Trust in the Lord – Know Him
I want to return to our Covenant Sunday Verse:
Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV) — 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Here’s a definition:
The sense of well-being and security which results from having something or someone in whom to place confidence. The feeling of being safe or secure. To be unconcerned.
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
A random thought before we move on:
Trust is not static. Trust almost always leads to action. Even when God says to be still it means more to be at peace than to do nothing. In fact, in Exodus 14:13-15 he tells the people to be still and then tells then to march through the Red Sea.
Exodus 14:13–15 (NIV) — 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”
Trust is not a call to inaction but to action.
Today I want us to focus on verse 6. Here are two translations. I prefer the NASB in this case. The Hebrew word translated “submit” is literally “know.”
Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV) — 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6 (NASB 2020) — 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
This word “know” is used in the older English translations to express the intimate love Adam and Eve experienced and is translated in the modern versions as make love to.
Genesis 4:1 (RSV) — 1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”
Knowing God is more than just being acquainted. Knowing God means to have intimate knowledge of him who is essential to trusting him.
Several NT passages express the importance of knowing God:
John 17:3 (NIV) — 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Philippians 3:8 (NIV) — 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
2 Peter 1:5–8 (NIV) — 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 (NIV) — 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 1:2 (NIV) — 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
We want peace but we are not willing to put in the work of knowing God.
Why is it so important to know God? We are much more likely to trust people we know. Failure to know God is disastrous. Note the following passages:
Romans 1:25 (NIV) — 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Hosea 4:6 (NLT) — 6 My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.
All through this series I have reminded you of some important things we need to know about God that lead us to trust him - God is All Knowing, All Powerful, All Wise.
There are many other things we need to know about God but once source of anxiety in our world is politics – both domestic and international. Here is something we need to know about God – He is sovereign over the nations.
Note these truths about God that Jerry Bridges brings out in Trusting God:
God in His sovereignty has established governments for the good of all people-believers as well as unbelievers.
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
God determines who rules in those governments.
Daniel 4:17 (NLT)
For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”
God determines the timing of each leaders’ rule.
Isaiah 40:23–24 (NIV)
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
God rules in the victories and defeats between nations.
Proverbs 21:31 (ESV)
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
The fact that God is sovereign over our rulers is usually not evident to us as we view their decisions and actions on a human plane. For the most part, governmental officials and legislative bodies do their work quite apart from any intent to carry out the will of God. We see this amply demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken. This required Joseph and Mary to go to the town of Bethlehem to register at just the right time for the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy (see Micah 5:2). Caesar certainly did not intend to be an instrument to fulfill any Jewish prophecy, yet that is exactly what he was.
We should likewise see in those affairs reported in our daily paper the sovereign hand of God just as much as we see it in the Bible. Of course, we don’t have the advantage of the divinely revealed explanation of today’s events, as we do of those recorded in the Bible, but that does not make God’s sovereign rule today any less certain. God recorded in His Word specific instances of His sovereign rule over history in order that we might trust Him in the affairs of history as they unfold before us today.
Do you know God? Do you know that if your party wins or loses God is still sovereign? This doesn’t mean that we should not be involved with politics.
This doesn’t mean that life will be easy or that we will get our way, but we can trust that God is sovereign and find peace in that trust.
Trusting God, Jerry Bridges, pp 259-260
A book that impacted me as a younger believer and that I commend to you is Knowing God by J. I. Packer (Author)
I believe that as you know God better you will trust him more fully and find that peace that comes from having confidence in Him. May the prayer of Moses be ours.
Exodus 33:13 (NIV) — 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.
And I believe that as you know God better he will become more and more beautiful to you.
A study from Rice University revealed that we are more likely to trust people who see as attractive. Here are some findings:
According to a recent study, attractive strangers are trusted more. “We found that attractive subjects gain a ‘beauty premium’ in that they are trusted at higher rates. This research confirms what has been found in other studies in political science: attractiveness matters. (https://news.rice.edu/news/2006/rice-study-suggests-people-are-more-trusting-attractive-strangers)
Is God attractive to you? I hope you find him beautiful and put your trust in Him!