“And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.”1 Kings 8:23-24
We live in a society where people do their best to not keep their word. We used to live in a community where a handshake sealed the deal, but we now must employ lawyers to write out a contract that both sides must honor. The penalties for breaking the contract include monetary fines and whatever other stipulations the two parties have agreed upon. Some parties have no qualms about paying the fines as it is to their benefit to not honor their word. Handshakes deals are a thing of the past, and the marriage vow “till death us do part”, sadly, does not not carry much weight as it once did. We are often more concerned with our own personal satisfaction and situation, and we could care less about the other party and the hardship and grief they may face.
I remember the wedding vows I made on August 7, 1999, and I did not think much about them back then. I did not meditate on the words I said as I gladly said them, but I knew this was a forever type of thing. We were cautioned to not even mention the “d word” – divorce – and we did our best in those earlier years to honor that. At the wedding, it is hard to see the troubles that may lay ahead as all you can see is your beautiful bride and the prospects of the “happily ever after” fairytale ending. You do not see the hard work that marriage takes, although you have been warned by those who have travelled the road before you. You feel your experience will be different, and you will avoid all of that hard work by taking a different course. I have come to find that the hard work marriage takes is well worth the effort, and it is more satisfying than lying down to rest after you have worked hard for the day. I have also learned that your life can be different, and you do not have to succumb to simply being miserable in a life-long commitment.
Our marriage was not always one of peaceful and romantic bliss. We were much like a roller coaster at an amusement park where we experienced both extreme highs and the bottoming out of the lowest lows. Through the adventurous ride, we understood that we had made a commitment to God and to each other, in the presence of those who attended our wedding. We were on this ride together and willing to endure the ups and downs and willing to work through the hardships, disappointments and failures. I came to the conclusion one day that we would be married forever, and I was determined to make it the best possible life. Why would I make this a miserable experience when God had intended it for so much more? God has blessed our marriage and I am grateful for His favor and cannot imagine spending those years with anyone else. A covenant is a covenant, and I pray that God will help us to keep that which we have committed to Him.
Although this world does not often honor their commitments, we worship a God who honors and keeps all of His promises. There is no one like Him who does this, and if He said it, then it has happened or will happen. He lives outside of time, so all that He has committed has come to pass, even though we may not have seen it yet. The promise of eternal life will be fulfilled once our time comes, and it is the great hope we have in Him. Solomon built a temple for the King of Kings, and he recognized the goodness of Almighty God. God gave him rest from his enemies, and blessed Him with wisdom that has not and will not be matched by anyone else on earth. God kept the promise He made to David that his son would occupy the throne and build a house where God’s chosen people could worship Him. I look back to the promises of God with thanksgiving, and I look forward to those that will come to pass at a later time. There is no one who keeps promises like our God, and He is an example to us all how we should honor the promises we have committed to others.
Where are you today? Have you committed to something or someone and looking for a way out? Are you looking for greener pastures, or are you willing to submit your will to God and ask Him what He is trying to teach you in the process? What do you need to change in your life to be a better steward of what you have committed to? Are you struggling in your marriage? Are you thinking of making a mistake and leaving the one to whom you have made a life-long commitment? May we take serious the promises we make, and may we follow the example of our covenant-keeping God who cannot break a promise. Will you praise Him like Solomon did for all that He has done and will do? God is worthy of all praise and adoration, and may we praise Him for all eternity for all the great things He has done.