Friday, November 24, 2006

He Who Makes The Promise Fulfills It

He Who Makes The Promise Fulfills It

The poem "Footprints in the Sand" was allegedly written in 1963 by Carolyn Joyce Carty.  Many have read and have been inspired by the words of this poem.  Indeed, it brings a vivid picture of how our Christian walk should be.  In the poem, if you recall, a man dreams that he is walking along a beach with Christ.  At one point he looks back and notices that the prints in the sand go along with his life.  He also notices that at some points of his life there are two sets of footprints, and at others there is one set.  As he studies this pattern he discovers that it is at the most trying moments of his life that he sees only one set of footprints.  Disturbed by this discovery he asks Jesus about it, "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.  But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.  Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"  Then the Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you."  Do we ever doubt that God will not fulfill what He promises to us?  In our human sinful condition it is nothing but natural to do so.  However, as we walk with the Lord, we should be increasingly finding out that He who makes the promise fulfills it.

This means that we do not have to help the Lord to fulfill His promise.  Consider Abram, when he and Sarai doubted the word of the Lord, they decided to take matters in their own hands by following the logic of the law of the land.  Hence, Abram sires Ishmael, and with it our current middle east problems.  It is true, that at first the promise seems to involve Abram only.  In Genesis 12:7 he says to Abram, "Unto thy seed will I give this land."  In Genesis 15:1-4 Abram meets the Lord again confirming what HE had to Abram in Genesis 12.  Let us read in Genesis 15,

Genesis 15: 1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Genesis 15: 2 And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Genesis 15: 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
Genesis 15: 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

The promise again is directed to Abram.  But, was the law of God different in Abram's age than it is in our day.  Were Abram and Sarai ignorant of "thou shall not commit adultery?"  Sister White says of this in Patriarchs and Prophets,

Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son, but he did not wait for God to fulfill His word in His own time and way. A delay was permitted, to test his faith in the power of God; but he failed to endure the trial. Thinking it impossible that a child should be given her in her old age, Sarah suggested, as a plan by which the divine purpose might be fulfilled, that one of her handmaidens should be taken by Abraham as a secondary wife. Polygamy had become so widespread that it had ceased to be regarded as a sin, but it was no less a violation of the law of God, and was fatal to the sacredness and peace of the family relation. Abraham's marriage with Hagar resulted in evil, not only to his own household, but to future generations (Patriarchs and Prophets Page 145).

Perhaps, so that there were no more misunderstandings, the Lord decided to make it clear to Abraham that "…Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed…" (Genesis 17:19).  After this there is no more guess work from the newly called Abraham and Sarah.  They wait for the Lord to fulfill His promise.  What about you?  Are you waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promise?  Are you still conjecturing or speculating about what God has promised you?  Are you still guessing, "Is this what God meant?"  Are you still offering God some help?  Let this Abraham and Sarah story be an example to you.  When God makes a promise, He fulfills it in His time and in His way.  When God starts something, He sees it through and finishes it.  Through Isaac, the Lord brought laughter to Abraham and Sarah.  I pray you allow the Lord do the same with you. 

Raul Diaz