The idea of total commitment is one that is clearly taught in the Word of God. Although the word “commitment” is not found in the Bible, the concept is. The word vow is one Bible Word that states the idea behind the word commitment. The word “vow” is found forty one times in the King James version of the Bible, and most of these are in the Old Testament. Perhaps “promise” is the most used New Testament word that best describes the idea of commitment.
How do we feel when others make a promise, vow or commitment to us and fail to keep it? How do we think it makes God feel when we do that to Him? God has made promises to various people over the years as He carried out His plan, and showed His love to humanity. That plan was to bring Salvation to man and that plan was in place from the foundations of the world. The most important thing to note is that every promise, or vow that God has made, has or will be carried out.
For example, God promised Abraham that he would have a son, the child of promise, even when Abraham and Sarah were both well past the age of childbearing. We know that Isaac was born as promised as the plan of God moved forward to bring Christ to earth to bring salvation to mankind. In the New Testament record of the account of Abraham in Romans 4:18-21 we read of God’s promise to Abraham, the faith Abraham exhibited in response, and God’s favor shown to him for his commitment to God. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
While we are aware that the plan of God was to save fallen man, perhaps we need to be reminded that none, while living, have obtained eternal life. In 1John 2:25 we are told how we have eternal life. We have it in promise. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. We should also remember that every promise is conditional.
We see this time after time throughout the Old Testament as God dealt with the Jews, the descendants of Abraham. One example is found in Deuteronomy 11:13-14 where God promised to bless Israel in a physical manner “if” they would keep His command-ments. And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my command-ments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. Then Israel is given a choice of a blessing or a curse in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 and the conditions upon which each promise was based. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. This required either a total commitment from Israel or a blatant refusal. Anything short of “total commitment” to follow God’s commandments is indeed a refusal to follow them.
We are told that part of Israel did not keep God’s commandments. Ephraim is an ex-ample for us. In Hosea 7:8, the Holy Spirit directed the prophet to write about Ephraim as an example to the rest of Israel. This should also be a warning to us today. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Now, I want you to imagine setting down to a plate of pancakes to find they had never been turned by the cook. Would you say that the cook was committed to his or her job? Would you not think that the cook was half committed? Was that good enough? What if our mechanic was only half committed when he worked on our car? Would we be willing to make a road trip upon receiving our car back from him?
We can easily see the application when it comes to something we are going to eat that has been prepared for us or work that others do for us, especially if we have paid for those services.
Let us be again be assured of the fact that God Will do all He has said and will deliver on every promise. One place we can find confirmation of this in the New Testament is found in 2Peter 3:9, which also tells what God wants for us. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God has indeed paid for our salvation in sending His Son to die of Calvary’s cross. Christ also paid in that He laid down His own life to purchase the church so we could be saved. God also sent the Holy Spirit to bring us the Word, which will never pass away, which instructs us HOW to be saved. None can say that God is anything but totally committed to His plan to save fallen man.
How is it that we cannot see the application when our own commitment is in question? Can we afford to be half committed to God? If we are not totally committed to God, but only half committed, should we expect Him to fulfill any promise to us. Let’s not be unturned cakes as Ephraim was and miss eternity with God.
Dennis S. – Mooresville church of Christ