I Promise

I Promise

Isn’t it so interesting that we make promises that we can’t keep? Here are a few that we have heard in the past such as I promise no new taxes, I promise to stamp out global warming, I promise to provide free education and I promise that no child will hunger.

Good day to each of you reading this column throughout the world on the subject of I Promise. Here, are two words, that are commonly used before or after making a sentence.

Before I get into the subject, let’s begin with a few of life truths

I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history after you die.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

And, you never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive the rest of the day.

I hope you enjoy the lighter or ah-ha side of life before we tackle two of the most used words, I Promise, in our society.

Politicians promise, stores promise, salespeople promise, telemarketers promise, preachers promise, lawyers promise, news casters promise, neighbors promise, family promise, but you never hear a weatherman promise.

If you google Songs with promise in the title, there is a list of 50+ songs with Promise in the title. Plenty of songs with the word “Promise” or Promises in the title.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance shows that Promise is found 53 times, Promised 48 times, Promisedst is found three times, Promises is found 13 times and Promising is found once in the Bible.  

Promise is found 53 times in the Bible and Promises is found 13 times—the significance—Let us look at the language of Numbers and the number 13 –The Destiny publishers begin the factor as having a widespread reputation as a number of ill omen. On the other hand, this number, in combination with eight, signifies atonement. Thus the two numbers, eight and thirteen, are like two threads—gold and crimson—which run through the whole of Divine revelation, continually crossing and recrossing each other.  

If you take the number 53 (5+3) for Promise, you get 8 and when you put the number 13 for Promises together, the combination of the two continually cross and recross each other.

Let us take this one step further, when adding 8 to 13, one gets 21 which signifies the number of intercession as shown in Daniel 2:2, 13. God is perfect in all ways with all matters.

Isn’t it so interesting that we make promises that we can’t keep? Here are a few that we have heard in the past such as I promise no new taxes, I promise to stamp out global warming, I promise to provide free education and I promise that no child will hunger.

Yes, we have all made promises that we could not keep, but what about making a promise to God?

As for promises made, be very careful as what you promise to God for, he may take you up on it. A wonderful example is found in 1 Samuel 1-19 where Hannah was married to Elkanah, an Ephraimite. Elkanah’s other wife had children and Hannah had none.

When reading these verses understand that back in Old Testament times, women who could not bear children were considered a failure and a social embarrassment to Elkanah and that he could divorce her since she was barren, but he did not and loved her all the more as shown in verse 8.

Hannah was so discouraged, bitter and deeply troubled – She did not take matters into her own hands—She prayed to the Lord by pouring out her soul to receive a child, a child who would be given to the Lord for all the days of his life.

Eli, the priest, observed Hannah and her state and thought she was drunk to which she said that she was deeply troubled and pouring out her soul to the Lord. Eli never asks why she was praying so fervently and says to Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.

The conclusion: The Lord remembered her and Hannah gave birth to a son named Samuel. But it does not stop there for Hannah had made a promise to the Lord that the child would be given to the Lord for all the days of his life.

And now for the rest of the story—Elkanah and his family went to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord, Hannah stayed behind and weaned the boy. After he was weaned, Hannah took the very young boy, three-year-old bull, flour, wine and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh.

The Lord gave Hannah a child and in return Hannah brought the boy to Eli, the priest. Hannah, when meeting Eli, reminded him that she was the woman who stood beside him praying to the Lord. Hannah presented Samuel to Eli to serve in the house of the Lord as she was returning him to God who had given Samuel to Hannah in the first place.

The result of the matter: Hannah so desperately wanted a child that she willingly bargained with God. God heard her prayer and took her up on her promise. Hannah, to her credit, did her part and gave him to the Lord for his whole life.

Have you ever sworn to do or not do something and then realized how foolish your promise was? Turn to Leviticus 5: 4 (NIV) Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil—in any matter one might carelessly swear about—even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it, he will be guilty.

As a Christian and of God’s people, our word should be enough, but we feel that we must strengthen it with an oath and this puts our sincerity in jeopardy.

Before I close, let us remember that a wise and self-controlled person avoids making rash promises or statements for someone may hold you to them.

Turn to Genesis 31:22—37 and read about Jacob, Laban, his father-in-law, and Rachel who is Jacob’s wife and the case of the missing idols. Jacob, Rachel and family left Laban in the middle of the night and without Laban’s knowledge.

Laban overtook Jacob three days later to ask various questions including who stole his gods in verse 29. Jacob, in verse 32, says if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. Jacob was so sure that no one had stolen Laban’s idols for if Laban found anyone with his gods, he would not live. Jacob told Laban to see for himself if there were any items of Laban’s and, if so, take them, but Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

The morale of the story—Don’t make promises that you can’t keep and avoid rash statements for someone may hold them to you.

May you Bless God in all that you say and all that you do!

Jeff