Archives for posts with tag: trust

Isaiah 33:21-22 –But there the majestic One, the Lord, will be for us
A place of rivers and wide canals
On which no boat with oars will go,
And on which no mighty ship will pass—
For the Lord is our judge,
The Lord is our lawgiver,
The Lord is our king;
He will save us—

The thing that strikes me as I read this passage is trust. Yahweh, who is at once judge, lawgiver, and king, that Yahweh who is their God and who cares for them will save us. The word save here means: “to save, to help, to deliver, to defend. The underlying idea of this verb is bringing to a place of safety or broad pasture as opposed to a narrow strait, symbolic of distress and danger.” [CWSB] It’s the same verb root underlying the proper noun yeshua, Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt 1.21)

Isaiah was confident that the people could put their trust in Yahweh for he would surely deliver them. We are confident that we can put our trust in Yeshua because by his death he delivered us from every sin for all time.

The African Study Bible comments here: ‘When God chooses to restore his broken, shattered, and emptied people, Israel can shout out God’s forgiveness with joy. “The people of Israel will no longer say, ‘We are sick and helpless,’ for the Lord will forgive their sins”’(Isaiah 33:24).

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The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’“But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God,” (Deuteronomy 1:30–32 NAS95)

Moses addresses all Israel in Deuteronomy 1, and it is a sad letter.  We discover the reason that it is sad in our passage.  Moses recounts how the Lord your God fought for them as they left Egypt, destroying the Egyptian army without the people fighting at all, and how he carried them for 40 years in the wilderness just as a man carries his son, until the people had come to the very doors of the Promised Land, then Moses drops this bombshell on them: But for all this, you did not trust the Lord.

The word translated trust means: “to be firm, to build up, to support, to nurture, or to establish. The primary meaning is that of providing stability and confidence, like a baby would find in the arms of a parent…Metaphorically, the word conveys the notion of faithfulness and trustworthiness, such that one could fully depend on.” [CWSB]

Yahweh wanted his people to trust in him, to rely upon him, to be faithful to him alone, hadn’t he proven that he was trustworthy again and again during the Exodus?  Despite everything that the Lord had done for his people, Moses makes the stark proclamation, you did not trust the Lord.

It seems pretty clear that what God desires from we who follow him, is trust in him and in him alone.  We tend to be people who trust in God + our own strength; our reason; our bank account; our position and reputation, etc.  It’s not that we do not trust in God, it’s just that we want to help God out and we devise plenty of ways to do it.  In this we are like the generation of the Exodus.

One might say that our whole journey in the faith is reminding our recalcitrant selves that trust in God means God + nothing else.

 

 

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalms 28:7 NAS95)

A psalm of David who knew a thing or two about trusting in the Lord when his very life was in danger.  In the midst of trials, difficulties, and existential threats on his life, David’s heart trusts in Yahweh, and he is helped.

David trusts, God responds with help. It seems like such a simple formula until we experience our own trials, then we find that trust does not come naturally, it must be developed.

The response of faith to deliverance and help is a heart that exults in Yahweh. The NIV translates here, “My heart leaps for joy.” Thanks comes in the form of a song for David, for help, for deliverance, for trust that has not been disappointed.

God receives the glory he deserves; we receive the help that we need, and then we sing.  This seems like a giving of thanks with which God would be pleased.

 

Let the dawning day bring me revelation
Of your tender, unfailing love.
Give me light for my path, and teach me, for I trust in you! (Psalms 143:8, Passion Translation)

In a world lit only by fire, which was the only world that David knew, the break of dawn was especially memorable.  Here David uses the dawning day as a metaphor for the hesed of God, the covenantal love that God brings for and for his people, which the Passion Translation calls your tender, unfailing love. Without any help from mankind, the sun returns day after day after day, and without any work from God’s people, God’s unfailing love is present everywhere that his people are present and at all times, in all seasons, for every occasion.

Daybreak brings light to a dark world, and so David uses the same metaphor to ask God to light up his steps, to direct his paths, to guide his ways, because David is all in with God; he trusts in God and in God alone.

If we are to follow in the footsteps of David, the coming of the morning should stir up our hearts to think anew about God’s faithful, ever-present love for his people, and the rising sun should call us to fresh, new trust for that day.

Give us a Father’s help when we face our enemies.
For to trust in any man is an empty hope. (Psalms 60:11, Passion Translation)

This verse is Hebrew poetry in which the second line is a contrast to the first.  David begins with the good: Give us a Father’s help. David is dependent upon the Lord as he faced the Syrians with the outcome still uncertain.  He demonstrates trust by calling out for help to God his Father, he turns to the correct place when he turns to God, which brings us to the second line, a line of contrast.

For to trust in any man is an empty hope. A vivid, strong line delineating the difference between trust that is well-placed, and trust that is an empty hope. David understands that God is sovereign over the battle, so he puts his trust in God and not in man because God is powerful, man is weak, God is trustworthy, man is not.

Here’s the thing, when David writes to trust in any man is an empty hope, he also means ourselves.  This is the modern heresy.  We think we can trust in ourselves and that is as vain a hope as to trust in any other person.  We are not God, we are not omniscient, when we speak the wind and waves do not cease their raging, we cannot make the stars and moon obey us, we are not in charge of Divine Providence; God however is, and therein lies our hope.

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.