I will keep my promises to the LORD - Psalm 116:14a (NLT)
It was the first day of the new year and Martha was in a sort of a daze as she hummed and danced around her living room as she carefully took down Christmas decorations and put them away. As she took some garland of the tree she started spinning it around her head as she continued to dance around the room only to be interrupted by the sound of a door bell.
After a slight pause in her dancing, Martha said “Nah, I'm not going to answer it.” and started spinning in circles. A few minutes later her daze was broken by the sound of her mom calling out her name. “Martha!” Helen called out, “What are you trying to do to your old mom, keeping her waiting at the door in this cold?” “Uhm...” was all that Martha could say.
“Are you okay?” Helen asked “I don’t think I could be better, at least at the moment.” Martha replied. “You weren't drinking too much champaign last night were you?” Helen asked. “You know I don't drink that stuff, Mom. But I did have the most wonderful, fantastic, magnificent dream in the whole world.”
“I suppose it's safe to say you weren't dreaming about Harold.” Helen said but Martha's response almost put her in shock. “It was all about Harold and it the best dream I’ve ever had.” “Wait a minute, time out,” Helen sputtered, “I thought he only gave you nightmares.” “That's only when I'm awake.” Martha replied.
“So, what was your dream about?” Helen asked a little curious. “Harold cleaned his room.” Martha giggled, “He cleaned it from top to bottom as a Christmas present for me and then he promised he would keep it clean all year.” “That would be a wonderful dream.” Helen said, “But to get his room clean he’d need a Tractor and a a dump truck, and and some way to get rid of all that stuff.” After saying that, Helen's mind started to whir. “Uhm,” she said “Have you been in his room lately?”
“No!” Martha said like her mom should have known better than to ask. “Well,” Helen started to say, “Rumor has it that just before Christmas Harold was looking for a dump truck, a tractor, and he was selling stuff at a flea market. I even heard he tried to sell Bernadette a box of dead frogs.”
“Are you saying it might not have been a dream?” Martha said adding “I know, you're not really here and I'm still dreaming.” “I guess there's one way to find out.” Helen told Martha, “Just meander on over to Harold's room and take a look.” “Do I have to?” Martha asked, “I’m afraid to. I don’t think I could handle the shock of finding his room clean.”
“Go check his room!” Helen told her daughter in a stern voice. Slowly, Martha headed towards Harold's room leaving Martha holding a pile of garland. A few minutes later came a blood curdling scream and then nothing.
How do you feel when someone breaks a promise they made to you? Do you feel disappointed, angry, indifferent, joyful, shocked, etc. In today's story we learn that Harold made a promise but....... Harold's not known for keeping his promises. How about you? Have you ever broke a promise yourself?
David and Jonathan were best friends but Jonathan's father, King Saul, wanted to kill David and the time had come when David and Jonathan had to part and go separate ways but before they go David makes a promise
Then Jonathan told David, "I promise by the LORD, the God of Israel, that by this time tomorrow, or the next day at the latest, I will talk to my father and let you know at once how he feels about you. If he speaks favorably about you, I will let you know. But if he is angry and wants you killed, may the LORD kill me if I don't warn you so you can escape and live. May the LORD be with you as he used to be with my father. And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies." So Jonathan made a covenant with David, saying, "May the LORD destroy all your enemies!" And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 20:12-17 (NLT)
Now, in the days of David and Jonathan showing kindness or love of any sort to anyone that could potentially lay claim to the throne was a rarity. More often than naught, when a new king came to power he would kill off the previous kings family to secure his position. Not so with David for he had made a promise.
One day David began wondering if anyone in Saul's family was still alive, for he had promised Jonathan that he would show kindness to them. He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul's servants. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked. "Yes sir, I am," Ziba replied. The king then asked him, "Is anyone still alive from Saul's family? If so, I want to show God's kindness to them in any way I can." Ziba replied, "Yes, one of Jonathan's sons is still alive, but he is crippled." "Where is he?" the king asked. "In Lo-debar," Ziba told him, "at the home of Makir son of Ammiel." So David sent for him and brought him from Makir's home. His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan's son and Saul's grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low in great fear and said, "I am your servant." But David said, "Don't be afraid! I've asked you to come so that I can be kind to you because of my vow to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the land that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you may live here with me at the palace!" Mephibosheth fell to the ground before the king. "Should the king show such kindness to a dead dog like me?" he exclaimed. Then the king summoned Saul's servant Ziba and said, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for his family. But Mephibosheth will live here at the palace with me." Ziba, who had fifteen sons and twenty servants, replied, "Yes, my lord; I will do all that you have commanded." And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly with David, as though he were one of his own sons. 2 Samuel 9:1-11 (NLT)
God / Jesus Christ make promises one of which we read of in 1 John 2:25 And this is what Christ himself promised to give us—eternal life. (TEV)
When God makes a promise He keeps them. Abraham realized this. Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised. Romans 4:20-21 (NLT)
I believe God wants us to keep our promises as well, especially to Him. If you make a promise to give something to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, because the LORD your God demands it from you. Do not be guilty of sin. But if you do not make the promise, you will not be guilty. You must do whatever you say you will do, because you chose to make the promise to the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 (NCV) Jesus once said that what we do or don't do to others we are doing to Him.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Would you like it if God failed to keep His promises to you?
- How well do you keep your promises?