Sunday, November 27, 2022

Advent Words ~ Word 1:Promise


Word 1: Promise

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Hope is the first theme of the Advent season. Yet it is also a thread that we find woven throughout the whole of Advent because hope is at the very core of our faith. Advent is a season of looking back and looking forward. The cast of characters that will guide us through this Advent season provide us with examples of people who lived in hope of God’s promises fulfilled. Through the longing and waiting, through times of trials and suffering, and even times of peace, it is hope that provides the lifeline needed for God’s people to endure. What we hope for is certain because we believe in the God of hope (Romans 5:13) whose promises rest on His grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness. As we look back at the prophets and the people of God who lived in hope, depending on the faithfulness of God to provide the promised Messiah, we are encouraged in our own hope to look forward to the promised Savior and King who will return in glory.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

Hope always looks forward but rests on what is behind, on seeing the promises of God fulfilled in our own life and in the lives of others. As we look back on the characters of the Advent season, may our hope be renewed and refreshed to live in this present time confident in the living hope we have in Jesus Christ and certain of the lasting hope we have in Christ’s return when His glory will be complete in our lives.

King David

Our church recently finished a year of going through the book of Deuteronomy. One of the things that continually comes up in this book is the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises.

“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

Throughout the book God’s people are continually called to remember what God has brough them through, just as He promised He would do. Our God is a covenant making, covenant keeping God. One of the covenants, or promises, that God made was to David. If you remember the story, David was a simple shepherd who God chose to be king of His people because David was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Despite the many ways David sinned – adultery, murder, etc. – David was faithful in loving and following God, as we see throughout the Psalms where his repentant heart continually cries out for God’s mercy and love. David would be known as a righteous and loving King, and a strong ruler who protected the people.

God’s love for David is seen in the many promises He made to him. They are detailed in 2 Samuel 7:8-16. Verse 16 summarizes God’s covenant with David, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” The promise God made to David, that His kingdom would be established forever, was a promise to God’s people for a righteous king to lead them forever. This promis, known as the Davidic Covenant, would become the hope that God’s people held onto for the coming Messiah – the One who saves.

The later prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah would point to God’s salvation through David’s line in the coming of the promised Messiah.

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

“‘In those days and at that time
    I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
    he will do what is just and right in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved
    and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’ “

Jeremiah 33:14-16


In Jeremiah’s words, we see the promise of God, made to a people in exile that a day is still coming when He will fulfill this promise.  A “righteous Branch” will “sprout from David’s line – from his descendants, and this king, the Messiah, will save His people. This gave a people longing and waiting for deliverance, hope.

And so, centuries later, Matthew's gospel begins with hope fulfilled, "the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David...". We then see how Jesus is descended from David’s line in Matthew 1:1-17. We see the fulfillment of this prophecy repeated throughout the Christmas story found in Luke's gospel:

The angel said to Mary:

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:31-33

From Zechariah’s Song:

“He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—“ Luke 1:69-71

The angel to the shepherds:

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Jesus Christ came as the fulfillment of the promises God gave to David, the prophets, and the people. He is the promised One who will do what is just and right. He is the LORD our righteousness!  

I think my Advent journals are some of my favorite art journals.

This year I made a simple signature journal using a heavy weight drawing paper.

I kept a page in front to add the words as I complete a page.

Share how you respond to today's word in the Words Facebook Group or on Instagram using #adventwords2022.





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