Witnessing the Promises of God

Cecil TaylorBy Cecil Taylor3 Minutes

I was a sweaty teenager, mowing the yard at the small-town parsonage where we lived, when my mother waved at me to stop the roaring lawnmower. She yelled, “Your father just called from the church. There’s a couple that wants to be married right now, and he needs us to witness the ceremony!”

Unpresentable as I was, I asked if I could take a shower first. “There’s no time,” Mom replied. “This couple is passing through town and is on a schedule. We need to go straight down.”

I washed my hands, figuring that I might need to shake hands with the groom. I certainly wasn’t going to hug the bride in my stinky, grass-covered state!

My mother and I sat on the front pew of our little sanctuary while my father conducted the ceremony. It was a nice wedding. We signed the papers as witnesses, and off the happy couple went. And I went back to finish mowing the side yard.

Just as I witnessed the spiritual promises that this couple made to each other, the Bible serves as a witness to the spiritual promises of God to His people. A Canadian schoolteacher once counted 8,810 promises in the Bible, of which 7,487 were promises made to humankind.

Possibly the most overarching promise of the Bible, the one that influences how we should read and comprehend the entirety of scripture, is the promise God gave Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3.

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

With this vow, God launched the nation of Jewish people. Through them, He raised the Messiah, Jesus, whose church was founded to bring all people on earth, Jew and Gentile, to be blessed together in one body. In a sense, the entire Bible hinges on this one story and promise: how the Holy Father intended all along to send His Son to earth for our salvation and our instruction. It’s a heavenly promise that is desirable because of failure on the human side, the unfolding truth that people are imperfect and need a Savior, and then the arrival of that Savior to become the sure pathway for our reconciliation with God.

The Bible witnesses to God’s promises, and so do His people. We experience the richness of God’s promises and live by faith each day, not knowing what the day will bring. I mean, you might be part of a wedding today!