In fact, the Bible is full of examples of God being trustworthy- of God following through with what He says He will do. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with stories of people not trusting God, and then having to deal with the reality of those choices.
Proverbs 3:5 tells us that we should, “Trust in the Lord with all [our] heart; don’t depend on [our] own understanding.” The writer goes on to remind us that, if we seek God’s will in all we do, then God will show us what path to take. Basically, the writer’s telling us to trust God. God has promised to work for our good in all things (Romans 8:28).
You see, God didn’t just tell these people what to do because He had some “God-complex,” thinking He could just order everyone around because He’s God. No. God shared with these people His plans for them because He knew it was what was best for them. Adam and Eve shouldn’t have eaten from that tree because God was trying to protect them from evil. Abraham should have waited for God because Sarah was going to give birth to the child promised. Moses, well, he should have trusted God because the power wasn’t in a staff made of wood, but in God alone!
They should have trusted God. God made them each a promise. They, however, chose to go their own ways. But, what’s interesting about each of these stories is that, even though the people didn’t do what God wanted, God still kept His promise. Adam and Eve were blessed and protected by God, even as they were exiled from the Garden and had to live with evil. Abraham’s descendants still outnumbered the stars, even as he had to struggle with an estranged son. And Moses, he did get the water for his people. He even got to see the land God promised would belong to his people. He just didn’t get to go there.
What we see in these stories, in others Bible stories, and in the stories and experiences of others throughout history, is that God keeps His promises- God follows through on His words- even when we don’t trust Him. Even when we aren’t reliable, good, and honest, God always is.
How many times has God asked you to trust Him, and you’ve chosen to follow your own path instead? What about the times when you thought God was being just a little unreasonable, and you just brushed Him off? How about when you were just so attached to your own desires that you couldn’t even see God’s will? Through each and every one of those times, God was there; God kept His promises to you; God blessed you even when you didn’t trust Him.
If Moses had trusted, he’d have entered the Promised Land. If Abraham had trusted, he wouldn’t have caused so much pain in his family. If Adam and Eve had trusted…would we ever had experienced evil at all? If we had just trusted Him to begin with, we wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of going our own way and failing. God can be trusted to do all He says He will. Will you trust Him? Even when you think your ways are better, will you trust that His ways are indeed better than yours?
Big picture of the Bible: God wants a relationship with you!
Beginning: Genesis and Exodus
Theme: Trust Me!
What does it mean to ‘trust’ someone?
Definition: the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective
Big question for us looking at these stories is this: Can God be trusted?
Another question: How is trust built?
Through our experiences of people and things
Someone acts honestly, and we trust them; someone lies, and we lose trust in them
Our trust in God is built the same way: by looking at the stories of others, hearing how God acted in a situation
From the beginning of existence, the big question has been “Can God be trusted?”
Genesis and Exodus play out this theme often: God says ‘trust me,’ some do and are blessed, some don’t and suffer
Adam and Eve:
God gave them everything they needed but told them not to get involved with evil (to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil)
They didn’t trust God, ate from the tree, and suffered the consequences
But God was still with them: protected them, made them clothes, and gave them children
God came to Noah asking for his trust. Build an ark, fill it with animals, and take you family into it
Took a lot of trust to do something so crazy, but he did it and he and his family were saved
God came to Abraham calling him out of paganism and into faith in the One God, and called him away from his home, telling him he would have descendants that outnumbered the stars
Abraham and Sarah got old and didn’t have children yet, so they took matters into their own hands: Abraham had a son by Sarah’ servant. But God came through on His promise and Sarah bore a son. Abraham’s actions led to a lot of family strife and the near death of his first son. God intervened, but lives were destroyed all because Abraham didn’t trust God to come through on His promise
Jacob wanted the blessing his older brother would receive from their father, and the future God promised to the older son. So he lied to and tricked his father, and stole the blessing from his brother.
He suffered a long time because he was chased and hunted by his brother, but God also kept His promise and Jacob’s 12 sons formed the foundation of the 12 tribes of Israel
Promised by God that he would be the leader of his brothers and save many people
His brothers were jealous and decided to get rid of Joseph. His life turned terrible: slavery and jail several times. But he ended up as an advisor to Pharaoh in Egypt where he helped to save the entire nation from a bad famine.
God kept his promise to Joseph and Joseph trusted God even when his life didn’t go very well
Called by God to do great things but struggled to trust God fully
When Israel was wandering in the desert, God commanded Moses to strike a rock once and water would stream from it for the people. Moses was unsure of what God said and tapped the rock twice with his staff.
The lack of trust in what God said led to Moses not being allowed to enter the Promised Land
God shows us through these stories, and many others, that His ways are better than ours. He can be trusted.
Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:25-34 that we shouldn’t worry. We should just trust God because He can be trusted.
God can be trusted. Now He is asking you to trust Him. Will you?