Long before I retired I promised my long-suffering, darling wife that I would make her staging for the right side of the greenhouse to match the one on the left. I finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago. [We all seem to be searching for this elusive "a round tuit!]. By the way the staging is still not totally complete.
How different it is with God. When He says "I will make," it is already as good as done. In my previous blog, I referred to the verse in Jeremiah 1:18 when God says
And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. [Jeremiah 1:18 ESV]
God is speaking of the future as if it were already past and complete. You might think me a sad person but I got really thrilled and excited when I first discovered the footnote to this verse in the NET Bible. Here it is -
NET Bible: "I, The Lord, hereby promise to make you etc."
Footnote: Hebrew = "today I have made you." The Hebrew verb here emphasises the certainty of a yet future act; The Lord is promising to protect Jeremiah from any future attacks which may result from his faithfully carrying out his commission.
If we look back to verse 9 in the same chapter we find another use of this 'prophetic perfect' in God's words to young Jeremiah.
NET Bible - Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me." The NET Bible then adds the following footnote -
Hebrew - "Behold I have put my words in your mouth." This is an example of the Hebrew "scheduling" perfect or the "prophetic" perfect where a future event is viewed as so certain it is spoken of as past. The Hebrew particle rendered here "assuredly" (Hebrew hinneh) underlines the certitude of the promise for the future.
It is so comforting to know that when God makes a promise, it is already in the past tense - He has already fulfilled His promise. I find it hard to grasp the greatness of the God in whose promises I have placed my trust. How sad it is that there are times when I don't fully trust Him!