Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 29, 2020

“Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Corinthians 16:1-9.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia;  and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go.  For I do not wish to see you now just in passing;  for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.  But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost;  for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”  1 Corinthians 16:1-9.


We make all kinds of different promises by which we intend to provide for us an “out” so that we can do what we want at the last minute.  These promises are really “yes or no”.

We may expressly hedge our promise by saying “if the Lord permits” or “God-willing”.  Although we can be sincere and righteously use such expressions according to Scripture, we need to be careful that we do not take the Lord’s name in vain which we will do if we secretly in our hearts really mean “if I permit it” or “if I am willing”.

We may not disclose our true intentions.  We may not disclose what will be the basis for our final decision in our promise.

In summary, we may be deceitful and just say something that will please the recipient of the promise.

“9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10.

But, what is worse than our deceit in our own promises is how we handle God’s promises.

We may attempt to provide God an “out” by interpreting God’s promises as only being fulfilled in heaven.  By our preaching and teaching, we undermine God’s promises and lead others to only trust God to fulfill His promises in heaven.

Paul defended his own intention in the next chapter.

“In this confidence I intended at first to come to you, so that you might twice receive a blessing;  that is, to pass your way into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and by you to be helped on my journey to Judea.  Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I?  Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?”  2 Corinthians 1:15-17.

But, much more importantly, Paul immediately followed his personal defense with a focus on God, God’s promises, and God’s faithfulness. 

“But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.  For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.  For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes;  therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.  Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”  2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

We see God’s promises throughout Scripture.  Most importantly, eternal life and everything pertaining to life and godliness are based on God’s promises.  But, God promises so much more.  God promises earthly blessings that are fulfilled during our life here on earth. 

“Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed;  all came to pass.”  Joshua 21:45.

“Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”  Proverbs 30:5.

What if Abraham attempted to provide God an “out” and interpreted God’s promise as only fulfilled in heaven?  Would he thereby become weak in faith?  Would he thereby be wavering in unbelief?  Would such a faith be credited to him as righteousness?  What does Scripture state?  

“Without becoming weak in faith he (Abraham) contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;  yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Romans 4:19-21.

“For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.”  And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.  For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.  In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.”  Hebrews 6:13-18.

“11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!”  Psalm 84:11-12.

“4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”  Psalm 23:4-6.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  2 Peter 1:2-4.

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  2 Peter 3:13.

“This is the promise which He Himself made to us:  eternal life.”  1 John 2:25.


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