Panning for Placer Promises

Most of the world’s gold has come, not from mines, but from placer deposits, minerals eroded long ago from the surrounding rocks. Prospectors use shallow pans to scoop up a bit of the creek gravel and sand, swishing it around to expose the precious grains or nuggets.

Similarly, it doesn’t take a deep mine to find applicable Bible promises. But it does take work, mostly in comparing Scripture with Scripture.

While all the Bible is written FOR us, every section was not written directly TO us. So, we can’t claim the promise that if we gather two of every animal and get into a large boat, God will preserve us. Like many Bible promises to the patriarchs, that was a one-and-done.

But the patterns and principles are preserved in promises we can claim. Jesus tells us that people will be so taken with the pursuit of daily life and pleasure that they will not be ready for His coming, just as things were “in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:36-39). The promise is that if we are looking for Him, we will not be swept away in judgment.

Likewise, Peter points to Noah as proof that God knows how to protect us from judgment in our own wicked times (2 Peter 2:5-10). And remember that Hebrews cites Noah as one of the many examples of how faith works by embracing things unseen (Hebrews 11:7).

Hebrews 11:13 applies that principle to us New Covenant believers: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” Implied is that we will be blessed doing likewise, for the best promises are those not fulfilled until we’re with Jesus.

The Bible narrates countless choices and incidents where God’s commands exposed faith or unbelief. These real life dramas produced spiritual nuggets which are just lying there in the wet sand, waiting for us to discover each day. 1 Corinthians 10 illustrates the process.

But beware: Prospecting for un-promised things distracts us from the true riches we are to be storing up. Let’s not fall for fool’s gold. God has not promised prosperity, ease, or even justice in this life.

“Father, teach us the lessons the fathers learned walking by faith. Help us remember that we are not home yet, and there is a coming day in which all wrongs will be righted and all tears wiped away. In the name of Jesus. Amen.”

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