balaam, speaking on behalf of God, says to Balak: “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: for He hath said, and shall he not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19). O, what a wonderful thing to know, that the God which speaks promises is a God that does not lie, does take back what He says He is going to do, and does not speak and not make it good! How many times have we been promised by someone something and they do not “make it good”? And here we have it, God will make it good. His Word is always good; He always does what He says He is going to do. Later in history, when the Israelites were again testing God by turning away from Him and His goodness and prosperity, Malachi the prophet records the Word of God: “For I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6a). In the New Testament, after the death and resurrection of our personal Saviour, the Son of God Himself, the writer of Hebrews tells us: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Heb.
13:8). And these are but a few of the references in the Bible to God’s immutability and His constancy. When He promises something, he means to keep His promise! He never casually makes a promises or offers a blessing (or, beware, a curse) if He is not going to back up His Word with action. Once He initiates a promise or a covenant, His part of it will always hold true, regardless of what we do. Questions for discussion: What do we know about the promises of God? What does it really mean that His promises are backed up by His unchanging nature? What does it mean to you personally, that His word is always sure and steadfast? Does this change the way you see the God of the Universe, recognizing that He doesn’t simply create some promises for one time and circumstance, and others for other times and circumstances, but that His nature requires that His promises are consistent throughout all time? Note: Scripture references are from the KJV. You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. © Sean Mize 2006.
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