Every Promise in the Book

591 words | 2.5 minutes

Apr 6, 2024

Just because you READ it, doesn’t mean you OWN it.

I bought a book for my daughter a while back. It was for her birthday, but it looked so interesting, I read it before giving it to her. It was a GREAT read! Recently, I asked her, “Are you finished with that book I lent you?” “Lent me?” She acted surprised. “You bought it for ME!” She was right. I remembered reading it—loving it—expecting to read it again. I just forgot the gifting part. I READ it, yes, but that alone didn’t make the book MINE.

“Amazing Grace” is considered to be in the public domain, and you don’t need permission to sing it in church. You might even love it so much that you claim it to be “your song.” But just because you love it, you can’t say you WROTE it. You cannot OWN it.

It makes me think of that old song—I’ve sung it all my life … “Every Promise in the Book is Mine.” The words, as we learned it, are:

“Every promise in the Book is mine;
Every chapter, every verse, every line.
I am trusting in His love divine, for
Every promise in the Book is MINE!”

I remember my Uncle Bert commenting with a frown, “You know, that’s not true. Every promise in the BOOK is NOT ‘MINE’ because not every promise in the Bible was written to ME.”

He was right. Let’s talk about this. Take, for instance, one of our favorite verses: Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

We love to claim this verse as our very own, but do we have that right? To whom SPECIFICALLY was the LORD talking here? If you just go back a few verses in the same chapter, Jeremiah tells you: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you (in Babylon) and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place (Jerusalem). For I know the plans I have for you …”

So, is the LORD speaking through Jeremiah to you and me? Are WE exiled in Babylon? The answer is NO. But hold on. Though THAT promise cannot legitimately be claimed by us (who are NOT exiled Hebrews in Babylon), it is still OUR LORD who’s talking. The ONE true God. We who live on this side of Calvary and have been purchased by the BLOOD of Jesus—grafted into spiritual Israel—CAN learn much here about the steadfast faithfulness of the ONE God.

Go on to read the very next verses: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.” (29:12-14 NIV)

May I claim THAT promise? Is it MINE to claim? We’re going to talk a bit more about this in our next study.

Until then, we pray: Dear Lord, You have “given to us … exceeding great and precious promises: that by these …” we might learn to be more like YOU. To love what You love, and to live as You want us to. THAT is my desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Part 1 of 2)