TO CHEW ON: "'Just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel, saying, "Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place," so I certainly will do this day.'" - David to Bathsheba - 1 Kings 1:30
Bathsheba reminds King David of a promise he has made to her:
"My lord, you swore by the Lord your God to your maidservant, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne'" - 1 Kings 1:17.
Our focus verse is David's assurance to her: Yes, he will keep his word.
Keeping one's word, i.e. fulfilling a promise, was very important in another case, even though the promise was foolish and made without consulting God. Remember the story of the sneaky Canaanites from Gibeon who dressed in ragged clothes and came to Joshua after he defeated their neighbouring city of Jericho? Their tale of a long journey was proved, they said, by their mouldy bread, tattered wineskins, and worn out shoes. These things convinced Joshua they were from far away. Their request that his army spare them seemed innocent.
But the ink was hardly dry on the peace treaty when Joshua found out they were near neighbours and he had been tricked (Joshua 9:3-15). However, he kept his promise to them. So did other rulers—until Saul. He had killed them and that resulted in a famine in the land which was not stopped until the Gibeonites' deaths were avenged (read the gory story in 2 Samuel 21:1-140.
Keeping promises is part of God's character. He is reliable:
- His thoughts and purposes will come about - Isaiah 14:24.
- His promises reach over generations, as Zacharias reminds us in his prophetic prayer, prayed at the birth of his son John, where he praises God for fulfilling the oath He made to Abraham centuries earlier - Luke 1:68-75.
- This promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus, the writer of Hebrews reminds us - Hebrews 6:13-17.
As God's children, we should be known for our trustworthiness and the faithfulness with which we keep our word. As Jesus said so simply: "'Let your "Yes" be "Yes," and your "No," "No"'" - Matthew 5:37, James 5:12
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be better at thinking things through and consulting You before I commit to them. I can recall promises I've made rashly, and later reneged on or tried to get out of. I'm sorry. Help me to be known as someone who keeps my word. Amen.
MORE: Before you promise...
Luci Swindoll tells the story of her college days when she promised to go to a friend's house one Saturday morning for breakfast. For some reason neglected to show. The hurt she inflicted on her friend was a lesson to her in making and keeping promises. It resulted in what she calls her "A-List for being fully present in conversation":
"Be sure I listen.
Be sure I understand what's being communicated.
Be sure I'm clear about what's involved before I commit to something.
Be sure I can do what I say I will do.
Be sure I show up on time."
- Luci Swindoll, Simple Secrets to a Happy Life, Kindle Location 293.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.