Day By Day By Grace

June 20
Man’s Promises or God’s Promises
Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” (Exo_19:7-8)
The promises of the old covenant of law depend upon the performance of man. “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them” (Lev_18:5). The better promises of the new covenant of grace depend upon the performance of God. “I will make a new covenant . . . I will put My law in their minds” (Jer_31:31, Jer_31:33).
When man attempts to live under the law (thereby needing to perform up to God’s standards by human resources), he typically tries to live by his promises to God. Israel was a vivid example of this futile tendency. “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” This well-intended promise to God was consistently broken. Moses’ words are a stinging indictment of the vanity of basing life with God on our promises to Him. “You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you” (Deu_9:24).
The desire to obey God appropriately resides within the hearts of His children, but a better way to obedience must be found than relying upon our promises to God. That better way is the path of grace, which offers a life based upon God’s promises to man. “I will give you a new heart and [I will] put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and [I will] give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and [I will] cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Eze_36:26-27).
We are to live by the promises of God to us (instead of by our promises to Him). Living by God’s promises produces a growing confidence in the Lord, a confidence that results from His unique character. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? ” (Num_23:19). Man may make promises to God, but, eventually, he will fail. God is not like man. God is true to His word. He will not lie, nor will He change His mind. Whatever He says, He will do! We can fully rely upon the promises of God that we find in His word.
Lord God of truth, forgive my multiplied attempts to develop a Christian walk by my promises to You. Lord, You know how often I have failed. What a joyous option this is—to live by Your promises to me! Please teach me how to think and live this way, in Jesus name, Amen.

Our Daily Walk

June 20
THE ROCK OF AGES
“Trust ye—the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is an everlasting rock.” — Isa_26:4 (R.V.).
THE LOVE of God, like a cleft rock, is the age-long shelter of His people, land rears itself above the tumultuous waters of time. The lightning that flashed from the thunder-clouds of Calvary has riven it. A cleft was made in it by the spear that pierced the heart of our Lord, and this was followed, as it was withdrawn from the gaping wound, by blood and water. But there sinful souls may hide! God had said to Moses: “Behold, there is a place by Me, and it shall come to pass that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by, for thou canst not see My face, and live.” So he speaks to us all, and promises that the water and the blood shall be the double cure from the wrath and power of sin.
It is free. The sinner need not seek to acquire the shelter of that Rock of Ages by the labour of his hands, or the fulfilling of the demands of the law. It is not required that he should burn with a zeal that knows no respite, or flow with tears that refuse to be staunched. To be helpless and forlorn, to be in peril of condemnation, to be contrite and humble—this is all that is required. To have no Mediator, no Refuge, no Helper beside, and to lift the eyes of faith to the Saviour—that is the sole condition of being lifted by unseen hands into the cleft of that Rock.
It holds all that the soul needs. Is the soul naked? There is dress for it. Is it helpless? There is grace for it. Is it blackened by sin? There is cleansing for it. Is it sick? there is healing for it. Toplady, the Calvinist, and Wesley, the Arminian, agree here: “Thou, O Christ, art all I want; more than all in Thee I find.”
It is for ever. It is the Rock of Ages! Time may beat upon it, but it cannot alter it or impair it. Whilst this fleeting breath is drawn, when eyes close in death, when unknown worlds are entered, when the judgment throne is set, always and for ever the soul may shelter in the cleft Rock of the unchanging Redeemer, and Peace, like a double window, intercepts alarm from the heart which is stayed on God and trusting in Him.
PRAYER
Rock of Ages! cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, From Thy riven side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save me from its guilt and power. AMEN.