November 10, 2014
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. ... And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that He swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. ... Deuteronomy 7:9, 12-13a
The news story upon which this devotion is built ought not really be a news story at all.
That opening sentence calls for an explanation, so let me share the facts. Eric and Quinn Hale are brothers -- close brothers. Eric says, "When I was a kid, I promised my brother that if I ever won the lottery, I would split it with him." For 20 years Eric played the same numbers: 7, 14, 21, 24 and 41.
Finally, the day came when 45-year-old Eric won; He won a cool $1 million. The first person he told was his brother, Quinn. They split the prize and each ended up with $335,000.
Now, if you take away all the extra pieces of this story, remove all the decoration and embellishments, the tale might be told in one, very simple sentence:
A BROTHER HAS KEPT A PROMISE, WHICH HE MADE TO HIS SIBLING.
That's the whole story: lock, stock and barrel. And if you are wondering why such a narrative is newsworthy, I can only guess it's because hard-nosed, skeptical news reporters are convinced, under such circumstances, most average Joes and Janes would conveniently forget they had ever made a promise, especially when that promise involves giving away some money.
How sad. You know there was a time when a man was as good as his word, and a handshake was as solid as any signed contract. And although such integrity and faithfulness may have eroded in some places and among some people, there is still one Individual who has always believed in keeping His Word.
Naturally, I speak of the Triune God.
Read through Scripture and you will see numerous places where the Lord has made promises and other places where He has kept promises.
* He told Adam and Eve He would send a Savior, and in the Person of Jesus, He kept that promise.
* He promised Abraham the patriarch would have many descendants and from his family the Messiah would be born. That promise was kept in Bethlehem the night the Christ began His work of saving us.
* He promised that Jesus would take our punishment, die our death, and defeat death, so all who believe on Him might be forgiven and saved.
All these promises, and many more, the Lord has kept, which means we can give thanks that no matter how uncertain this world and people are, the Lord keeps His Word.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keeping Your promise to save us was a costly one. Even so, I rejoice that Jesus fulfilled Your promise and through His sacrifice I have been given forgiveness and salvation. In Jesus I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries