Monday, August 17, 2015

"God Said 'I Do' and He Did!"

Psalm 105.8, 42; 106.4, 7, 21, 45 
NIV and NASU

He remembers His covenant forever”. For He remembered His holy promise”. “For He remembered His holy word”.

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people”.

Our fathers…did not remember Your many kindnesses”. They forgot the God who saved them”.

But He… remembered His covenant”.

A covenant is a promise made on the strength of the covenant-maker’s word. A covenant is only as strong as the character of the one who made it. A promise is only as good as the one who gave it. My father used to say, “A man is only as good as his word.” God has never forgotten His covenant to love and deliver His people. He has always kept His promises and is certainly “as good as His word”.

Over 40 years ago I made a promise that I broke. Before “God and all these witnesses” I said “I do” and I did not “do” as I said I would. After 17 years of extremely painful marriage, my children’s mother and I divorced. Nothing will ever change that. I cannot reverse history. Fact: I did not keep my word. I have been very happily re-married for the past nearly 20 years. God blessed me with five wonderful children from my first marriage and two from my second. For reasons unknown and undeserved, God chose to be incredibly gracious to me. I am Ebenezer Scrooge. I woke up from a bad dream and God gave me a second chance at life. I have a great relationship with my beautiful wife, six of my seven kids, two wonderful sons-in-law, tow fabulous daughters-in-law, a three fantastic grandsons, and two adorable granddaughters.  

In the 1991 comedy “City Slickers”, weathered trail boss Curly (Jack Palance) offers 39 year old city slicker Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal) some sage prairie advise. Holding up his index finger, Curly poses the ultimate cowboy question: “Do you know what the secret of life is? This.” Mitch quips, “Your finger?” With real cowboy authority Curly responds, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s___.” City slicker asks, “But, what is the ‘one thing’?” The trail boss leaves Mitch hanging with a smile: “That’s what you have to find out.”

I think I discovered the “secret of life”, the “one thing” that matters above all else. The “one thing” I must always remember is... God is God, not me.

I sometimes wish I was God. I occasionally act as though I think I am. But I’m not. I am not God. That’s a good thing because I am a covenant violator. He is a covenant fulfiller. I am a promise breaker. He is a promise keeper. God kept His word. I could not keep mine. He remembered to do what He said He would do. I forgot. He said, “I do” and did. I have actually forgotten about God, especially in the good times. But I always remembered Him when things got bad. In bad times I cried like the Psalmist, “Remember me, O Lord”. God, on the other hand, has a better and more consistent memory than me. He needs no reminder of His promise. He remembers me “in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and health, for better or for worse, as long as we both shall live”... and that’s forever! He never forgot about His covenant and He never forgot about me.

Today, my wife suffers from Acute Myeloid Leukemia and doctors give her only “weeks to months” left to live. Nevertheless, God has offered me a promise He will not break. He has promised to take care of my wife, my children, and me. I can trust Him... no matter what.  

I am glad I’m not God and He is. God has a better memory than me. I am slowly learning “the secret of life” and the “one thing” that matters above all else... God is God, and not me. He fulfilled His promises to me. He remembered His word when I forgot mine. He gave me a second chance at life. 

2 comments:

Nitewrit said...

Dave,

And I am so glad that in God's Word he gave us so many examples of vow breakers and flawed people who he remembered and kept in His grace.

Larry E.

Dave Scriven said...

Yeah, Larry. Good word. As a flawed human it's encouraging to know and have the grace of God.