Read Psalm 105.
Jude, our middle son, has always been an independent thinker. He has never had trouble using his imagination or playing by himself. He doesn’t mind being different. He marches to the beat of his own drummer and, whenever possible, prefers to do the drumming himself. He’s never been much of a people pleaser or a rule follower, and neither the stick nor the carrot mean much in his world. I should have known he would be trouble the way he came into this world.
Of our three boys, he was the only rush-to-the-hospital-in-the-middle-of-the-night adventure. Scheduled C-section? Nope. Jude comes when Jude wants. In fact, during the hour window a couple of days later when Laurin was supposed to have been in the operating room, a tornado rolled through downtown Nashville. A nurse came rushing into Laurin’s hospital room and told us we had to head out into the hallway, just in case the windows exploded. We both looked at Jude, asleep in that hospital-issued plastic bassinet, wondering how he knew.
But it wasn’t Jude who knew anything. It was the Lord. Jude was our first child born in Tennessee. We had only been living in the state for a few months when it was time for Jude to make his entrance, and since we were new to the area and nearby longstanding friendships were not yet a thing, we arranged for a friend from Georgia to come and stay with Jonah, our oldest. The thing was, this babysitter showed up unannounced late at night, a day earlier than we expected. That was fine with us, but when we asked her why, she just said, “I don’t know. Jesus just told me to come tonight.” About two hours later, Laurin and I were racing to the hospital.
When you’re standing in the middle of trouble, it can be difficult to remember that God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), but nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Psalm 105 is a reminder of this truth. “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8). The psalmist recounts the early history of Israel with an eye to God’s promises spoken and fulfilled.
There were promises spoken to Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3; 15:13–16; Psalm 105:9, 42), repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:2–5; Psalm 105:9), and then repeated again to Jacob (Genesis 28:13–15; 35:9–13; Psalm 105:10). Then there were prophetic dreams given to Jacob’s son Joseph (Genesis 37:6–7, 9; Psalm 105:16–19). And long before God chose Abraham and his descendants, there was even a prophecy embedded in a curse spoken through Noah (Genesis 9:24–26; Psalm 105:23). These promises and prophecies and curses revealed in part the beautiful salvation hope that God was embedding in the history of the world.
As each word was spoken and each prophecy was slowly fulfilled, none of patriarchs got to see the full picture being painted. None of them got a clear view of the Son of God who would be born among the people of Israel. None of them quite understood how He would bring new life to a world broken and bent toward sin.
From where we sit, it’s tempting to think we have the full picture, but there are still surprises yet to be uncovered. That’s why, if you were to ask ten Bible scholars for their opinion on the events surrounding Christ’s second coming, you’d likely receive ten different answers. We see in part, just like our Old Testament counterparts.
But we do have something that Abraham, Isaac, and the rest never had: a clear picture of the person and work of Jesus Christ. We can also look back and see how God wove together individuals stories of faith and sin to bring about “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4 ESV), when His Son would be born of a virgin to break the curse of death hanging over our world. The same God who orchestrated events in the Old Testament is still on His throne, and He’s still working to bring about the fulfillment of His remaining promises.
When you find yourself discouraged, and the walls feel like they’re closing in on you, remember this: We serve a God who keeps His promises—every last one.