Promises

God’s Rainbow- Genesis 9:11-13

Theme: God keeps His promises

Verse: Romans 8:28 (KJV)- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Phil and Ashley Story:

          Ashley was both nervous and excited. She couldn’t wait to go to camp to meet new friends and have fun. She’d never slept in a cabin before or eaten in a dining hall.

          But there was one problem. Sometimes she wet the bed at night. She hoped it didn’t happen here. She didn’t want anyone to know.

          Mom carried her suitcase while Ashley carried her sleeping bag into the rustic cabin nestled under the trees.

          A pretty, college-aged girl met them at the door. “Hi, I’m Erin, your counselor. And you are…?”

          “This is Ashley Denton,” Mom said.

          “Welcome, Ashley. You’re the first one here, so you have your choice of bunks. Would you like a bottom or top?”

          “Top.” Ashley had always wanted to sleep on a top bunk.

          “Ashley, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Mom said. “It might be hard for you to get down in the middle of the night.” Mom turned to Erin. “Sometimes Ashley wets the bed. I always get up and take her to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Would it be too much to ask…?”

          “Oh, sure. I can take her,” Erin said. “No problem.”

          “You won’t tell anyone, will you?” Ashley asked.

          Erin smiled. “No, your secret is safe with me, I promise. But why don’t you take this bottom bunk right next to mine? Then it will be easier to sneak out with no one knowing.”

          Giving up a top bunk was worth it if no one found out she was a bed-wetter.

          As Mom helped her roll out her sleeping bag and slide her suitcase under the bunk, more girls arrived.

          “Hi, I’m Megan,” said a girl with beautiful, long blond hair who took the bottom bunk next to Ashley’s.

          Ashley liked her right away. She was friendly and smiley.

          After the moms left, Erin took her eight girls on a tour of the camp. Ashley walked with Megan. Megan chatted the whole way. Other girls listened too. Everyone seemed to like Megan.

          At supper in the dining hall, Ashley sat beside Megan. It was fun having a new friend.

          Ashley enjoyed the games after supper and the Christian magic show in the tabernacle.

          It wasn’t until they were all in their pajamas and gathered around Erin on the floor for devotions that Ashley remembered her fear of wetting the bed. She hoped Erin woke her to use the bathroom. She would be so embarrassed if she wet the bed in front of all these girls.

          After lights were out, Erin went around to each girl and said good-night. As she leaned over Ashley, Ashley said, “Don’t forget to wake me up.”

          “Don’t worry, sweetie. I’ll remember.”

          But how would Erin remember? Would she set an alarm? That would wake up all the girls, and then everyone would know.

          Ashley tossed and turned, worrying. Finally, she fell asleep.

          It was dark when she felt someone shaking her.

          “Ashley, let’s use the bathroom.” It was Erin’s voice.

          Ashley was half asleep as she slipped her feet into her sandals. She followed Erin out the door, making sure the screen door didn’t bang and wake the girls.

          It was pitch dark outside. An howl hooted. The tree branches looked scary. It was chilly.

          Erin shone a flashlight on the gravel path to the bathroom. Inside, the lights were on. Ashley squinted as she felt her way to the bathroom stall and used it.

          She hardly remembered going back to the cabin and falling asleep.

          When she woke up the next morning, she felt her bed. Dry. She had not wet the bed!

          As they were getting dressed, Megan said, “Where did you and Erin go in the middle of the night?”

          Ashley froze. How did Megan know? They had been perfectly quiet.

          “To the bathroom.”

          “Why?”

          Dare she tell Megan the truth? Could she be trusted? She thought she could. She was her friend.

          “Promise you won’t tell anyone?”

          “I promise.”

          Ashley took a big breath. “I have to get up every night to use the bathroom, or I will wet the bed.”

          Megan’s eyes widened.

          Now Ashley was worried. “Promise you won’t tell anyone?”

          “I promise.”

          Ashley had a fun day making crafts, playing games, and swimming in the pool. By nighttime, she was really tired and could hardly keep her eyes open during devotions.

          After Erin had come around and said good-night to everyone, Ashley was almost asleep when a girl on a top bunk whispered loudly, “Don’t wet the bed, Ashley.”

          Everyone giggled.

          Ashley’s eyes popped open. Waves of shame rolled over her.

          Who told? Only two people knew— counselor Erin and Megan. Both had promised not to tell.

          She rolled over to face Megan. “Did you tell?” she whispered.

          “Oh, Ashley, it’s no big deal. Everyone has wet the bed before.”

          “You told! You promised not to.”

          She felt betrayed, sad, and angry.

          Counselor Erin flipped on the light. “It seems we have a problem here. Everyone gather round. We’re going to talk about this.”

          The girls grumbled as they climbed out of bed and sat on the floor in a circle.

          Erin said, “When you make a promise, you must keep it. Megan, did you make a promise to Ashley?”

          “Yes, but…”

          “No buts. When you make a promise, you keep it. Ashley will have a hard time trusting you from now on.”

          Ashley nodded. She would never tell Megan anything. She didn’t even want to be her friend anymore.

          Erin continued. “The good news is that there is one Person who never breaks His promises—someone you can trust completely. Does anyone know who that is?”

          “God,” someone said.

          “You’re absolutely right,” Erin said. “When God says something, you know He will do it. For example, God says in Hebrews 13:5, ‘I will never leave you.’ If you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, He will never come out. He will never leave you. He promises, and you can trust Him.”

          Ashley felt better. She had asked Jesus to come into her heart and forgive her sins. She was glad she had someone she could trust completely.

          And she would never tell Megan a secret again.

Bible Application:

          How many of you have ever made a promise to someone? Did you keep it? Sometimes promises are hard to keep. We may not always keep our promises, but God always keeps His promises.

          God told Noah to build an ark because he was going to send a flood of waters on the earth to destroy every living creature. And He did. It rained for forty days and forty nights. Water covered the earth for 150 days.

          God sent a wind to blow, and the waters slowly disappeared. Three months later, the boat finally rested on Mount Ararat. The waters continued to go down until other mountain peaks appeared.

          After another forty days, Noah opened a porthole and released a raven that flew back and forth until the earth was dry. Meanwhile, he sent out a dove, but the dove found no place to land and returned to Noah, for the water was still too high.

          Seven days later Noah released the dove again, and this time it returned with an olive branch in its beak. So Noah knew the water was almost gone.

          A week later he released the dove again and this time she didn’t come back.

          Twenty-nine days later, Noah opened the door to look. The water was gone, but it was very muddy.

          Eight more weeks went by. Then, at last, the earth was dry.

          God told Noah, “You may all go out. Release all the animals, birds, and reptiles so they will reproduce in great numbers.”

          Then Noah and his family left the ark. Noah built an altar and sacrificed some of the animals.

          God made a promise to Noah. Listen to it in Genesis 9:8-11 (TLB) -“Then God told Noah and his sons, ‘I solemnly promise you and your children and the animals you brought with you— all these birds and cattle and wild animals—that I will never again send another flood to destroy the earth.”

          God made a promise. What was it?

          That He would never again destroy the whole earth with a flood.

          God keeps His promises. You can trust Him. Yes, God has sent little floods, but He has never destroyed the whole earth with a flood again.

          This promise or covenant God made with Noah was unconditional. That meant God would keep His promise and God did not require anything from Noah.

          A covenant that is conditional means you have to do something in order for the agreement to be kept. For example, pretend your parents said, “If you finish your chores, then we will take you to a movie.”

          What is the job you must do in order for your parents to take you to a movie? finish your chores

          However, an unconditional covenant means you do not have to do anything. An example of an unconditional promise from God is when He tells us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” It is a promise that God fulfills without you having to do anything.

          I am going to name a few promises, and tell me if it is a conditional promise or an unconditional promise:

1. Your teacher promises to give you extra recess time if you finish your work. (Conditional)

2. Jesus promises that His words will never pass away. (Unconditional)

3. Your friend promises to let you borrow his bike, but only if you let him borrow your scooter. (Conditional.)

4. God will never flood the whole earth again. (Unconditional.)

          God always keeps His promises. How would the generations after Noah know that God would never flood the earth again?

Read Genesis 9:12-13 (TLB)- “And I seal this promise with this sign: I have placed my rainbow in the clouds as a sign of my promise until the end of time, to you and to all the earth.”

          The rainbow is God’s symbol of God’s promise to us that He will never again flood the whole earth. Whenever you see a rainbow in the sky, it should remind you of this promise God made to Noah.

          Has God made any promises to you? Absolutely. The Bible is full of God’s promises.

I John 1:9- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

          What does God promise in this verse? To forgive us our sins if we      confess them

          Is this conditional or unconditional?

                   Conditional. He will only forgive your sins if you confess them.

Act 16:31- “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

          What does God promise in this verse? If we believe in Jesus, we

                   will be saved from eternal punishment.

          Is this conditional or unconditional?

                   Conditional. He will only save you if you believe.

Romans 8:28 (KJV)- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

          What does God promise in this verse? That all things will work together for good for them who love God.

          God does not break His promises. You can count on Him.

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