Whose Promises Can You Trust?
“HIS promises were, as he then was, mighty; but his performance, as he is now, nothing.”—King Henry the Eighth, by William Shakespeare.
The mighty promises referred to by Shakespeare were those of English cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who wielded great political power in England during the 16th century. Some would say that Shakespeare’s description also fits most of the promises they hear today. Time and again, people are promised much but receive little. Hence, it is not difficult to understand why they become skeptical of any promises.
During the terrible conflict in the Balkans in the 1990’s, for example, the United Nations Security Council declared the Bosnian town of Srebrenica to be “a safe area.” That appeared to be a reliable guarantee by the international community. Thousands of Muslim refugees in Srebrenica thought so. In the end, however, the promise of a safe haven meant absolutely nothing. (Psalm 146:3) In July of 1995, attacking forces simply pushed the UN forces aside and overran the town. More than 6,000 Muslims disappeared, and at least 1,200 Muslim civilians were murdered.
Every facet of life is littered with broken promises. People feel cheated by the “countless instances of false and misleading advertising” that bombard them today. They are disillusioned by “the broken campaign promises of a thousand politicians.” (The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15, page 37) Trusted religious leaders who promise to care for their flocks abuse them in the vilest fashion. Even in such professions as education and medicine—supposedly governed by compassion and concern for others—some have betrayed their trust and exploited or even murdered those in their care. No wonder the Bible warns us not to put faith in every word!—Proverbs 14:15.
Promises That Are Honored
Of course, many people do keep their word, sometimes at great cost to themselves. (Psalm 15:4) Their word is their bond, and they honor it. Others sincerely want to keep promises they make with the finest of intentions. They are ready and willing to do what they promised but are simply unable to do so. Circumstances may frustrate even the noblest of plans.—Ecclesiastes 9:11.
For whatever reason, the reality is that many people do find it very difficult to put faith in anyone’s promises. So the question arises: Are there any promises that we can trust? Yes. We can trust the promises found in God’s Word, the Bible. Why not examine what the next article says on this subject? You may conclude, as millions already have, that we can really trust God’s promises.
[Picture Credit Line on page 3]
AP Photo/Amel Emric