A Promise and a Hope

If you’ve ever been the victim of a promise broken, you understand how hard it is to trust promises people make. A broken promise often leads to division, strife, and of course, much disappointment. Yet, there is one who always keeps His promise and gives us hope. That one is the Lord GOD Jehovah.

How do I know?

The Bible tells me so. Check out these verses in Ezekiel 11:13-17 (KJV):

“And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Again the word of the LORD came unto me saying,

Son of man, thy brethren even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession.

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”

This an amazing thing! The book of Ezekiel was written between 593 and 571 BC according to Wikipedia. Ezekiel was living in exile in Babylon where King Nebuchadnezzar had taken the people. They were in captivity for seventy years (2 Chronicles 36). The Babylonians were a wicked people. Yet God used them to judge the people of Judah, and to rid them of their evil kings who had brought the people to ruin.

There’s more…God gave Ezekiel a promise in Ezekiel 11:18-21.

“And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God. “

God made a promise that He kept. The people did return to their land we call Israel today. Yet, they missed the part of the promise that said He would put a new spirit in them.

Prophets told of a time when the Messiah would be born to a virgin. Those prophecies were fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead fulfilled prophecies that He was God’s Son.

The Book of Hebrews explains:

“GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” – Hebrews 1:1-3

Instead of finding peace and hope through Jesus, they rejected Him and followed false gods.

Is there any hope for us? YES!

Accepting Him as God’s Son, the Savior of all who will believe, fulfills the intent of the promise in Ezekiel 11:19-20.

How is this possible? Acceptance by God requires a cleansing away of sin. There is a penalty for sins; that is, eternal separation from God.

Jesus took the punishment we deserve so that we might be forgiven and our sin cleansed away. Upon acceptance of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, as the Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in one’s heart. Our sins are forgiven forever.

GOD keeps His promises, even when we do not. The message to the Hebrews and to us continues…

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:12-16

Never be afraid to confess sin and ask for forgiveness. The Bible says,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

How can we know this is true? God promised.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:8-11

In Jesus, the promise was fulfilled. The ancient prophecies looked ahead to the fulfillment and now we can look back and see that they were indeed fulfilled.

Our hope lies in the promises yet to be fulfilled. We can know from Bible history that God keeps His promises.

Linda is an inspirational writer and photographer. Her writing has been published in Relate.com, Union Gospel Press, Gospel Blog, Frontline, Dollar Stretcher, Discipleship Journal - DJ Plus, At the Center magazine, Simple Joy, Cross & Quill, Hot Cars, and others. Linda's story "Stretched to My Limit" about dealing with dementia was featured in "Stolen Moments" by Elizabeth Bezant. Linda's first non-fiction book was "Homeschooling: The Modern Day One Room Schoolhouse." In it, she shares her experience as a homeschooling mom, explaining the basic principles of homeschooling for the beginner. She successfully completed her first fiction novel through Chris Baty's 2006 National Novel Writing Course (NaNoWriMo). Linda also writes inspirational articles on her Words of Encouragement Blog. Enjoy Linda's photos at Words of Encouragement Designs.

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