Tom Hayes


Duet. 31:6; Josh. 23:14; 1 Chron. 28:20

History reveals that the smartest of men had their failures. Most of the 1,093 inventions of Thomas Edison were failures. Albert Einstein failed his entrance exams when attempting to enter the university. Henry Ford failed to put a reverse gear in his first car. Abraham Lincoln was defeated seven times when running for various political offices.

The Bible reveals that man, at his best, has failed! Although in a state of innocence, Adam and Eve, the progenitors of the human race, failed in the garden of Eden. Righteous Noah gave way to fleshly tendencies after the flood. Abraham, known for his great faith, became prey to unbelief in a time of famine. Moses, the meekest of men, gave way to anger and wrath. David, "a man after" God's "own heart" (Acts 13:22), broke God's heart with an adulterous relationship.

When we look to God, however, we are not confronted with failure at any point. He is "The God Who Never Fails!" He never fails because He is a totally perfect Being! As Jesus taught His disciples, "Your Father Which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). The constitution of the divine Person never varies! There is no slight alteration in His conduct or actions! Therefore, He can never fail in any capacity!

Three Old Testament personalities, all just before their deaths, called attention to this divine characteristic. In this brief, yet important, study, let's occupy our thoughts with their testimonies.

In the earliest setting, Moses explains that:

1. God Never Fails In Helping His People

This emphasis is given in the patriarch's final sermon recorded in the book of Deuteronomy. Among his last words, we hear the comforting exhortation, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee" (Deut. 31:6).

First, we see in the text that:

A. He Helps His People Be Faithful

Because God is faithful and unfailing, His children are commanded to "Be strong and of a good courage." The word "strong" indicates "to prevail, or to hold." The words "good courage" are very similar, suggesting "to be strong; to be hard." Both ideas magnify the need for all believers to be resolute, to be steadfast, or to be faithful and firm, in the service of the Lord. This is not a call for mere self-will or self-determination. It is a call to utter dependence on a never-failing God!

Furthermore, in Moses' words, it is clear that:

B. He Helps His People Overcome Fear

This is doubly emphasized in the phrase, "fear not, nor be afraid of them." These words remind us that there is "no cause for dread, no reason to be terrified," for the Lord is with His people! He will help us! He will not "fail" or, as the word suggests, "grow weak, or slack" toward us! He will not "forsake" or "leave, abandon" us! Rather, He will help us! He will aid us! We need not abandon hope, for the Lord will not abandon us!

One other concept in the text is that:

C. He Helps His People Go Forward

This exhortation is given in the light of the people entering into the Canaan land. They are in transit; they are going somewhere! And, the promise is, "The LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee." There is a land flowing with milk and honey, with abundance. But, the only way into that land is by moving with the never-failing God! Similarly, in the Gospel dispensation, the fullness of Christ is enjoyed only by those who continually look to Him!

In the next scene, Joshua underlines the fact that:

2. God Never Fails In Keeping His Promises

Whereas Moses' statement was given in regard to God's faithfulness in the future, Joshua reflects upon God's faithfulness in the past. "And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof" (Josh. 23:14).

Here we are confronted with several truths, the first being that:

A. God Will Consistently Do What He Says He Will Do

The substance of this testimony seems to be that we can count on God's Word. Not one thing "failed of the good things which the LORD . . . spake" concerning His people. In reiteration of God's faithfulness, Joshua added, "All are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." God's promises are as good as His never-failing Person! "Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it" (1 Thes. 5:24).

Another truth that issues out of the first one is:

B. God Will Completely Do What He Says He Will Do

Our God is not only faithful; He is utterly, completely, entirely faithful! He not only kept His word, but He kept His Word in every detail. Twice, Joshua exclaimed that the Lord had not "failed" in "one thing." What was later true in the life of Samuel was true in the history of the Israelites, and is true in your life and mine, as well. The never-failing God will "let none of His words fall to the ground" (1 Sam. 3:19)

One other truth must be considered, namely:

C. God Will Continually Do What He Says He Will Do

Although Joshua was dying, he believed that the God Who had proved His faithfulness in days gone by, would evidence that same faithfulness in the days ahead. In fact, he so believed it that he further admonished the people, "Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you" (23:15). Whether God promises blessing or judgment, in the past or in the future, it will come to pass.

Lastly, David, in the final months of his life, reminds us that:

3. God Never Fails In Advancing His Purposes

After explaining to the princes, the captains, and varied officials in Israel  that Solomon would build the house of God that he, himself, had hoped to build, David said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD" (1 Chron. 28:20).

This story helps us realize afresh something of:

A. The Bigness Of God's Purposes

The divine purposes are bigger than people, places, and events involving those people and places. David was a very big man in Jerusalem. But, God was bigger than the king. David's plans to build a temple were commendable. But, God's plans were bigger and better. He had chosen Solomon for this great task (see 28:3-6). Of course, if the Lord chooses to work in ways beyond our hopes and days, we must realize that His ways are best.

This account also gives us insight into:

B. The Broadness Of God's Purposes

David had been limiting the building of the temple to his era. It is evident, however, that God's purposes are much broader than man's. God's kingdom is much broader than the kingdom of David, or any other kingdom. Thus, instead of limiting Himself to an epoch of time, He explained to David, "Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do My commandments and My judgments, as at this day" (28:7).

Finally, this record encourages us toward:

C. The Believableness Of God's Purposes

Upon sharing the details of the temple to Solomon, David gave the exhortation, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD" (28:20). The truth is, whatever the assignment in life, we can "do it," and finish "all the work," trusting "The God Who Never Fails" to advance His divine purposes.

A little chorus I have loved through the years says,

"God can do; God can do; God can do anything!
God can do anything but fail!"

May we all sing this truth from our hearts! Amen.