A Promise is a Promise… Only if it’s Kept from Chicklit Power

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2 Peter 1:3-4

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

 

 

Thanks for joining me for more of our WOW today and a little coffee break. Grab your coffee, and your spiritual shovel, and let’s keep digging! I just know that through the digging, we will come to a deeper understanding of 2nd Peter 1:3-4.

So what does promise mean from Webster’s perspective? “A declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified.” Yikes, see I did break my promise to Jimmy! Anyone reading this that knows him please let me tell him first! 🙂 Now, that may not have been a major promise, but still . . .

Another definition for promise is: “A legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.”

And finally, a promise is: “reason to expect something <little promise of relief> especially ground for expectation of success, improvement, or excellence <shows considerable promise>.”

Suffice it to say, we do make and break promises, but perhaps, if we understood the solemnity of a promise, we would be slow to promise and quick to keep it. Now let’s do a bit of spiritual digging.

Did you know there are over 3500 promises in the Bible? There are 108 scriptures about this very word in all its forms and interestingly enough, the majority are in the New Testament. The reason for that is the word “covenant” is used as a promise in the Old Testament; for example, in Deuteronomy 7:9: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Now a covenant is actually deeper than a promise because of its requirements, but it would take me too long to explain — I lead a study on this very subject, and it actually took us almost a year to complete – but I did find an explanation on eManna that really fits so I’ll give you that first: “No promise binds a person as much as a covenant does. Men can make promises without being bound very much by them. But once we pay the price for that promise to become a covenant, we are bound by the covenant we have made. The price is the procedure necessary to make the promise a covenant.

I love that part I put in bold! In other words, the price God paid for the promise of grace was His Son, Jesus Christ! This is instrumental in understanding why, out of the many verses with the word promise, I chose 2nd Peter 1:3-4!

Now let’s look at a couple Hebrew and Greek definitions for the word promise and see what we find. Do you have your shovels?

Hmm, this is a bit unclear to me, but I’ll try and explain it as best as I can. The Hebrew concordance defines “promise” as “A word, matter, something.” Promise refers first to what is said, the actual words. Promise also appears to have had a technical status in Israel’s law procedures. Anyone who had a promise before Moses had a law case.

Now that’s interesting. So to promise or a promise goes all the way back to the Israelites.

Wow, here’s another part of it: “As a biblical phrase, ‘the word of the Lord’ is quite important; it occurs about 242 times”!

I was going to skip some of this and cut to the chase, but the light just turned on for me after reading the whole thing so bear with me as I summarize the other definitions from the Hebrew concordance: While the word promise may focus on the meaning of what was said, it also carries overtones of the actual words themselves made within the promise.

In most cases in the Old Testament, promise is a technical phrase referring expressly to prophetic revelation with some judicial (legal) overtones. “Promise” is also used of God’s affairs, His thoughts and His will and is contrasted with His name!

Bingo! There it is! God should be in every promise for He is the author of the greatest promises ever made and kept! Take some time to think about some of His promises you live by and feel free to share them with me. We’ll get into some New Testament definitions tomorrow.

Have a promising day,

Evinda

 

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