Standing on the promises of Christ my king,
through eternal ages let his praises ring;
glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
standing on the promises of God. (“Standing on the Promises” by Russell Kelso Carter)
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited and redeemed his people.
He has sent us a mighty Savior
from the royal line of his servant David,
just as he promised
through his holy prophets long ago.
Now we will be saved from our enemies
and from all who hate us.” (Luke 1:68–71 NLT)
There are some prophecies in the Bible that have multiple components to them. For example, when Hezekiah was sick and was told by the prophet Isaiah that he would die, he wept bitterly and prayed to God. Not only did God hear Hezekiah’s prayer, granting him fifteen additional years of life, He promised future rescue of the city from the king of Assyria. To show all this would come true, God caused the shadow on the sundial to move backward ten steps.
The purpose of the sundial was to assure Hezekiah that all else God said—concerning his health and the welfare of the city—would come true. These kinds of prophecies with both short-term and long-term components are not unusual in the Bible. Zechariah’s proclamation after he regains the use of his tongue once his son, John, is born is another instance of this dual fulfillment. The first part (“He has sent”) is fulfilled with the birth of Jesus; the second part (“Now we will be”) does not come to pass until later. All of this is a grace from God and a clear reminder of His presence with and for His people. Looking at the promises God has fulfilled in the past, we can more readily stand firm on His promises to us that are still yet to come.
Think back on the many ways that God’s promises for your life have been fulfilled—all of the times He has supported you, cared for you, pulled you through difficulties and trials—and let your soul well up with thanksgiving for how He has met your needs and shown Himself to be trustworthy. Keep these fulfilled promises in mind as you move forward, using them as a reminder that God, being unchanging, was true to His word in the past and will continue to be true to His word in future.