Promises That You Can Trust
GOD’S prophet Micah knew that promises can often prove unreliable. In his day, even the closest of companions could not always be trusted to keep their word. So Micah warned: “Do not put your faith in a companion. Do not put your trust in a confidential friend. From her who is lying in your bosom guard the openings of your mouth.”—Micah 7:5.
Did Micah allow this sad situation to make him skeptical about all promises? No! He expressed complete confidence in the promises made by his God, Jehovah. “As for me,” wrote Micah, “it is for Jehovah that I shall keep on the lookout. I will show a waiting attitude for the God of my salvation.”—Micah 7:7.
Why did Micah have such confidence? Because he knew that Jehovah always keeps his word. Everything God had sworn to Micah’s forefathers unfailingly came true. (Micah 7:20) Jehovah’s faithfulness in the past gave Micah every reason to believe that He would keep His word in the future.
“Not One Word . . . Has Failed”
Micah knew, for example, that Jehovah delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. (Micah 7:15) Joshua, who experienced that deliverance, encouraged his fellow Israelites to have faith in all of God’s promises. On what basis? “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls,” Joshua reminded them, “that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.”—Joshua 23:14.
The Israelites well knew that Jehovah had done wonderful things for them. He had fulfilled his promise to their God-fearing forefather Abraham that his offspring would become as numerous as the stars and would take possession of the land of Canaan. Jehovah also told Abraham that his descendants would suffer affliction for 400 years but would return to Canaan “in the fourth generation.” All of this took place.—Genesis 15:5-16; Exodus 3:6-8.
The Israelites were well received in Egypt in the days of Jacob’s son Joseph. The Egyptians later subjected them to brutal slave labor, but true to God’s promise, within a period of four overlapping generations from the time they entered Egypt, these descendants of Abraham were liberated from Egyptian bondage.a
Over the next 40 years, the Israelites had further proof that Jehovah always keeps his promises. When the Amalekites launched an unprovoked attack on the Israelites, God fought for his people and protected them. He satisfied all their material needs during their 40-year trek in the wilderness and eventually settled them in the Promised Land. As Joshua reviewed the history of Jehovah’s dealings with these descendants of Abraham, he could confidently say: “Not a promise failed out of all the good promise that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; it all came true.”—Joshua 21:45.
Build Confidence in God’s Promises
How can you build faith in Jehovah’s promises, as Micah and Joshua did? Well, how do you develop trust in others? You get to know as much about them as you can. For instance, you may learn how dependable they are by observing that they faithfully try to fulfill all their promises. As your knowledge of such people grows, you progressively develop trust in them. You can do the same when it comes to building faith in God’s promises.
One way you can do this is by reflecting on creation and the laws governing it. Scientists place their confidence in these laws, such as those that govern the way a single human cell divides and multiplies to produce the trillions of cells making up your body. In fact, the laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy in the entire universe must have been established by a totally dependable Lawmaker. Surely you can trust his promises, even as you have confidence in the laws governing his creation.—Psalm 139:14-16; Isaiah 40:26; Hebrews 3:4.
Through the prophet Isaiah, a contemporary of Micah, Jehovah used the regularity of the seasons and the amazing water cycle to illustrate the dependability of his word. Each year the rains came. They saturated the ground and made it possible for people to sow their seed and harvest the produce. In this regard, Jehovah said: “Just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:10, 11.
Sure Promises of Paradise
Examining creation can build trust in the Creator, but something more is needed if you want to learn about the promises that are part of the “word that goes forth from [his] mouth.” To learn about these promises so that you can place your trust in them, you need to examine the divinely inspired Scriptural record of God’s purpose for the earth and his dealings with mankind.—2 Timothy 3:14-17.
The prophet Micah had confidence in Jehovah’s promises. You have even more of God’s inspired record available to you than Micah did. As you read the Bible and meditate on it, you too can develop faith in the fulfillment of God’s promises. These promises involve not simply the natural descendants of Abraham but all mankind. Jehovah promised this God-fearing patriarch: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice.” (Genesis 22:18) The primary part of the “seed,” or offspring, of Abraham is the Messiah, Jesus Christ.—Galatians 3:16.
Through Jesus Christ, Jehovah will see to it that blessings flow to obedient mankind. And what has God promised to do in our time? Micah 4:1, 2 answers in these prophetic words: “It must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it peoples must stream. And many nations will certainly go and say: ‘Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’”
Those who learn about Jehovah’s ways “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.” Any warlike tendencies disappear. Soon the earth will be filled with upright people, and no one will make them tremble in fear. (Micah 4:3, 4) Yes, God’s Word promises that under Kingdom rule in the hands of Jesus Christ, Jehovah will rid the earth of all oppressors.—Isaiah 11:6-9; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:18.
Even those who have suffered and died as a result of man’s rebellion against God will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever on earth. (John 5:28, 29) Satan and his demons, the fomenters of wickedness, will be off the scene, and the effects of Adam’s sin will be removed through Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:23, 24; 5:12; 6:23; Revelation 20:1-3) And what will be the lot of obedient humans? Why, they will be blessed with everlasting life in perfect health on a paradise earth!—Psalm 37:10, 11; Luke 23:43; Revelation 21:3-5.
What promises! But can you believe them? Of course you can. These are not the promises of humans who may have good intentions but who lack the power to carry them out. They are the promises of Almighty God, who cannot lie and who “is not slow respecting his promise.” (2 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 6:13-18) You can have complete trust in all the promises contained in the Bible, for their Source is “Jehovah the God of truth.”—Psalm 31:5.
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“Not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed.”—JOSHUA 23:14
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Jehovah kept his promises to Israel at the Red Sea and in the wilderness
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Jehovah fulfilled his promise to Abraham. His Seed, Jesus Christ, will bring blessings to mankind