I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. (Psalm 89:34)
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
I’m so grateful for the rich treasure of promises in God’s word.
The reason we trust his promises is because we know his character. God is all-powerful, all wise, altogether loving, and doesn’t lie or change his mind. When God says he will do something we can bank on it because we know he’s good for his word. We trust his word because we know his character.
If God failed to do something he promised, there could only be three explanations – He would be either a liar, an impotent God or an unfaithful God.
What a horrifying universe it would be if the all-powerful God were a liar. We couldn’t trust him at all. We’d have no hope and no stability. How could we know Christ’s death actually paid for our sins? How could we know we’d really go to heaven? All our hope resides in the fact that God is always truthful and never lies.
What if God meant well but was simply unable to fulfill his promises? He wouldn’t be all-powerful. He’d be an impotent God. That would be a different kind of scary universe. How would we know God could accomplish anything he promised? How could we know God would actually be able to save or forgive us, defeat Satan, or take us to heaven?
A God who changed his mind would be frightening too – he’d be unfaithful. How could we possibly have any security in a universe where the all-powerful God was not faithful? If God changed his mind, then he might be good one day and evil the next. He might bless us one day then curse us the next.
We trust people who do what they say they’ll do. We say he’s a man of his word; If she says it, she’ll do it; Trust me, I’m good for my word. Our word reflects our character. Yet even the best of us humans have lapses. Each of us forgets occasionally. Sometimes we change our minds. Sometimes we make promises then realize we shouldn’t have.
That’s why God says in Numbers 23 that he’s not man – he’s never tempted to lie, change his mind, or make unwise promises. And am I ever glad.
That’s why we should put all our hope in God’s word. We should scour the Bible for his promises, ask him to fulfill them and thank him that he won’t change his mind or forget to do what he’s promised. That’s why we should cling to his word even when we don’t see it come to pass immediately. God won’t forget. God doesn’t make empty promises.
God said it, I believe it. The money’s in the bank. Period. End of discussion.
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Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.