Several thousand years ago, God made the promise to childless Abraham. "In you, all families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Abraham died, and God worked.

God renewed the promise to Jacob. Jacob was a greedy thief who deceived. Jacob died, and God continued to work.

God acted on the promise when He used Moses to free Israel from Egypt. Moses led Israel out of Egypt through the wilderness. Then he died, but God continued to work.

The period of the judges was a time of extreme ungodliness. Israel gravely disappointed God. They were the useless enemy of His purposes. Still, God worked.

God hand-picked Saul to be king of Israel. This humble, unassuming, merciful man became an arrogant, impetuous, insecure leader. He died, and God worked.

God hand-picked David because his heart was God's property. David made mistakes, but he also lifted faith and the praise of God to a new level. He died, and God worked.

The nation of Israel divided. Both Israel and Judah became extremely corrupt and idolatrous. Still God continued to work. God sent His son. We humans killed him. Jesus died, but God continued to work powerfully. God raised him from the dead and enthroned him as Lord of lords.

God powerfully used Peter (who denied Jesus) and Paul (who persecuted Christians). They died, and God continued to work.

Philip, Stephen, Barnabas, Silas, Titus, Timothy, John, Peter, Mark, Mary Magdalene, Mary, Martha, the daughters of Philip, Lydia, Lois, Eunice--God used them all as He kept the promise. They all died, and God still continued to work.

We seek to be God's people. Because of our faith and repentance, we committed to God by being baptized into Christ. But, in the arrogance of small faith, we look at the future with grave concern. We act as if the future can destroy the promise of God. As always, we will die, and God will work. Only God's judgment will bring His work to conclusion. Humans never cancel the promise or prevent God from continuing His work. All our arrogance aside, the fact is this: humans cannot cancel God's promise or stop God's work.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 September 1999

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