Faithful to His Promise2
The promises of the Lord are a sweet truth, but often times this sweetness becomes dulled on our forgetful palettes. This forgetfulness is not just symptomatic of us now, it is something that God’s people have always struggled with.
We see this with the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. While the Israelites were in the desert making their way to the Promised Land, they begin to complain about their hunger, so the Lord, in his kindness, provides them with manna each morning. He instructs them to take enough for the day and not an ounce more. A few of the Israelites don’t heed his instructions and they take more out of unbelief that he will not continue to provide. The Bible tells us that the next morning those who took extra find it is full of maggots (Exodus 16).
The Lord provides manna for their hungry stomachs but gives them boundaries to remind them of his promise to care for them. He knows they are struggling with trust and unbelief. By causing the manna to be inedible, he is showing them that they have no control, even over their well-being. He is showing them that only he is ultimately in control and that he will fulfill his promises to care for their needs each day.
Like the Israelites, when we forget the promises of the Lord, we question if God is really going to provide for us. This forgetfulness causes us to fear and tighten our grip on the perceived control we think we have, which leads to anxiety. We aren’t trusting that “His mercies are new every morning” or “I will never leave you or forsake you”, and so on.
God’s response to this unbelief is in Joshua 3-4. After the Lord provides another miracle for the Israelite's safety, he has them take stones and make them into stones of remembrance to “serve as a sign among you” (Joshua 4:6). He explains that when their children ask about the stones, they will be able to tell of the Lord’s faithfulness. The Lord knows we are a forgetful and often an unbelieving people.
However, when we look back in our lives, we see that the Lord has always fulfilled his promises. Although we are not crossing the Jordan River, or begging for Manna to rain down from heaven, we are facing trials and deep fears that cause us to look to the Promises of the Lord. When you begin to forget how sweet and true they are, look to your stones of remembrance. Your stones are past prayers that Christ has answered. They are every single time the Lord has fulfilled a promise.
Although we may face trials and suffering, he has the perfect track record. Looking at his faithfulness bolsters our trust, knowing that he will be faithful to his promises no matter what.
Seeing Christ's faithfulness restores the sweetness of his promises that we so desperately need to be preserved through life in freedom from fear and unbelief.