Have you ever made a promise? What was it? Did you keep it?
After the flood it wasn’t long before people were back to being wicked again. Do you remember the Tower of Babel story? People wanted to be their own boss. Just like Adam and Eve, they wanted to be like God instead of loving and trusting God. But God was not going to destroy all the wicked people again like he did in the flood. Instead He made a plan to save everyone through one family – Abraham’s family.
But there was a big problem. Abraham didn’t have much of a family. God had promised him and his wife Sarah that they would have a son, and that one day they would have a large family. But years and years had gone by and still no baby boy. What was God doing? Why did they have to keep waiting? Did God forget them? Is God breaking his promise to them?
These are all the questions that Abraham asked God one day. “How can I know that you will keep your promise to me?” he asked. And God answered by saying that he would make a covenant with Abraham.
Genesis 15:18. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.
What is a covenant?
A covenant is an agreement between two people where they make promises to each other and agree to be friends. In the Bible God makes covenants with people. These covenants are very important because they show that God loves us and that he wants to be friends with us. And when God makes covenants and keeps them, it shows how good and faithful he is too.
But a covenant was much more than just saying “let’s be friends.” Covenants were very serious. In fact, when two people made a covenant they would say something like this – “If I break my promises to you may I die.” And then they would sacrifice animals to remind themselves that a broken covenant deserved death.
Now, like we said, normally when a covenant was made BOTH people would make promises to each other, and they would even promise to die if they break those promises. But when God made a covenant with Abraham something different happened – only God made promises. Abraham didn’t say anything. He didn’t make any promises to God. What does this mean? It means that God was promising to do it all. God would love and protect Abraham even if Abraham messed up. Even if he doesn’t always love and trust God perfectly.
2000 years after God made that covenant with Abraham, God would make another covenant, another set of promises, to us. But he didn’t sacrifice animals to prove his love and faithfulness, he sacrificed himself – Jesus.
In Jesus, God has made promises to you and to me. And just like with Abraham, God wants us to trust in his promises. God wants us to believe that he will do everything he says he will do through Jesus. And he always will. How can we be sure God will keep his promise to save us? Just look at the cross.
Because of Jesus I know God will always keep his promise to love me and save me.
With Jesus I never have to doubt that God is my friend.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
As a family make a list of promises that God has made to you. (You can use this as an opportunity to introduce God’s New Covenant promises: forgiven sins, a new heart that loves God, the Holy Spirit living in us.). Hang your list up somewhere where you can see it and talk about it often.
And here’s a classic for your family to sing along to:
You are the proof of all God’s promises to me. Help me to have faith that God loves me and will save me.
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