Years ago Donald Grey Barnhouse told the story of living in France during his student days when the Lord used him to lead a young woman to Christ.
Several years later this woman became the wife of one of the French pastors in the South of France. She often went to the Barnhouse home to visit. One day she saw him taking verses from a “promise box” – a small box that held about two-hundred promises from the Bible printed on heavy paper and curled into cylinders. Barnhouse said, “We used to take one out and read it when we needed a special word of comfort.” So this woman made a promise box of her own, writing these same special divine promises in French.
Throughout the years the promise box was used regularly by her family. She used it with her children when they were young, and the result was that each one of her kids grew to trust the Word of God and believe in His promises.
But during the Second World War she and her family were impoverished. Her husband was still preaching and teaching, but no one had much money to support his work. In fact, the only food they had were the potato peelings that were generated by a small local restaurant. Her children were emaciated; they cried to her for food. Their clothing was almost in rags, and their shoes were worn through.
In one of her most tragic moments she turned to the promise box in desperation. She prayed, “O Lord, I have such great need. Is there a promise here that is really for me? Show me, O Lord, what promise I can have in this time of famine, peril, and sword.” She was blinded by her tears, and in reaching for the box, she knocked it over. The promises showered down around her, on her lap, on the floor; not one was left in the box.
Suddenly, she said, “I knew at that moment a supreme joy. In that moment the Holy Spirit suffused me with divine power and light. I realized that all of the promises were indeed for me in the very hour of my greatest need.”
Of all the meanings of Christmas none are truer or more reliable than this one – God keeps His promises. Indeed, the whole testimony of Scripture is that in Jesus Christ all of the promises of God are yes and amen! Simply put, everything God ever intended to do He does in Christ Jesus.
That is why this Christmas Sunday we are going to look at a set of seven promises that God makes to Abraham, Moses, and Jeremiah. Each one finds their complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Like that woman in France, God intends for us to remember His promises. For many of us two-hundred are difficult to keep foremost in our minds. So how about seven of them? If only you and I could every day remember these seven, oh, how much richer and more productive our lives would be.
In preparation for the message entitled, “The Promises of God,” you may wish to consider the following:
1. Read Exodus 6:1-8 and Jeremiah 31:31-34.
2. What does Exodus 6:9 say about you?
3. What seven promises of God can you pick out of Exodus 6:2-8?
4. What is the significance of the number seven in Scripture?
5. What is the difference between us and the Israelites when it comes to these promises?
6. What three promises can you find in verse 6?
7. What do the words, “And I will take you to be my people” mean in verse 7?
8. What two promises can you find in verse 8?
9. What is the big deal about a promise of land?
10. What is the big deal about a promise of the possession of it?
See you Sunday and Monday!