An excerpt from “Our Great God and Saviour" by Eric J. Alexander
You know how we sometimes have difficulty keeping promises we have made. It is because we do not have the resources. We make financial promises, but we do not have sufficient financial resources to keep them. Or we may say to our children, ‘I wish I could give this to you, but I can’t. I do not have the money for it.’ The psalmist is telling us that God is never embarrassed in this way. He has all power. He is the Lord Almighty. That is why God’s words have to be taken with utmost seriousness.
We find this difficult because of our human background. When people make a promise to us, we often say, ‘Do you really mean that?’ We do this especially if the promise is surprising. We expect that people probably have not weighed what they are promising. By contrast, God’s promises can be taken with absolute seriousness, because he has weighed them and there is nothing in them that he is not able to perform.
This is as true of God’s threats as of his promises. Children soon get to know if parents issue threats they do not mean to keep. Scenes like one I witnessed on a transatlantic flight are commonplace. There was a family with three fairly small children who were particularly obstreperous. They were causing the cabin staff and people around them a great deal of trouble. Their father was raising his voice to them, saying, ‘If you do that again, I’ll do so and so.’ One of the children looked around and smiled a little at those on the other side of the aisle, as if indicating that he knew his father would never fulfil what he was promising.
But when God warns us of the danger of some action, he means every word he says. The living, faithful God has never in all eternity uttered an idle word, and what he says, he will perform.