Last week we bought a new book for our daughter. Earlier in the week we were finishing reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible, for at least the fourth time through, and as good a version of children’s Bible as it is we needed to start something different and give our daughter the opportunity to learn God’s stories told in different words. We went to our local Christian bookstore and did some browsing, returning home with the Adventure Bible Storybook.
It is a storybook and not a Bible, so it takes some liberties in the telling of the stories but not in ways that I think detract from the message of the story or the message of the Bible as a whole. Last night we read the story God’s Promise to Abram. Our daughter quickly exclaimed “His name is Abraham, not Abram!” We said “Let’s just read the story and see what happens.”
We read a version of the story of Genesis 15, where God promises to provide an heir for Abram and to always watch over the many descendants that will come through Abram’s son. And the story ended with the words of Genesis 15:18, saying:
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.”
Covenant is a big word for a six year-old, and sometimes it’s a big word for adults as well. We explained it to our daughter as best we could, telling her that a covenant is a promise that God makes to us, a special promise which will never be broken. There is nothing that we can do that would cause God to end the covenant and not fulfill the promises once He has made them.
The Psalm that my wife and I read together last night spoke to this too, although not as directly. We read Psalm 121. The Psalmist is in trouble but remembers that his help is always to be found in the Lord. The last two verses say:
“The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
That last phrase is what ties it all together for me. It is one of many places in the Bible where God affirms the promise that He made to Abram. The unbreakable promise to always be Abram’s God, which is also to be the God of those who call on Abram’s descendant, Jesus, in faith.
The promise which means that no matter what goes on around us, no matter how much suffering we may be experiencing, no matter how much it may seem that evil has the upper hand…in the end it is all in the hand of God Almighty.
The God who calls us. The God who makes unbreakable promises to keep us. The God whose loving grasp lasts forever.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.