Summary: Promises are not made to be broken. They are meant to be kept. God keeps His. He expects us to keep ours.
Promises Are Meant To Be Kept
Words come easy, often uttered without any thought or sincerity behind them. When we are faced with difficult situations or unknowns, we cry out to God saying, “God show me what I should do and no matter what I will do it.” “No matter what”? Do we really mean those words? Promises are not made to be broken. They are meant to be kept. God keeps His. He expects us to keep ours.
In Jeremiah find that after Nebuchadnezzar had taken the children of Israel into captivity, he left a remnant of people in the land, appointing Gedaliah as governor of the land. Ishmael, who was of royal blood, was offended by the appointment of Gedaliah, a noble not of the House of David. In Jeremiah 41, Ishmael conspires against and kills Gedaliah along with the Chaldean soldiers assigned to him. The remnant of the people become fearful of Babylon’s anger and retaliation for Ishmael’s treachery. They set out to flee to Egypt. As they are going, these fugitives of Judah asked advice of Jeremiah. We read in Jeremiah 42:1-3 “Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, "Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant since we are left but a few of many, as you can see, that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do."
I. A Promise Made
A. Jeremiah 42:5-6 “So they said to Jeremiah, ‘Let the LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the LORD your God sends us by you. Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we WILL obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.’”
B. They came to the prophet Jeremiah asking counsel; while their minds were already decided on what they were going to do that is to seek refuge in Egypt. A person who asks advice should be honest and not have a predetermined course of action or agenda.
C. “Whether good or evil, we will obey the voice of Jehovah our God”: as believers that ought to be our creed. Even though it may be contrary to our feelings or our desires, we ought always to embrace what God requires and commands.
D. Far too many serve God out of convenience as long as what God wants is what they want. We need to be willing to obey his voice no matter what.
E. Joshua 24:24 “And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey”
F. Deuteronomy 27:10 “Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.”
G. It’s not always easy to smile and be nice,
When we are called to sacrifice.
It’s not always easy to put others first,
Especially when tired and feeling our worst.
It’s not always easy to do the Father’s will.
It wasn’t so easy to climb Calvary’s hill.
But we as His children, should learn to obey;
Not seeking our own but seeking His way.
It’s not always easy to fight the good fight.
But it is always good and it is always right! - Glenda Fulton Davis
H. Where our Captain bids us go,
‘Tis not ours to murmur no;
He that gives the sword and shield
Chooses too the battlefield.
Where we are to fight the foe - copied
I. Remember that promises are meant to be kept and not broken. God will hold you accountable for whatever you say.
J. Ecclesiastes 5:2 “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.”
Transition: Jeremiah returns with the message from God in which he lays out two options for the people
• (42:9-12) “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him: 'If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,' says the LORD, 'for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. 'And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.'”