ODJ: Promises, Promises

November 5, 2016 

READ: Psalm 119:49-82 

Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope (v.49).

Presidential elections take place around the globe on a regular basis. The campaign leading up to voting day can be long and laden with political promises. It appears that many politicians believe the key to winning is to make big promises. Reading through Psalm 119 can feel like experiencing a long presidential campaign. As the longest psalm in the Old Testament and longest chapter in the Bible, it takes a while to wind through it. And, like a presidential campaign, you’ll find that it too speaks of great promises the psalmist desperately clings to.

Nearly a third of the way into the psalm the author cries out to God, “Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope” (Psalm 119:49). He then states, “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles” (v.50).

The psalmist acknowledges promises already kept: “You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised” (v.65). And he anticipates promises yet to be fulfilled, “My eyes are straining to see your promises come true” (v.82).

The promises the psalmist found to be so meaningful, however, aren’t anything like the promises of a political campaign, which are not always kept. And they reached back before his lifetime. Layers of promises stretched through the past to the promise of all promises—the one God made to the patriarch Abraham. That promise looked forward to the good news of Jesus, something that affects every dimension of life today. As the apostle Paul would later explain, “God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, ‘All nations will be blessed through you’ ” (Galatians 3:8).

May the promise of God’s blessing revive, comfort, and give us hope today!

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: Acts 19:1-20

Read 2 Peter 1:3-4 and think about what God’s “great and precious promises” are and what they mean for you today. 
How did the promise God made to Abraham include you? What other promise from Him gives you great encouragement today?