Whether we realise it or not, we make promises every day. Whenever you subscribe to a service or buy a product, you are making a promise to the seller of the service or product that you will exchange value for what you need from them. The question is, do we always keep our promises? The answer is easy, we don’t. Most of the time we don’t break promises because we want to, oftentimes we are unable to fulfil the promises that we made because circumstances changed.
As another Christmas draws near, I am reminded that the story of Jesus isn’t just about a baby born in Bethlehem. It is about a promise fulfilled. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and exposed mankind to the consequences of sin, God made a promise in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” God was telling satan that He would use the seed of the woman - a human being, to crush the head of satan. Notice God didn’t say, “he will crush the head of your seed..” This is because only God has the ability to reproduce or multiply. Satan probably thought no man on earth could stand him and he would be right, except God wasn’t just talking about any man, He was talking about coming to the earth in the form of man to defeat satan and that was what Jesus did!
No one knows exactly how long it was between when God made that promise and when Jesus Christ was born but commentators agree that it was not less than 4000 years. Within this period, God continued to remind the people of what He had promised a long time ago. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.. (Isaiah 7:14). This promise was fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-23
Another promise was given through Micah the prophet regarding the place of Jesus’ birth. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”. (Micah 5:2)
There were many other promises not only about the birth of Jesus but also what he would come to do. In fact, Jesus Himself confirmed the fulfilment of one of those promises when he read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the temple (Luke 4:16-20) In verse 20 He said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”
We live in a world where promises are difficult to trust. Politicians make so many promises in their bid to garner votes needed for public office but as soon as they get into power, they often realise that the promises they made were unrealistic. The end result is that the people feel that they misplaced their trust.
As we celebrate the season with family and loved ones, let us remember that Christmas is a celebration of God’s promises to us. I know that it has been greatly commercialised and many have lost sight of what Christmas really means but I am reminded that we have God whose words can be trusted because He always keeps His word.
Have a wonderful and and blessed Christmas!