Promise Keeper

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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1 Samuel 20:17 – And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. (NLT)

He made a promise to his best friend, but now his friend lay dead on a mountaintop.

Davey and Johnny were best buds and had been since they were young. Davey's family farmed while Johnny's came from the upper class. Despite their cultural differences, Davey and Johnny managed to maintain their friendship.

Johnny's dad, however, was leery of Davey. Though Davey came from the lower class, he saw potential in him — potential that might carry him far in life. So, he gave him a job at his company — but with ulterior motives. He thought that Davey's sharp mind might help his company move forward.

As Johnny's dad aged, he arranged for Johnny to take over the company after his retirement or death. Johnny had no interest in the company and secretly wanted Davey to run the business. He even made Davey promise to care for his family if something happened to him. (He seemed to have eerie premonitions.)

Johnny's premonition materialized. He and his father were tragically killed while on the way to negotiate with a firm that was their staunchest competitor. Davey kept his promise, though, ran the business, and even cared for Johnny's disabled son.

The point of this modern take on the story of David and Jonathan is that although David could have forgotten his promise and pursued his own interest in life, instead, he chose to honour his friend by keeping his word.

Being as good as my word is a high goal to reach for — but a worthy one. A person's word was once enough — perhaps with a handshake to follow — but not any more. Even though we live in an age of paperwork that protects me and the one I'm making a promise to, my word should be just as good as if there were no paperwork. My promises should not be made lightly.

Breaking a promise should never enter my mind. Only under extenuating circumstances and unusual conditions should I renege on my word. Carrying out my word is important even if it inconveniences me. Taking care of Jonathan's disabled son certainly inconvenienced David.

Perhaps more than anything else, keeping my promises provides an example of my faithfulness to God. When I'm as serious about keeping my promises to God, as He is about keeping His to me, I'll find it easier to keep my word to others.

When you give your word, keep your word.

Prayer: Father, help us understand how important it is to keep our word to others. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing Martin.
    Great reminder.
    God’s blessings.

    Wow, Martin! This can never be emphasized enough! Thanks for the reminder.

    Dear Martin,
    How true. Thank you for sharing and let us all hope we can trust each other’s word like we can trust in God. Blessings.

    Hi Martin,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. I love the story of how David looked for and found Mephibosheth and invited him to come and live with him. You did not mention him by name, but I assume that is the crippled boy you referred to.
    Good story.

    I recall the day when a good firm handshake meant everything, and no paperwork needed. Now in Covid-19 we cannot even do that good old handshake at the present time. So it makes me a little thankful for the paperwork that exists to help close a deal or keep a promise. Too bad a nod of the heard or a thumbs up could replace the old handshake in these recent times we are going through. Sadly, too many people break promises.

    Our son is a criminal defence lawyer. As we have helped many new Canadians some have serious trouble. One man hit his wife. Another friend insisted he beat her and called police but it was a little mark but of course it went to court. Our son said I will get you counselling but if you hit her again you will get 90 days, after that 2 years.
    Of course, the man hit his wife again so again to court. Our son said to the judge I promised this man 90 days if he hit her again so please give him 90 days which the judge agreed to. After the man got out of jail, he came to thank me for teaching our son to stand by his word. He said our son was the first person who stood by his word. He was promised 90 days and that is what he got. Really proud of our son.

    This is very important in a world where promises are routinely broken.
    Thanks for reminding all of us.

    This is very important in a world where promises are routinely broken.
    Thanks for reminding all of us.

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