By Roger D. Campbell
Shortly after the Israelites left Mount Sinai, they complained that they wanted some meat to eat. God told Moses, “Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat … for a whole month” (Numbers 11:18,20). When Moses inquired about how meat could be supplied in the wilderness for such a great multitude of people, Jehovah’s response was, “Has the LORD’S arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not” (Numbers 11:23). Could the Lord deliver on His promise to provide meat for Israel? Of course. Would He deliver on that promise? Same answer! God is true to Himself and true to His word. What He says is trustworthy—every time!
One chapter of the Bible in which the faithfulness of “the faithful God” (Deuteronomy 7:9) is exalted time and again is Psalm 89. There we read, “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations … Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens … O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You …” (Psalm 89:1,2,8).
Hear what God Himself stated about His faithfulness: “Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips” (Psalm 89,33,34). Did you notice? In God’s own words, He proclaimed that He will not allow His faithfulness to fail. Because that is so, His faithfulness is unchanging and cannot be negated. Furthermore, because of His faithfulness, He will not break any covenant which He has made, nor will a word that He has spoken be altered.
In speaking about the failure of the Jews to submit to God’s will, Paul asked, “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar …” (Romans 3:3,4). To say “let God be true but every man a liar” does not imply that it is acceptable to lie, nor does it indicate that there is not a single honest person. What it does show is a contrast between God’s faithfulness (He never, ever lies) and man’s tendency to be unreliable. Man’s general lack of faithfulness cannot change the fact of God’s faithfulness. In fact, man’s failure to be faithful makes God’s faithfulness shine even more. Again, we read, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13)
Multiple times in the Scriptures we read the simple, three-word statement that “God is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13). He always is true to His word,. If He says that something will happen, then indeed, it will. If He says that something will not happen, then it will not. If He promises to bless, He will do so, and if He says that He will withhold blessings or even punish, then such statements by Him should be counted as one hundred per cent accurate and reliable. For God’s children to recall His faithfulness serves as a motive for being true to Him, as it is written, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
The Lord’s faithfulness encourages His servants. Christians are comforted to know that as we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). If we truly believe in God’s faithfulness to His promises, then we will be firm in our conviction that He really does forgive us when we repent and turn from the error of our ways. If we “wonder” if God really has forgiven us, then does that not indicate that we have doubts about His faithfulness to His word?
We also read that God has promised not to forsake His faithful servants (Hebrews 13:5). Are we not thankful that we do not serve a wishy-washy, moody God who goes back on His word?!
God has promised a crown of life to those who love Him (James 1:12). Since God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), we take comfort in this wonderful promise, too! The Lord never fails on His promises … not one time.
Here is a sobering thought for the saints of God. If we are called to be “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), then we need to show forth the characteristics of God which can be imitated. That would include imitating His faithfulness in our commitment to Him and in our dealing with our fellow man. Do we? Are we people of faithfulness?