“Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?” But the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is “wonderful?”” – Judges 13:18 (NASB)
Our verse comes from the story of Samson in the Book of Judges. The Lord God visits in person the mother of Samson ad announces Samson’s birth and calling. His father Manoah asks for an in person announcement rather than believing the hearsay his wife tells him regarding the news of Samson’s birth. In this account, the Lord then appears to Manoah with a miraculous demonstration. But that is not enough because Manoah asks, What is Your name? This secret name is again indicative that the Angel is the Lord. “Why do you ask My name?” The Angel would not divulge His name just as He didn’t reveal His name to Jacob in Genesis 32:24–30. Considering how often we hear the name of God bandied about with no respect and often with a great disrespect, we can be amazed at Manoah’s response – He wished to honor the name of this messenger who was the Lord God Himself. But he is told by the angel of the Lord that is not possible because “my name…is ‘wonderful.'” The word ‘wonderful’ means ‘incomprehensible,’ see Isaiah 9:6. The true meaning of God’s name is wonderful beyond our ability to understand it.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8-9 (NASB)
Our verses today are found in the Book of Joshua. Joshua, served God and Moses since the people of Israel left Egypt. He is now their God-appointed commander. Moses has died before entering the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb are alive among the adults who left Egypt will enter the Promised Land. Today’s verse references Scripture as “This book of the law;” specifically Genesis through Deuteronomy, written by Moses. God instructs His people by instructing Joshua to never forsake Scriptures but to meditate on it. To read with thoughtfulness, to linger over God’s Word. Scripture has always been the main spiritual food of those who served Him, This is emphasized in Job 23:12; Psalm 1:1–3; Jeremiah 15:16; and by Jesus in John 4:34. The promise of God’s blessing comes with the great responsibility God gave Joshua; prosperous … success. The principle here is central to all spiritual effort and enterprise, namely the deep understanding and application of Scripture at all times. It is based upon the promise in Joshua 1:9: the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Let’s trust this promise today, God is with us if we have believed by faith in His Word.
“For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” – Deuteronomy 4:31 (NASB)
The fifth book in our Bible is Deuteronomy. Some will say that the title means “second law” but this is due to mistranslation of Deuteronomy 17:18 which is “copy of the law.” God had predicted that Israel would seek a human king and that king would have a copy of the law transcribed by the Levitical priests. Today we have the promise from God that because He is a merciful God, He would keep the promise of the covenant he made with ‘their fathers.’ God promised to l fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with repentant Israel in the future. God will not forget the Word that He has given to Abraham and his seed. One day yet to come, this promise will be fulfilled in every sense. There will be a remnant of God’s chosen people that would be saved and enter the Kingdom of God. We have assurance that this promise includes us (Romans 11:17, 23). We as faith believers have been grafted into His people of promise. All who by faith believe in Jesus possess this promise from God.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19 (NASB)
The Book of Numbers in the Bible is well titled. On two occasions 40 years apart a numbering the People of Israel happened. The first at Mount Sinai before Israel was about to enter the Promised Land but then refused to believe God and go into the land. The second numbering happened 40 years later before they actually did enter Canaan. Before that happened Balak the king of Moab, fearing the Israelites, summoned Balaam and hired him to curse Israel. God intervened, and instructed Balaam by giving his donkey the ability to speak. God instructed him to not curse but to bless Israel. When Balaam explained to Balak why he could not curse Israel, he said God had commanded him to bless them. Once given the blessing could not be revoked. Although Balaam was not a worshiper of God, he did understand who the God of Israel was. The words of our verse today were spoken by Balaam to Balak. Balaam knew he would have to do what God commanded and gave a blessing rather than a curse. God cannot lie or go back on His word, even for us today. Numbers 22-23 is the accurate record of what happened.
“You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”– Leviticus 18:5 (ESV)
‘The Book of Leviticus was the first book studied by a Jewish child; yet is often among the last books of the Bible to be studied by a Christian if they even ever do open it. However it’s referred to about 40 times in the New Testament making it one great significance to everyone who by faith believes in God.1 In it we find many rich lessons and promises concerning the character of God and a call to living a holy life. ‘Special blessing was promised to the Israelites on the condition of their obedience to God’s law. This promise was remarkably verified in particular eras of their history, in the national prosperity they enjoyed when pure and undefiled religion prevailed among them. Obedience to God’s law always insures temporal blessings, as this verse indicates. But these words have a higher reference to spiritual life as indicated by the Lord (cf. Luk3 10:28) and Paul (cf. Romans 10:5).2 Leviticus contains extensive revelation concerning the character of God—especially His holiness but also His electing love and grace. Obedience does not save from sin and hell, but it does mark those who are saved.
1 F. Duane Lindsey, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, 1, 163.
2 John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Le 18:5.
“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?” – Exodus 15:11 (NASB)
The people of the earth from nearly the beginning have created their own gods. The one true God is compared to those who come from the imagination the people. Exodus 15 is a song that was sung by the Israelites after they escaped the grip of Egypt’s Pharaoh. After multiple devastating plagues, Pharaoh lets the Israelites leave Egypt but quickly changes his mind and pursues them unsuccessfully. This Song of Moses is of God who worked to free His people. God has always been at work in the lives of His people and is at work in our lives now if we by faith have believed in Jesus and now have the right to be called His children (John 1:12). There are no other gods that can honestly be compared to our Lord God Almighty. Every other so-called god is a product of the imagination of those who reject God. That is a promise we have here as the answer to the question posed in this verse. There is none among the gods who is like God for our God is the only One majestic in holiness, awesome in praises and working wonders.
“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.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:5-6 (NASB)
This is where it begins for every person who by faith believes the Word of God. The words of this verse are the words God spoke to Abram when he reaffirmed His covenant (unbreakable promise) regarding Abram’s descendants. They were to be uncountable. Genesis 15:6 provides an important note, but it does not pinpoint Abram’s conversion. That occurred years earlier when he left Ur. Verse 16 is a truth recorded here because it is foundational for making the covenant. It is repeated three times in the New Testament (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23) and teach us that righteousness is reckoned in return for faith. It is belief in God which is only by the gift of faith that we are saved. Nothing exists that we can do to earn the righteousness God gives to us in Christ. Good works and good behavior has no bearing on us having from God eternal life. This truth is repeated many times in Scripture. Trusting God’s promises is where it begins for us and those who truly believe by faith will find that it never ends. That is why it is called ‘eternal life.’
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)
We all experience times when peace is distant and not resident in our lives. Especially if we focus on conditions of our lives and world during moments of crisis. Who could possibly be more of a true source of peace than the Lord of peace? Our verse is often used as a benediction in worship services. But we look at it today because it is good any time to remember the promise here. We may think that we can experience peace by deciding not to worry anymore and we may think then, that we did all by our own effort. Our verse reminds us that true peace comes from God. He is the God of peace and He gives His peace to those who believe and trust Him. We can know God wants us to have His peace reign in our lives always, at all times, in every way. In every circumstance of our lives – even today no matter what challenges we are facing or what we are struggling with, God can give us peace that comes directly from Him. Why? Because He is with us. Stay close, have peace. This is the promise.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35 (NASB)
It was a practice of Jesus when He was on earth teaching the people about Himself to use common everyday experiences and ideas to underscore who He truly was. Hunger and thirst are familiar to every person and who does not wish to never be hunger or thirsty again? In these words, Jesus is not speaking about our physical hunger and thirst. He is speaking about how He satisfies our spiritual needs. He was answering people who had been so impressed at the way He had fed thousands of people the day before. Like them, He wants them to recognize that we have spiritual needs and that He is able to meet such needs for us. This is our promise. We need to constantly turn to our Lord Jesus for the needs of our hearts and souls. It is not enough just to believe in Jesus as our Savior. We need to always be looking to Him to satisfy our spiritual longings. Jesus says if we constantly trust Him we will never be unsatisfied.
“But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” – Genesis 6:18 (NASB)
Before the Great Flood God said that He would be making a covenant (an unbreakable promise) with Noah (Genesis 6:18). It is after the flood when Noah and his family of 8 exit the ark that God declares what the covenant contains. A covenant is a promise, like a contract, and is worthy. God’s covenant were often backed only by Him and His perfect word. The specifics of this covenant are detailed in Genesis 9:9-16. Verse 13-17 specifies that the ‘bow in the cloud,’ what we call a rainbow, is the sign of this covenant. God’s rainbow is given to remind us of His promise to never totally destroy the earth with all living things again as happened in the Great Flood. God’s rainbow is given to remind us of His promise that cannot be broken. God’s rainbow is not a sign of pride for any human activity but a sign of God Himself who puts it there. God’s rainbow is established for God to remember His covenant, a covenantal promise between Him and every living creature of all flesh. God’s rainbow is not given to enshrine sinfulness or for sinful humans to celebrate their disobedience to God.