You’ve heard from me all these years. Today it’s my honor to share some musings with you from my husband of 30 years, the man you all have prayed for. I hope you’ll enjoy his insights as much as I have. Please welcome Scott to the blog today.
How God Fulfills His Promises by Scott Bengtson
I recently read a blog post by a favorite Christian author entitled “God will fulfill His promises to you.” It was a Christmas time post and the author referred to the experience of Mary as recorded in Luke chapter 1, when the angel that appeared to her promised God’s blessing.
As I read through it, I was struck by the insufficiency of human language to capture the truth of God fulfilling His promises. I don’t know what the significance of the original Greek or Aramaic term for “fulfill” is, but in English the word “fulfill” is a rather weak term. It is probably most associated with the action that Amazon takes when you click the order button, and some little box with a treasure in it shows up on your doorstep in two days.
In our experience, “fulfill” is transient and minimally sufficient. It has little significance beyond the transaction. Once it’s completed we are on to the next event in our lives, or the next transaction. It has no permanence. And our common expectation is that fulfillment will rise to only a minimum standard and nothing more. If you order one can of chicken noodle soup from Amazon you expect one can, and nothing else except packing material.
In God’s economy, His “fulfillment” is opposite on both of these points. It is not transient, and it is not minimal. When God fulfills a promise, He does it with abundance. God’s fulfillment has a permanence that human fulfillment does not. God’s fulfillment of His promise to Mary wasn’t just for the moment, or even for her lifetime. Her blessing has echoed through the ages since then.
God’s fulfillment was not just the completion of a contractual obligation. He fulfills not to a minimum requirement, but to a maximum potential. He fulfills promises as many different ways as He can, from as many different perspectives as He can. He redeemed the pain and embarrassment Mary surely felt at becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
He spoke truths via the words of Simeon and Anna in Jesus’ early days that gave Mary an insight, likely far beyond what she could have understood before. He gave her a son, and a son to be proud of. Her child became in His time a social and religious leader and is universally acknowledged to be the most influential figure in human history. Most significantly, God’s fulfillment of His promise gave Mary a Savior, and He made that Savior available to the whole world.
When Mary figuratively opened the gift of the promised blessing from God she never reached the bottom of the box. God didn’t just fulfill his promise to Mary like Amazon shipping an order. He filled her life. The same way, He continues to fulfill his promise to Abraham that through him all nations of the earth will be blessed. He continues to fulfill His promise to David that he will always have a descendent on the throne.
He didn’t stop fulfilling His promise to Mary even though she has long since passed away. Think of the regard that Mary is held in by billions of people.
He continues to fulfill His promises in our lives. New boxes with little smiles on them and a heavenly postmark arrive daily on the doorsteps of those who are Mary’s spiritual descendants.
While we await a specific fulfillment of a specific promise, or the work of God in a specific area of our lives, we can still look for His fulfillment of promise other ways and in other areas. He may not have blessed you with the hoped-for restoration of a marriage or other relationship, but He may have opened opportunities for greater fellowship with other believers. He might not have corrected a health concern, but He may have provided a greater appreciation of beauty in the natural world.
What are you looking for? But what do you see?
May you be blessed as you see the fulfillment of God’s promises in your life,
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Thank you! This was beautiful!
I love word studies. Fulfill is to fill full, accomplish and satisfy. Hebrew is like maley and Greek pleroo..
Great post by Scott. I smiled on the analogy of Amazon fulfillment services. 🙂 But this is my favorite, “God’s fulfillment was not just the completion of a contractual obligation. He fulfills not to a minimum requirement, but to a maximum potential.” Amen!
Hopping over from the PorchStories link up. Thanks for great food for thought!
So well described! Glad to read this guest post : )
What wonderful thoughts on the how of God’s answers – abundantly. “When God fulfills a promise, He does it with abundance”. Blessed by this post. Visiting from #FaithonFire.
I love the verse (I think it’s in Luke’s gospel) that says Mary hid all these things in her heart. The context was the visits of the shepherds and wise men. How she must have thought about the promises God had made to her as a teenage girl and the wonder she must have felt as she watched God’s promises unfold through the years!
Wow what a reminder. From His fullness have all we received and grace for grace. It’s convicting because I think my faith is too often too little and I doubt God’s abundance, His promises, but I read through Genesis and the OT and I’m amazed at how many times God reminds His people of His promises and watching EVERY promise being fulfilled to an abundance, to a point that is just SOOO full and great that you can’t even comprehend it.