Monday, July 30, 2012

God's promises

I love to read God's word because it seems that I learn more and more from each time I sit to read it despite the fact that I have been reading it for about 25 years now.  It makes me think of what JP Thew, my pastor's middle school son, said in church on Sunday, something like this...  I like going to camp and stuff because well I don't know everything yet.  Well I like reading God's Word, because at 39 I just don't know everything yet. I am thinking that at 79 I will be saying the same thing. 
I have noticed in reading the past few days that God gives promises to Abraham, Isaac, and David that are absolutely undeserved, unsolicited, and powerful.   To Abraham he promised a rich inheritance of nations and land and His blessing.  To Isaac he gave a son and the inheritance of Abraham.  He gave David the promise of having a powerful dynasty and that his son would build God a house, aside from the riches and power he gave to David.  I just can't help but think, why? Why would a God who doesn't need us want to give so much? Why would He want to go into a covenant relationship with us knowing that we are so unlikely to appreciate it, and so likely to abuse His grace.  Why would God choose to richly pour grace and blessing on a people who are so flawed and so quick to forget Him?
2 Samuel 18-21 King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: "Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that's nothing compared to what's coming, for you've also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow, my Master God! What can I possibly say in the face of all this? You know me, Master God, just as I am. You've done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are—out of your very heart!—but you've let me in on it.
God does it not because of who we are, but because of who He is.  God gives us great and precious promises because of His great love.  He loves to give us good gifts John 7:11 says "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."  I was challenged to remember this promise today. I think some days I forget that the fact that I got out of bed this morning, that I woke up at all is a gift and blessing of God. The fact that my house still stands over my head and my son sleeps peacefully in his crib is a gift from God. I forget that my husband coming home to me every day is a miracle of love and grace that only God can give. God is involved in bringing blessing to me.  He is involved today in showering grace and joy and peace.  My life is not always easy. There are so many days that I struggle and ask those questions about why hard times come.  I need to remember today that God is blessing. He is present. 
David prayed this prayer to God after God promised him a long lineage of grace:
25-27"So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it permanently! Do exactly what you've promised! Then your reputation will flourish always as people exclaim, 'The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is God over Israel!' And the house of your servant David will remain sure and solid in your watchful presence. For you, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, told me plainly, 'I will build you a house.' That's how I was able to find the courage to pray this prayer to you.
 28-29 "And now, Master God, being the God you are, speaking sure words as you do, and having just said this wonderful thing to me, please, just one more thing: Bless my family; keep your eye on them always. You've already as much as said that you would, Master God! Oh, may your blessing be on my family permanently!"
Don't you love David's boldness? He was saying God, do what you have promised.  Do it so others will say that you keep your promises.  I am reminding myself today to pray those prayers to God. Lord God, keep your promises to my family.  You chose us, you redeemed us, now continue to show yourself faithful. Do in our lives what only you can do. Today God, I ask that you would keep your promises and bring about the dreams you have given us to dream.   Protect our house, and let it be complete.