Summary: God’s promises are clear, understandable, and pointed right at us.
The Path to Jerusalem Series (Part II)
The Way: Promised (1st of 2 parts, the second part will be PART III of "The Path to Jerusalem Series)
What is more discouraging, you failing to keep a promise with someone or someone else not keeping a promise with you?
Have you ever arrived at the airport and the person that promised you that they would be there was not? How did that make you feel? Has someone ever promised you that they would stand up for you in a meeting, but when that time came they did not?
God has made promises, too. And, the Bible tells us that He is faithful and just and will keep His promises, for He does not lie, He is never late, and He does not CHANGE! The Bible also tells us that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). What other promise can you claim for yourself that is better than that?
But, there were many promises before this one, yet were they really? Let’s begin in the Garden of Eden, with God’s promises to Adam and Eve.
A PROMISE OF LIFE AND DEATH
God’s first promise to man was that he would take care of the needs of man. He told man in genesis 2:16: “and the LORD God commanded the man, "you are free to eat from any tree in the garden…”
What other promise might we need? God put before us the abundance of his work. He gave us all authority over the land, sea, and animals, and free reign to eat all that he had planted in the garden.
But this promise was put forward with an additional promise attached in genesis 2:17 “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
Satan entered the picture. He took God’s word and twisted it and lied to the woman. He questioned her devotion to God and founded his persuasion in her need to make herself better [desirable for gain wisdom, Gen. 3:6].
It is no different today. Satan, according to the Bible, “… is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). It is his desire to finish the job that he started in the Garden of Eden. And, he still uses the same methods. He gets you to call into question your faith. He offers you the world if you only bow down to him (possessions can become idols, i.e. cars, homes, stereos, etc.). He’ll twist God’s word and use worldly materials to persuade you to make the wrong decisions for your life.
Eve made the wrong decision, and so did Adam. But, praise the Lord, there is A PROMISE OF DELIVERANCE!
A PROMISE OF DELIVERANCE
After the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God pronounced a sentence upon man. A simple, yet wonderful promise provided a ray of hope for mankind. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
It is evident here in this promise that sin would ultimately be overcome by one of Eve’s descendants. Sin would be put to death. It is the promise of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Every promise of God from this point forward points to Jesus Christ.
It is also evident here that this parable of the seed of the woman speaks of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which he gained victory over sin and death and has paved the way to everlasting life for all who believe in him.
A clue to the identity of the seed of the woman is given in the words, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
A PROMISE OF SALVATION AND BLESSINGS
As the Bible progresses we begin to see God’s plan of salvation for man develop in many ways. Outstanding among these are the lives of selected individuals who were either good or bad examples of faith. To both the faithful and the unfaithful, God made remarkable promises of life or death. One notable Bible figure is Noah.
As the descendants of Adam and Eve increased, the tendency to sin, which they had inherited, began to show itself. “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” (Genesis 6:5 & 6)