Being a Promise Keeper

Solomon was the wisest man.  He asked for that wisdom to lead the people of Israel.  He wrote three of the books in the Bible. He sort of came from a bad background with the way David and his mother got together.  He became king after David died and her at the end of his life we find this. He had gone away from God and after he returned to wrote it.  He had broken promises to God. When he kept them he kept them well, but then he fell away. We don’t keep stacks for broken, kept, one of these days and I’ll get to it promises in the hope the kept ones outweigh the others.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. 4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

This is a sobering passage.  Life is sobering with all its realities.  Our life will end and we’ll give account to God.  Some teach that we’re sort of on our own. They say God did his part and left and will come back later and do the next thing.    God isn’t hands off.  In him we live and move and have our being. Wisdom comes from God.  When Solomon sought his own way he fell away from the Lord.  God “whipped” him good. God lets us know truth here beforehand.  There’s a way out. Paul tells us that everyone is tempted in all the ways common to man.  It’s a temptation from Satan to turn from God. However God provides a way out so that we don’t have to sin.  Jesus was tempted in all points as we’ll be, not for his own sake but so that you and I could make the right choices.

We have a privilege to make promises to God.  We find ourselves trying to make bargains. You can’t do that.  What do we have to bargain with? We can make promises as we’re free to talk with him but we don’t strike up deals like “Lord, if you’ll do this I’ll do that.”   Don’t promise him the moon because it is not yours to give. What we have it God’s anyway. We are bought with a price so we should glorify God with what belongs to him.  He could force us to do things but he has given us a choice. He wants our dedication and willingness to serve him. He has a job for each of us, a purpose on this earth.  What he wants is our permission–the yes–to continually give to him in surrender.

Don’t make outlandish promises.  Don’t promise to pray on the hour.  How long would it take to break that one?  Quit bragging on how much better of a Christian you are than others.  We’re not better. God is perfect in keeping his promises. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  Don’t be fast with words.  Don’t strut into the house of the Lord.  We should probably come in with our head hanging down because of the broken promises we made.  God expects us to keep promises no matter what’s against us. We belong to God. What are we doing with that?  He’s given us a choice.

Elijah, Isaiah and the apostles made promises.  Peter was the biggest promise maker. Jesus told him that Satan had him in the sifter.  Look what Peter did. He ended up making all sorts of promises to follow Jesus even unto death but yet he followed afar off after Jesus’ arrest.  He denied Jesus and found out you can’t halfway keep the promises you make. Have you promised to trust? To seek him? Do you put God first? You promised to give of your substance.  Have you surrendered what you said you would? It’s easy to say we’re surrendered. Are we really? If we pretend we are when we’re not, we’re no better than Ananias and Sapphira. Sometimes we’re so pompous in saying “not my will but thine” but we really mean “not your will but mine.”

We’re caught off guard.  We get put on the spot. When it happened to Peter he cursed and swore. Consider what you’re promising. Be wise about it. Be more serious about what you have promised as well as your service.  God is serious in expecting you to keep them. Don’t lose your sincerity over time. Proverbs says a fool is known by much speaking.  

How many promises have you broken or are on the way to breaking?  Maybe it’s a good time to talk to the Lord. Don’t make him promises but ask him to help you with your promises already made.  He will help you.

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