When He was here on earth, Jesus’ claim about Himself was that He was the truth. His very essence, as GOD, is truth…among other things.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus was GOD in human flesh. He put aside His privilege in order to communicate the truth of GOD to us and pay the sacrifice for sin that we deserved.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 ESV
In the Old Testament, He spoke directly to those who were leading His people. He made many promises. Sometimes, they didn’t even understand the full extent of the promises He was making. But over time, He has shown that He keeps His promises! Rarely do they look like we expect, but He does keep His promises to His people! This includes His promised curses as well as blessings. Remember this promise in Deuteronomy 30?
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today,
by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules,
then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish.
You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.
Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him,
for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 ESV
It was made in the context of the giving of the Ten Commandments. His promise was that if His people chose to keep the life giving commandments, they would be blessed. But if they chose to go against those commands, they would be cursed and be put out of the land. It is heavy promise, that He kept. He is not like the weary parent who is too tired to make good on her promised punishments or in the busyness of the day, forgets what they were. He did not forget!
He also remembers the covenants He has made with His people. It sometimes takes hundreds of years before they are fully kept, but He does not forget them!
[The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.]
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:13-19 ESV
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
or the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:19-26 ESV
So how do all these promises and curses translate in light of Jesus’ death on the cross for all our sin for all time? I don’t pretend to know the full answer to this, but I can give a partial answer. None of us can keep the Ten Commandments. For anyone who has tried, it is painfully obvious. Especially when it comes to those that affect our thoughts. Few of us can go very long without coveting or lusting after either another person sexually, or lusting after some aspect of their life (coveting). .
But when Jesus died, He paid for all our sin for all time! If He is a GOD of truth and faithfulness when it comes to keeping His promises, and they are inextricably linked to His character, when we trust Him for our salvation. That is why we have much to be thankful for! It is only because of and in Jesus that we find the fulfillment of the promises the “righteous” in the Bible. Because our righteousness is only found in HIm. He took on our sin and gave us His righteousness when He died for us…if we trusted Him for our salvation. We are truly forgiven! In some ways it is complex, in others, simple.
For today, the emphasis is on the fact that one aspect of who GOD is, is He is true and faithful to His promises. It is very difficult to unlink the two! If we believe what He says, we must obey His promises and warnings. For the most part, that is a huge encouragement and will give us hope!