In light of Walt White’s visit with us last week, I have been thinking a lot about this verse.  2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB) - If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.  I’ve been thinking about it because Muslims believe that Ishmael was the son of promise because he was born before Isaac, therefore they are the true people of God.  God made a promise to Abraham; Genesis 15:5 (NASB) - And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

Ishmael was not the child of promise.  He was a product of human thought.  Both Abraham and Sarah were old – beyond child bearing years.  So Sarah figured she would give Hagar to her husband to have children through her.  God had other plans – to bring about a miracle that no one could deny, to give a child to two very old people.  Even though Ishmael was not part of God’s plan (God knew it would happen), God made a promise to bless Abraham’s descendants.  That is what He did, knowing the difficulties the future held.  God made a promise and He kept it. Genesis 16:9-12 (NASB) - Then the angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority."  Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, "I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count."  The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."

On the other hand, we (okay, I) keep making promises to Him and continue  breaking those promises.  I do things that I know are wrong, and I don’t do things I know I should do.  If my salvation was dependent on my earning it, I would be in real danger of missing it completely.  Oh I have a heart to serve God, I really REALLY want to do things His way – I just don’t.  My own selfishness, my own doubt, my own laziness gets in the way remarkably often.  Fortunately, my salvation is not dependent on me.  He has given it to me.

When God makes a promise, He will keep it – no matter what.  He promised Messiah, He promised forgiveness, He promised eternal life with Him.  These are sure things.  We can mess them up with human “reasoning,” we can challenge whether or not they are real, we can completely blow it from our end, but nothing can change the truth.  God promises salvation through Jesus Christ and He delivers.  All we have to do is accept it and live our lives the best we can.  Oh, and He even helps us with that too!