Have you ever made a promise that you didn’t keep?


The book of Joshua in the Bible ends on a good note. Joshua has led the Hebrew people into the Promised Land. They’ve been standing up to the bad guys and winning victories in battle. God had asked Joshua and the Hebrews to drive out all the wicked people, and they’re doing it! So far so good.

And so Joshua decided to gather all the people together to renew their covenant with God. Do you remember what a covenant is? A covenant is a set of promises made between two people, often between a king and his servants. A covenant was made between God and the Israelites back at Mount Sinai with Moses. God made promises to love, protect, and bless the people, and they made promises to always obey God, and love him, and serve him. And like Moses, Joshua asked the people to promise again to love and serve God, and they did. But then Joshua said this:

Joshua 24:22. Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 

Joshua calls the people witnesses AGAINST themselves. Has anyone ever told you, “Don’t make a promise if you can’t keep it?” That’s good advice isn’t it? And that’s what Joshua is saying to the people. Don’t make promises to love and serve God if you know you can’t do it. And that is why we should not make promises to God – because we will never keep them. Sometimes people promise God that they’ll “try harder,” or “do better,” or “be more committed” to him. But God doesn’t want us to make promises to him. He wants us to trust his promises to us.

What has God promised to those who believe in Jesus? Can you name any of God’s promises to you? The Bible says that all of God’s promises to us come true in Jesus. So don’t make promises to God, instead trust God’s promise to you that Jesus will love you and save you forever.

Because of Jesus I don’t have to make promises to God.

With Jesus I will trust God’s promises to me.


Make a list of God’s promises to you. Use a passage like Romans 8 to help you. Maybe write God’s promises on flash cards to review with your family.


Jesus, you always keep your promises to me. Help me to trust those promises every day. Amen.

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