WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 20, 2023
TOPIC: KEEP YOUR PROMISES
BY T. O. BANSO
“Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, ‘Keep your promise. Go to the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family’” (Joshua 6:22 New Living Translation).
Some people are careless or flippant about promises. They could make promises and forget about them or make promises they never intended to keep – false promises. This amounts to lying, which is not a virtue. The Bible says we should not lie (Leviticus 19:11; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9). Both young and old make promises and don’t keep them. This is not good. Don’t have a reputation for not keeping promises.
A Christian should not make promises that he will not fulfil. It shows such a person does not take after God, his Father, who makes and keeps promises. Severally, the Bible talks about this character of God regarding keeping His promises.
For example, Joshua 21:43-45 says, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (New King James Version). In other words, God kept His promise.
Also, Joshua 23:14 says, “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (New King James Version).
King Solomon said in 1 Kings 8:56, “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses” (New King James Version). God gave the Israelites rest as He had promised.
God is a promise keeper. “God keeps every promise he makes. He is like a shield for all who seek his protection” (Proverbs 30:5 Today’s English Version). God kept His promises to Israel. “He kept his promise to the people of Israel with loyalty and constant love for them. All people everywhere have seen the victory of our God” (Psalm 98:3 Today’s English Version). God kept His covenant, which is another word for promise. He said, “But I will not stop loving David or fail to keep my promise to him. I will not break my covenant with him or take back even one promise I made him.” (Psalm 89:33-34 Today’s English Version).
As I have said, so many scriptures talk about the integrity of God regarding keeping His promises. Balaam said, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 New King James Version). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Christians should emulate this character of God. We should make promises and fulfil them; we should also make promises we can fulfil. This is important in our relationships with God and fellow human beings. Some people not only don’t keep their promises to human beings but also don’t keep their promises to God.
Don’t make promises or vows to God that you will not keep. If you have made some promises to God, make sure you keep them. “If you make a promise to God, keep your promise. Don’t be slow to do what you promised. God is not happy with fools. Give God what you promised to give him” (Ecclesiastes 5:4 Easy-to-Read Version). It is better not to make promises or vows to God than to make them and not keep them. “Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6 New King James Version).
Keep your promises or vows as the Bible characters did. When Hannah made a solemn promise or vow to God in 1 Samuel 1:11 that if He gave her a son, she would dedicate him to God for his whole life and that he would never have his hair cut, she kept her promise (verses 24-28). Pay your vows (Psalms 22:25; 61:8; 66:13; 116:14, 18).
Just as you keep your promises to God, also keep your promises to human beings. The spies whom Joshua sent to Jericho kept their promise to Rahab the harlot. “Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, ‘Keep your promise. Go to the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family’” (Joshua 6:22 New Living Translation). The New King James Version puts it this way: “But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, ‘Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.’”
Earlier in Joshua 2:14, the spies had promised Rahab: “‘We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,’ the men agreed. ‘If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land’” (New Living Translation). Joshua respected this promise and ensured it was not broken. Joshua 6:25 says, “And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho” (New King James Version).
Hebrews 11:31 says by faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe when she had received the spies with peace. She was saved because of her faith. Rahab and her family were spared because both Rahab and the spies kept their promises. Rahab didn’t betray them, and they kept their promise to her. Keep your promises. “People who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain” (Proverbs 25:14 Today’s English Version).
Don’t be a promise breaker like Saul. He broke the covenant Israel, in the days of Joshua, made with the Gibeonites to let them live (Joshua 9:14-15). Israel suffered for this. 2 Samuel 21:1 says, “Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, ‘It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites’” (New King James Version). To make atonement, David gave the Gibeonites seven descendants of Saul to hang. Before the time of Saul, the Israelites kept the promise the Gibeonites deceived them to make with them. The Israelites knew that the promise or covenant was binding on them.
To avoid making promises you will not keep, think before you make promises. Don’t make promises without thinking. Don’t make promises based on emotions. Emotions are fickle; they change. But your promise is a debt you must pay even after your emotions have changed. “Think carefully before you promise an offering to God. You might regret it later” (Proverbs 20:25 Today’s English Version). Think carefully! Are you sure you can fulfil the promise you want to make? Are you ready to pay what it will cost you? Proverbs 17:18 says, “Only a man with no sense would promise to be responsible for someone else’s debts” (Today’s English Version).
Don’t make promises to please people or look good before others when you know you cannot fulfil them. Proverbs 27:13 says, “Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger’s debts deserves to have his own property held to guarantee payment” (Today’s English Version). Don’t be quick to speak or commit yourself to doing something. Don’t treat a promise as a joke. Don’t make false promises just as an escape route. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
Think carefully and take note of your promises. Remember and keep them. It’s not an excuse to say you forgot. As a human being, you have limitations. If there is a genuine reason you cannot fulfil a promise, inform in time the person you’ve made the promise. Don’t have a reputation for not keeping promises. God keeps promises, and as His son or daughter, you should also.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for the promises I have not kept, promises to you and fellow human beings. Holy Spirit, help me to keep my promises henceforth.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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