What God has promised, God will perform

J.C.Ryle on Zechariah’s Song in Luke 1:67-80

We should notice, secondly, in this hymn of praise, how much emphasis Zachariah lays on God’s fulfillment of His promises.He declares that God has “visited and redeemed his people,” speaking of it in the manner of the prophets as a thing already accomplished, because sure to take place. He goes on to proclaim the instrument of this redemption–“a horn of salvation”–a strong Savior of the house of David. And then he adds that all this is done, “as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophet, to perform the mercy promised, to remember His holy covenant, and the oath which He swore to our father Abraham.”

It is clear that the souls of Old Testament believers fed much on God’s promises. They were obliged to walk by faith far more than we are. They knew nothing of the great facts which we know about Christ’s life, and death, and resurrection. They looked forward to redemption as a thing hoped for, but not yet seen–and their only warrant for their hope was God’s covenanted word. Their faith may well put us to shame. So far from disparaging Old Testament believers, as some are disposed to do, we ought to marvel that they were what they were.

Let us learn to rest on promises and embrace them as Zachariah did. Let us not doubt that every word of God about His people concerning things future, shall as surely be fulfilled as every word about them has been fulfilled concerning things past. Their safety is secured by promise. The world, the flesh, and the devil, shall never prevail against any believer. Their acquittal at the last day is secured by promise. They shall not come into condemnation, but shall be presented spotless before the Father’s throne. Their final glory is secured by promise. Their Savior shall come again the second time, as surely as He came the first–to gather His saints together and to give them a crown of righteousness. Let us be persuaded of these promises. Let us embrace them and not let them go. They will never fail us. God’s word is never broken. He is not a man that He should lie. We have a seal on every promise which Zachariah never saw. We have the seal of Christ’s blood to assure us, that what God has promised God will perform.

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