When God makes promises, they are as good as done. How is that? Well, obviously, we believe that God is a promise keeping God. He always does what he says. That is our theological theorem. But in a way that we may forget, his promises are good as done because when he makes them, he is already in the future where he has secured their fulfillment. That is why Moses could say to the Israelites, and I can say to you, “when you have conquered it…” Not if, but when. With God and you, it is only a matter of timing.
Going Deep // Focus: Deuteronomy 26:1-2
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored.
Much of Deuteronomy 26 focuses on the tithe and offerings the Israelites were to bring to God once they had taken possession of Canaan and settled into their Promised Land. They were to give these material offerings to the Lord in gratitude and in recognition of his loving lordship over their lives. It is my personal belief that while the New Testament doesn’t specifically mandate this, the spirit of generous giving in response to the generous giving and loving rulership of God is just as important today—and just as blessable.
However, while that is the point of this chapter, I want to focus on a statement that might otherwise be hidden in the overall message of this chapter. It comes in the very first verse, and it is incredibly powerful and encouraging. Notice that Moses said, “when you enter the land” and when “you have conquered it”. Not if, but when. You see, when God makes a promise, it is as good as done.
Toward the end of this chapter, Moses details a few of the other promises God made to Israel, Of course, they were contingent upon the Israelite’s obedience—we would expect no less. But likewise notice these additional good-as-done promises:
Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly. You have declared today that the Lord is your God. And you have promised to walk in his ways, and to obey his decrees, commands, and regulations, and to do everything he tells you. The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands. And if you do, he will set you high above all the other nations he has made. Then you will receive praise, honor, and renown. You will be a nation that is holy to the Lord your God, just as he promised.
Those promises, conditioned upon obedience, are promises that your God makes to you, too. And what was true for Israel is true for you: Since God has made them, they are as good as done. How is that? Well, obviously, we believe that God is a promise keeping God. He always does what he says. That is our theological theorem. But in a way that we may forget, his promises are good as done because when he makes them, he is already in the future where he has already secured their fulfillment. That is why Moses could say to the Israelites, and I can say to you, “when you have conquered it…” Not if, but when. With God’s promise and your reality, it is only a matter of timing.
I hope that builds confidence in your heart today. I don’t know if today will be the day you actualize a divine promise—I hope so—but at the very least, you will have taken one more step of faith closer to what God has foreordained. He is already there ahead of you and has secured your victory. So as you walk forward in faith and obedience, you are simply going where God already is.
Now that should build some momentum for you as you head out the door today!