By Grant Hawley
God made a promise to Abraham, that his descendants would inherit some land (Gen 15:18-21). They've not yet ever had possession of all of it.
God made a promise to David that his Seed would rule on His throne forever (2 Sam 7:11-17). But his throne in Jerusalem (Psalm 122) remains empty.
God promised Israel and Judah (two nations that split from the one, Israel) that they would be rejoined and replanted in the land He promised Abraham with David's son ruling over them in that land forever (Ezek 37:15-28). This still hasn't happened.
Many believe these promises will never be fulfilled. They believe Israel disobeyed so much by sending the Messiah to the cross that these promises were ripped from them and given to the Church to be fulfilled allegorically.
But that makes God a liar.
It would be enough for God to make these promises. He is God—He always tells the truth. But God, knowing our weakness, confirmed these promises over and over. A couple of passages in particular stand out:
Thus says the LORD: 'If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'
If it's either day or night outside, His promise remains firm.
Psalm 89:20-37 is especially wonderful because it shows that Israel's disobedience cannot alter God's promise no matter what:
I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, With whom My hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him.
But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, And in My name his horn [a symbol of rule] shall be exalted. Also I will set his hand over the sea, And his right hand over the rivers. He shall cry to Me, "You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation." Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.
If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky. Selah (emphasis added)
The promise is sure because God's holiness guarantees it.
When Jesus' birth was announced, we learned that He is the one who will take His seat on David's throne and rule forever (Luke 1:31-33). Jesus is now sitting on the Father's throne, not His own. He said: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory (Matt 25:31, emphasis added), and "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev 3:21).
And the Bible ends with Jesus ruling forever (literally, "ages," same throughout the Bible, see 1 Cor 15:24-28) in Jerusalem, the old and later the new (Revelation 20–22).
It is important that we really look at this in perspective. Israel (the Northern Kingdom) had abandoned the True God and worshipped monstrous idols. They worshipped them with witchcraft and sexual perversion but it was much worse than that. (If you have a particularly soft heart, you may want to skip to the next paragraph.) They would create hollow bronze idols, burn wood in them until they became red hot and laid their infant children on the red-hot bronze to burn to death. They would play drums loudly to drown out the screams. This sacrifice was supposed to bring rain.
God sent many prophets to Israel to warn them to turn from their ways. Some were killed. All were persecuted. None were heeded.
This continued for over 200 years when God released his restraint on Assyria which then conquered Israel, took them away into captivity, split up the family units they didn't kill and forced them into slavery.
Judah (the Southern Kingdom) disobeyed similarly, though not as extremely, and suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Babylonians, though not as severe.
But despite all of this, God's promise stands firm. It stands firm even when Israel had been unfaithful because it isn't based upon their faithfulness, it is based upon God's faithfulness.
All of God's promises are this way. To us, He promised:
...the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (John 6:37).
This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day (John 6:39).
...he who believes in Me has everlasting life (John 6:47).
...He who eats this bread [i.e. believes in Jesus] will live forever (John 6:58).
And that's just in one chapter.
Paul said, "The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom 11:29), and that is true because He is faithful no matter what. "If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tim 2:12).
God said, "I will not lie to David" (Psalm 89:35). Rejoice! Brothers and sisters, He will not lie to us either. If God promises our security in Him forever, it's as good as done.