Promises Unfulfilled, But Reliable

November 5th, 2011


Acts 7:1-8

When I was a first grader, my dad walked me to the dentist’s office to have a toothache treated. As we passed the storefront there in the display window was a pair of shiny Roy Rogers cap pistols complete with holsters and fake bullets! Knowing my fear of the dentist, Dad promised me the cap pistols after my dentist visit. I enjoyed them for years!


In the Old Testament something very different appears when our heavenly Father makes a promise. In the original languages, God’s promises are stated in the present tense. God’s promises are made as though they were already complete.


Stephen reminds his accusers that they were living on the very real estate God promised Abraham and his offspring generations before. When God promised the land to Abraham, the patriarch had no children and no deed. Yet Abraham was obedient to God’s directions without either. What could have motivated Abraham to such trust and obedience in God’s promise? To Abraham, God’s promise was as good as fulfilled—as good as done—the moment the Lord uttered the words.


God’s promises are made in the present tense—they are already accomplished. His Word is certain and true.


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