One of my favorite things about the Bible is that we can always glean fresh wisdom from it no matter how many times we’ve read it. This morning, the Holy Spirit graciously enlightened my mind to the unfailing nature of God’s word as I read Matthew 1 and 2 again.
The genealogy in Matthew 1 recounts God’s gracious faithfulness to preserve a people for himself from Abraham’s offspring. The genealogy records dozens of names from Abraham all the way to Christ demonstrating God’s covenant faithfulness. Despite the generational sins of the people of Israel, because God had made a promise through his word to Abraham, he would bring that promise to pass. God’s word is unfailing. Then, Jesus – the last name mentioned in the genealogy, the Messiah, the king of Israel, the son of God – is born in fulfillment of a nearly 700 year old prophesy!! (Matt. 1:22-23; Is. 7:14). God’s word is unfailing.
Then, in chapter two, there are three more mentions of God’s word being fulfilled. First, the prophet Micah declares that the Messiah, who would shepherd God’s people, would come from the insignificant town of Bethlehem (Matt. 2:5-6; Mic. 5:2). This word from God would take almost 750 years to come to pass, but it did. God’s word is unfailing. Second, the prophet Hosea predicts the flight to Egypt of Jesus and his parents (Matt. 2:15; Hos. 11:1). This word from God would take nearly 700 years to come to pass, but it did. God’s word is unfailing. Finally, the prophet Jeremiah forecasted Herod’s murderous rampage in which he executed all males under the age of two after Jesus’s birth (Matt. 2:17-18; Jer. 31:15). This word from God would take about 600 years to come to pass, but it did. God’s word is unfailing.
Though it may take hundreds of years at a time…God’s word never fails. This is an irrefutable truth. And it is a truth that should comfort our weary souls. When God says he will never leave nor forsake us, we can trust him (Deut. 31:6). When God says to take heart because he has overcome the world, we can trust him (John 16:33). When Christ says that all who are weary and heavy laden will receive rest in him, we can trust him (Matt. 11:28-29). When God says that his grace is sufficient for our greatest weakness, we can trust him (2 Cor. 12:9-10). When God says he will guard our anxious minds in Christ Jesus, we can trust him (Phil. 4:6-9). God’s word is unfailing. I hope this truth brings solace to your hearts, friends. We have a God whose word cannot be compromised. What could be more heartening than this reality?
And perhaps the most comforting unfailing word of God is that the Word became flesh (John 1:1; 14). And through the Word made flesh, sinners can be reconciled with God. They can stand again before a holy God with unveiled face. What a glorious reality.
Perhaps you’re not a Christian and you don’t believe the claim that all people are sinners. Perhaps you don’t like the idea of an exclusive God who demands a response from you. Or perhaps the refrain “God’s word is unfailing” doesn’t mean anything to you because you don’t believe the Bible anyway. If you’ve read this far, I would simply ask you, why not trust a God whose word has been proven to be true over and over and over again when everything else fails you? Why not take a risk and believe in faith in something beyond yourself? Your job will fail you. Your spouse will fail you. Your body will eventually fail you. Your expectations of when COVID-19 will dissipate will fail you! (I think we’ve all experienced this one!)
He will never fail you. If you look to him for deliverance by confessing your sins – that is, telling God that you are a sinner and that you need his grace…you need his help – he will save you. Romans 10:13 says that all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. God’s word has never failed. Why would we assume otherwise when it comes to the salvation he offers? Indeed, God not only will save all who call upon him; he delights in it. Like a father who receives his prodigal son back home, he will wrap you in righteous robes and put a crown on your head. As a friend of mine recently said, “God saves people not to make them slaves but to call them sons.” It is only those who reject God that will receive the punishment due their sin (Rom. 6:23). So, I implore you: trust in the only one whose word is unfailing.
I implore you because there aren’t many sure things in this life….but God’s unfailing word which manifests itself in unfailing love to those who turn to him is one of them. I implore you because my heart longs for you to experience the same joy in Christ that I experience. I implore you because my heart aches for you to have hope in this life. Particularly in uncertain times like these with COVID-19, we may wonder what the point of life is. If anything else, Christians are those who have hope, and they can face the suffering of tomorrow, because they know they have placed their faith in a God who will wipe every tear from their eye and give them eternal rest in his presence one day. Don’t you want that?