Archives for posts with tag: trust

What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me.” (Jeremiah 6:20, HCSB)

The people of Judah at the time of Jeremiah come in for severe condemnation from God through Jeremiah.  They still have the forms of religion, they are offering sacrifices and burnt offerings, but their hearts are divided between Yahweh and other gods.  They even buy expensive frankincense and sweet calamus [a plant with scented leaves] to offer up, but God has no place for outward devotion without inward commitment.  Devotion to Yahweh is demonstrated in trust and obedience, not in burnt offerings and sacrifices, be they ever so expensive.

The South Asia Commentary writes here:

Our churches in South Asia can learn a great deal from this passage. We may be very careful to execute all rites and rituals perfectly so as to pre-empt obstacles. But ironically, these empty rituals bring on obstacles! What matters more to God is that we are obedient to his word. If that is not of paramount importance in our lives, then we are on the same godless path as the people of Judah.

 

Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.” (Isaiah 50:11, ESV)

The Lord [through the pen of Isaiah] lays out two options at the end of Isaiah 50 for us to walk by.  We can trust in the name of the Lord (vs. 10) or we can do what our verse says and light our own lamp and walk by our own light.  The sure outcome if we light our own way is that we will lie down in torment. We will get exactly what we deserve.

We know from Proverbs that God calls us to move forward by trusting in him even when it doesn’t make sense to us:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5–6, ESV)

Trusting in the Lord leads to the comfort of straight paths, walking by our own light leads only to sorrow. You would think that this would be an easy decision for us, by our inclination is to lean to our own understanding and not trust in the Lord.

 

“Yahweh our God spake unto us in Horeb、 saying,—
Long enough have ye dwelt in this mountain:”
https://ref.ly/Dt1.6;emphbbl

“Long enough.”  With these words Yahweh ended the wandering of the Israelites in the desert.  The generation of the Exodus had failed God, refusing to obey him and enter into the land of promise, and in the process becoming a byword for unfaithfulness in the rest of the Scriptures.  They had been in the wilderness for forty years, long enough for all of the generation of the Exodus–the generation of unfaithfulness–to pass away.  God had provided for his people in their wandering–a demonstration of his mercy–and now they had wandered long enough and so God moves them towards the Promised Land.

It’s difficult to imagine what the people must have been thinking.  They had all been born in the desert and knew no other life than that of the desert.  Yes, they had heard of the stories of Yahweh’s delieverance of his people from Egypt; they saw the miracle of manna every day, but they had never experienced God’s deliverance, never drawn up in battle standing with the Lord and his hosts.

“Long enough.”  With these words the Israelites would experience a whole new revelation of Yahweh, and unlike the generation that preceded them, they would not fail him. They would enter the land of promise, and take the land, just as God had promised them.

The message in the generation of the Entrance [shall we call it that?] is one of trust.  God told them to enter into the Promised Land and take it and that he would be with them and deliver them.  They trusted his word; they obeyed; they took the land.

We have a choice each and every day if we will trust the Lord on this day.  Yesterday’s trust was only good for yesterday, and tomorrow’s trust won’t come up until tomorrow, but today, this day, we face a choice:  will we trust God on this day?

“Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
https://ref.ly/Is26.4;esv

The word that we translate “trust” here does have a meaning quite similar to our English word, trust.  The Complete Word Study Bible defines this word as: “A verb indicating to trust, to be confident. It expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else.”  Trust is relying on someone else and I like to think of it that way because whether we know it or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, we will eventually understand that we cannot trust in ourselves, it just doesn’t work.

You can be the strongest man in the world, but the day will come [if you happen to live long enough] when your strength will fail you and what you trusted in will prove to have betrayed you.  You can be the smartest person who has ever lived, but will your brain help you defy death?  Will you live forever through your wits?  Beauty fades, intelligence wanes, strength grows feeble, power is  difficult to come by and quick to depart.  If you still think you can trust in yourself, then you are a fool, and I do not say that lightly.

In contrast to trusting in ourselves, Isaiah invites us to trust in the One Person in whom it is wise to trust: Yahweh.  We can trust in Him forever, because, as Isaiah is quick to point out, he is a metaphorical eternal rock. Whatever strong and solid rock that you can think of, that appears like it will stand to eternity and beyond, God is an everlasting rock, which means that we can trust in him in an everlasting way, indeed it means that we should trust in him forever.

Isaiah invites us here to trust and rely on someone who is worthy of all trust and capable of sustaining our trust in him in every situation, for all time, in every age, and that is someone worth trusting in.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”” (Psalm 31:14, ESV)

The Complete Word Study Bible says that the word trust “expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else.” Think about this for a minute, the alternative to trusting in God is either a. to trust in some other person/deity than yourself, or b. to trust in yourself over anyone and anything else.  How trustworthy are you, dear reader, in the long scheme of your life?  How powerful are you?  Did you choose your parents?  Your race? Your socio-economic status?  Your specific geographical location?  Have you proved yourself trustworthy in any and every situation of your life?  Can you count on yourself when you have an incurable illness and are staring down the barrel of eternity?

David is onto something here.  We can trust in the Lord, indeed God wants us to trust in him.  David has chosen well and wisely.  He does not trust in himself.  He does not put ultimate trust in any other human person. He does not trust in any other so-called god.  He trusts in God alone.  The God who created time, the universe, and the earth is David’s God…and he can be our God also.

 

Incline thine ear and hear the words of wise men, Then thy heart wilt thou apply to my teaching…That in Yahweh may be thy trust I have made them known to thee to-day even to thee.” (Proverbs 22:17, 19, EMPH)

Solomon writes that his teaching and the words of men who are wise have a fundamental purpose and aim: That in Yahweh may be thy trust.

The pursuit of wisdom, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the pursuit of wisdom grounded in the fear of the Lord [which is true wisdom] has as its aim trust in the Lord himself.  As we grow in wisdom, as we understand the world around us and how to live in it rightly, then our trust in the Lord grows.

True wisdom then is intimately connected with trust in the Lord. We cannot have one without the other.  If we have trust in the Lord, then we are on the path to true and right wisdom, if we have true wisdom then by definition it will lead us to trust in the inventor of wisdom.

Here then, is why we pursue true wisdom, because it always leads us to God himself.

 

In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge (Prov 14.26, ESV)

Not only is wisdom grounded in the fear of the Lord, but we discover here that strong confidence [or strong trust] is grounded in the fear of the Lord also. As we yield our lives more and more to God and to his character, we find out that we can trust in God in all places, for all things, despite every barrier. This seems like a good way to gain strong confidence in God. Some of the people who understand this the best are those who have been through difficult and sustained trials. Those who go deepest understand the best that God is true and good and present always!

The parallel truth is that God’s children will have a place of refuge when the storms do strike and blow in such a way that things seem hopeless.

The God in whom we can have strong and solid trust is also the God who provides refuge when things look bleakest.