Are you in a season of waiting on God’s promises? Find encouragement knowing God repeatedly fulfilled His promises in the Bible.
Wait. Waiting. Still waiting.
We wait in grocery store lines. We wait at the traffic lights. We wait for small children to put their shoes on or teenagers to get ready (patiently, of course).
We have heard “Please hold” a hundred times over the years. And we grow gray hairs at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
According to factsite.com, “The average person spends five years throughout their lifetime waiting in lines and queues.”
Whoa! What a waste of time.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little cranky and impatient waiting on other people or for things to happen.
Like a child, I find myself with my arms crossed and my foot tapping the floor.
I’d love to tell you that when it comes to waiting on God to move in my life or answer a prayer, I have a pleasant demeanor and plenty of patience.
But, I must confess that I am a work in progress, and while I have made some progress in waiting on God’s promises with a mature faith, I still cave to the desires of my flesh at times.
There are moments when God’s perceived inaction pushes me to take action myself. Instead of waiting, I jump head forward into a mess not intended for me.
If only I had just waited on the Lord!
God Always Fulfills His Promises
Dive into almost any of the sixty-six books in the Bible, and you will see a common thread of waiting. Yes, our Biblical counterparts spent much time in limbo, just like us.
Some characters did the wait well, but many grumbled, complained, and took matters into their own hands, just like we do today.
There are vital things to remember when waiting for God’s promises.
-God is not fickle like us.
-God is the same, always has been (Hebrews 13:8), and always keeps His promises to His children.
-God’s promises stand. And that’s a promise.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV
Types of God’s Promises in the Bible
The Bible is overflowing with God’s promises. I’ve seen estimates that scripture contains a couple of hundred of God’s promises to several thousand.
Bibleinfo reports 3,573 promises in the Bible, and the word “promise” occurs over fifty times in the King James Version. Other sources calculate over 8,000 of God’s promises.
It’s important to note that there are conditional and unconditional promises of God. And there are general and specific promises.
Conditional promises often have the word “if” in the context, requiring specific conditions to be met to see His promise come to fruition.
In contrast, an unconditional promise solely depends on the Lord to fulfill.
When a promise applies to every believer, this is considered a general promise usually given by the Holy Spirit, and the fulfillment of this promise can be at any time.
We also see specific promises addressed to certain people in particular locations throughout the Bible.
Many of these specific promises have already been fulfilled, like in the book of Exodus.
Waiting on God’s Promises
We see many promises made by man and God in the second book of the Bible. And a ton of promises were broken, by guess who? Humans — Pharaoh and the Israelites.
Let’s quickly review the beginning of the wild ride of Exodus. Plagues include frogs, locusts, gnats, enormous-sized hail, and more.
The Nile turned to blood, and the firstborn were killed.
I have heard the story of the ten plaques from childhood, but when I studied it recently, I focused on the promises.
If Pharaoh had just delivered on his promise to release the Israelites into the wilderness to have a feast for God the first time, he would have saved his people from the wrath of God.
Instead, Pharaoh stood there with his fingers crossed behind his back while promising Moses and Aaron to let God’s people go.
Pharaoh hardened his own heart, and at times, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and the story went on.
The Israelites were given specific and conditional promises from God in the book of Exodus. His chosen people were impatient, fearful, and nervous.
They grumbled and let insecurities and doubt take center place.
They also broke several promises to God. Like the time they decided to worship a golden calf.
And all of this took place while witnessing God’s provision repeatedly and the powerful signs of God through Moses.
God’s Promises are coming to completion throughout the pages of this book, and yet God’s people still need to be reminded of all He has done and will do.
I’m quick to say that I probably would NOT act any different than the rest of this group because I’ve let my trust in God slip in dire circumstances while the storms in my life rumble and linger.
The Israelites were suffering through the storm of slavery and cruelty under the hands of the Egyptians, especially under the current rule of the unnamed Pharaoh.
But God heard their cries, and He came up with a rescue plan to free them from their oppression and to give them their land (Exodus 3:7-10, NIV).
God’s Promises Fulfilled
There are many promises of God throughout the Bible and in the book of Exodus.
Also note that there is always a wait, usually a long one, between the promise and the fulfillment. We must remember this when our impatience pushes us to lose faith.
The events and instructions narrated in Exodus are framed explicitly as God remembering His covenant promises to Abraham. We explore five of these promises below.
“I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
5 of God’s Promises Fulfilled in Exodus
- Offspring. The Lord promises Abraham in Genesis that he will have numerous offspring and be the father of many nations. If you recall this story, you remember Abram and Sarai waiting a long time for this promise of God to be fulfilled, and when God announced that they would have a son in their old age, they laughed. But God delivered on His promise, and Sarah gave birth to a son named Isaac, meaning the “one who laughs or rejoices.” The meaning of Isaac’s name reminds me of the phrase “God is in the details.”
- Land. The Lord promised His people that He would rescue them from their affliction in Egypt, and they would inherit a place of provision “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:16-17). After the tenth plague, the Chosen People were let go. Then, they mess up and walk in the wilderness for forty years. I can relate to this story – the messing-up part! Thankfully, our Lord is faithful and longsuffering. He provided for His children and worked with them until they were faithful enough to receive their inheritance. We are blessed that God is still this way with His children today.
- Blessing. I love that God promises to bless all nations through Abraham. God loves His children who come from all ethnicities and backgrounds. When the Israelites walked out of Egypt, many Egyptians came with them. “A mixed multitude also went up with them…” (Exodus 12:38). The explicit purpose of the plagues was so that the Egyptians would know who the one and only true God was, and some of them paid attention. Exodus reminds me to focus on Christ even when my surroundings and circumstances get chaotic.
- Covenant Mediator. Moses is the one whom God calls to mediate between the Lord and His people. This story foreshadows the coming of Jesus, the ultimate mediator between us and the Father. God sent Jesus to rescue us from our sins and reconcile us to the Father. It was His plan all along. Salvation is the most beautiful promise that has already been fulfilled and is ours to receive freely.
- Covenant Presence. God’s presence is in full spotlight throughout the book of Exodus. It is the Lord’s presence among His people that makes them holy. God has always desired to dwell among us. We see this in Genesis, and we will live with Him again, as stated in Revelation 21. What a spectacular promise we have to look forward to!
The story of the great exit of the Israelites from Egypt gives me hope today. A great hope, because God delivers on His promises to His children even when our human tendencies get the best of us.
It should bring us overwhelming comfort to read about the fulfillment of God’s promises. We also witness how God used the wilderness – the waiting period – to produce the most growth in faith and dependency on Him.
God never wastes our wait. So hold tight, friend. God will fulfill His promises to you.