Before my maternal grandfather passed away, my cousin embarked upon a high-school ancestry project. She interviewed him and managed to map our family tree back through several generations. The tree began with our maternal great, great, great grandfather who lived in Japan. Our family was humble farmers and for centuries, they lived in the small town of Niigata. In 1912, seeking a better life for his family, my grandfather traveled alone on a merchant ship from Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii. Speaking no English, he managed to find a job as a milkman, marry another Japanese immigrant and settle down in a suburb of Honolulu. Over the next seventy years, he raised four children who all attended college, married, and gave birth to five grandchildren.
If hundreds of years ago, someone told my ancestor that his descendants would someday be living in a country that did not exist and be spread throughout this new land, would he have believed it? I doubt it. It sounds as absurd as the promise that God gave to Moses. The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, oppressed, and destitute. God sent them Moses who would lead them out of bondage and wander in the wilderness for forty years. God assured His people they would be delivered to a promised land and be made into a mighty nation. Yet as the months dragged into years, it may have seemed like a failed promise from God.
Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.
1 Kings 8:56 (ESV)
King Solomon uttered this exalted prayer before thousands of Israelites when the first great temple of Jerusalem was dedicated. It was over 480 years, after God delivered Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptians, that God’s promise to give rest to His people was fulfilled. Solomon looked back in awe over the faithfulness of God’s kept promise.
God’s timeline stretches into eternity. There are many promises that God makes to us in the Bible. Sometimes our expectation is that He will instantly fulfill them and in some cases He does, but in other cases, we may not see His fulfilled promise in our lifetime or even for many succeeding generations. This sweeping prayer of King Solomon reminds us that God keeps His promises, even after hundreds of years.
Over two thousand years ago, God made another promise to His people. His Son, Jesus Christ will someday return to rule this entire world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In these dark days of global pandemic and rioting, it may seem like this is a failed promise of God.
Would you believe it?
We should take comfort from the numerous examples that the Bible gives us that God is faithful and He always accomplishes what He promises to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.