Living Up to Promises
Have you ever spoken a promise to God when you were in a tough spot? In that moment you were likely desperate and committed to follow through. The problem is, we cannot perfectly keep up our end of the relationship with God. What then? God helps us to keep our word when we fall short. Living up to promises is not possible apart from God’s grace. And God never fails or breaks His promises. He will complete the work He began in us.
Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 29-32
We start today’s reading with guidelines for the festival of trumpet offerings. According to the Easy English Bible Commentary, “Although this was the 7th month in the calendar, the Israelites considered it the beginning of their new year. And during the same month, there was the special day when the Israelites asked God to forgive their sins (Numbers 29:7). The Israelites sounded the trumpets on this special day at the start of the new year. They did not work. They met together to worship God and to offer extra sacrifices to him.”
Living Up to Promises—A Time of Repentance
So what is this Feast of trumpets? GotQuestions.org had some interesting facts about it.
“The Feast of Trumpets marked the beginning of ten days of consecration and repentance before God. It is one of seven Jewish feasts or festivals appointed by the LORD and one of three feasts that occur in the autumn. The Feast of Trumpets began on the first day (at the new moon) of the seventh month. Its name comes from the command to blow trumpets (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1-6). It is also called Rosh Hashanah, which means “Head of the Year,” because it marks the beginning of the Jewish civil calendar. During this celebration, no kind of work was to be performed, but burnt offerings and a sin offering were to be brought before the Lord.”
“The Feast of Trumpets was important for several reasons. First, it commemorated the end of the agricultural and festival year. Also, the Day of Atonement fell on the tenth day of this month, and the Festival of Booths began on the fifteenth day. The blowing of the trumpets on first day of the month heralded a solemn time of preparation for the Day of Atonement; this preparation time was called “Ten Days of Repentance” or the “Days of Awe.” The trumpet sound was an alarm of sorts and can be understood as a call to introspection and repentance.”
Living Up to Promises—Fulfilled Through Christ
“The Feast of Trumpets, along with the other six festivals of the LORD, foreshadowed certain aspects of the ministry of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, we see that the Lord’s Second Coming will be accompanied by the sound of a trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Each of the judgments in Revelation 8-9 is also signaled by a trumpet. Just as the shofar called the Jewish nation to turn their attention to the Lord and ready themselves for the Day of Atonement, so will the “trump of God” call us to heaven and warn the world of coming judgment.”
Living Up to Promises—Remembering God’s Covenant
A third Jewish commentary (jewsforjesus.org), I read really helped to explain the purpose of the Festival of trumpets:
“The Original Meaning of the Feast of Trumpets – in Leviticus 23:23-27 it maps out God’s commandments concerning this festival: Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.”‘
“The only other reference to this festival in the Torah (Pentateuch) is Numbers 29:1. Neither passage provides much information regarding the original meaning of this feast. But, by examining the text in Leviticus 23, we note that the day was to be a memorial with blowing of trumpets. This is our only clue. The word “memorial” indicates that the event to be remembered had taken place prior to this ordinance.”
“To solve the puzzle, we must ask ourselves what extremely significant event, involving the blowing of trumpets, took place in the national life of Israel? What spiritual event was of such great importance that God commanded the people to remember it every year? I believe the Bible points to one outstanding event—connected to the blowing of trumpets—that required memorializing.”
Living up to promises requires remembrance.
Living Up to Promises—God’s Presence
“When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain. So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder.” (Exodus 19:13b, 16-19).”
“In Exodus chapters 19 and 20 we read the account of God’s appearance on Mount Sinai and the initial giving of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 19:5 depicts God inviting the children of Israel into a covenant: the Mosaic Covenant. In a spectacular revelation, God manifested His presence in the smoke and fire on Mount Sinai—as He came to covenant with His people amidst the sound of a trumpet that caused the people to tremble. They promised to do everything that the Lord commanded.”
The Festival of Trumpets was a reminder of their covenant with God. Living up to promises requires dedication.
Living Up to Promises—Dedication
Ten days of consecration and repentance before God at the beginning of their year. This intentional dedication helped to keep their God and their covenant with God before them. It was marked with fasting and gratitude, prayers, repentance. Offerings. This time of atonement was to celebrate and repent for anything that stood between them and God.
What a beautiful festival to celebrate. What would that look like today? Vows, commitments, or covenants are not words we hear too much today. We hear vows at weddings, but those vows are often not kept. God knows the heart of man. We need reminders to help us keep our covenant. But we also have to choose to set aside and dedicate time to remember our covenant with God.
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 30:1-2
“Then Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: 2 A man who makes a vow to the Lord or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do.”
Vows are a serious thing. Here in Numbers, we see a way out of a vow for a woman if her father or husband do not agree to the vows she has made. This has to do with the covering that a father and a husband provide a woman. Living up to promises requires God’s grace and covering.
Living Up to Promises—Our Covenant Maker and Keeper
A relationship requires a commitment from both parties. Christ has demonstrated His commitment. He came and laid down His life on our behalf.
The promises of God are yes and amen. He never fails to keep His promises. I was looking up how many promises of God there are and let’s just say there is a wide opinion on this. Some sources say over 3,000, some say over 5,000 or 7,000.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Numbers 23:19 ESV
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
The question is—are we keeping our promises?
Living up to promises requires a faithful God to complete the work He began in us.
Living Up to Promises—How are We at Keeping Our End of the Promise?
Matthew 5:37 ESV
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
God’s people did not keep their word to God as they fought the Midianites and Moses held them accountable.
“20 Then Moses said, “If you keep your word and arm yourselves for the Lord’s battles, 21 and if your troops cross the Jordan and keep fighting until the Lord has driven out his enemies, 22 then you may return when the Lord has conquered the land. You will have fulfilled your duty to the Lord and to the rest of the people of Israel. And the land on the east side of the Jordan will be your property from the Lord. 23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”
God knows if we are faithful or not. He knows we need His help to hold up our end of the relationship with a Holy God.
Friends, our end of the promise is to believe and have Jesus as LORD over our lives.
R.C. Sproul’s ministry, Ligonier Ministries reminds us that the Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled soon.
“Christians are waiting for the Feast of Trumpets to be fulfilled in its entirety. But Christ the Lamb of God has come and by His death has inaugurated the last days, which comprise the entire period between His first and second coming. Since we are now in the last days, the call to spread the good news of salvation is more urgent than ever, so let us preach the gospel to friends and family before the final trumpet blows.”
Living up to promises requires accountability.
Living Up to Promises—Accountability and Faithfulness
Friends, let’s persevere and hold onto God’s promises while keeping faithful to God. God will carry you and keep His promises to us. When we fail, He offers forgiveness, but we don’t want to abuse His precious grace. Accountability can help us to stay near to God. So can staying involved in things like this Bible reading plan and attending church or events that spur us on in our faith.
Do you need help trying to live your faith out in this crazy world? I hope you will join me this coming Saturday at a women’s conference as I share about “Having Biblical Faith in a Modern World” at Good Hope Baptist Church from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. There will be breakfast and lunch, worship and four talks about how we live our faith in a post-modern society.
Living up to promises requires faithfulness.
You can buy tickets at https://www.goodhopelive.com/events/womens2020
- God will complete the work that He has begun in us.
- God will help us to keep our end of the relationship.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #260: Numbers 29-32
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 30:1-2
Join me live at 8am ET: www.facebook.com/deniseduboispass
Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/